The mission of the Health Sciences program is to prepare graduates for advanced educational and clinical practice options for healthcare professionals through teaching, research, and service.
The Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences offers five concentrations.
- Health Sciences Pre-Professional
- Health Sciences Pre-Athletic Training
- Health Sciences Communicative Disorders
- Health Sciences Nutrition and Food Services
- Health Sciences Health & Wellness
Each of these degree concentrations offers you a different educational experience that is flexible in meeting your needs for several different graduate programs or academic interests.
Ready to take your health care career to the next level? The Nicholls Department of Allied Health Sciences prepares students planning to apply to professional schools in their field of choice.
The Pre-Professional concentration of Health Sciences prepares students for graduate programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and many other professional programs in healthcare.
Individuals who major in the pre-professional degree concentration are planning to continue on to a graduate or professional school in a variety of health related fields.
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Physician’s Assistant
- Respiratory Therapy
- Radiation Therapy
- Child Life Specialist
- And many, many more health-related areas
Acceptance into many of these programs is very competitive. Students should strive to maintain a high, competitive GPA. Observation and volunteer hours are also a requirement for several of the graduate and professional programs.
In today’s school environment, more participation in athletics means greater potential for injury and a greater need for allied health professionals who specialize in preventative care of sports injuries. The Nicholls Health Sciences Pre-Athletic Training Concentration provides students with the pre-requisites for application into a graduate program in Athletic Training.
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association describes the certified athletic trainer as a highly educated and skilled professional specializing in athletic health care. In cooperation with physicians and other allied health personnel, the athletic trainer functions as an integral member of the athletic health care team in:
- secondary schools,
- colleges and universities,
- sports medicine clinics,
- professional sports programs,
- corporate health programs,
- health clubs,
- industrial health care programs
- other athletic care settings.
In today’s school environment, greater sports participation in athletics means greater potential for injury and a greater need for allied health professionals who specialize in preventative care of sports injuries. The athletic trainer plays a unique and important role in the health care system through preventing, recognizing, managing and rehabilitating sports injuries. In this role, the athletic trainer can help athletes avoid unnecessary medical treatment and disruption of normal daily activities.
The American Medical Association provides information, such as average salary and employment characteristics for athletic trainers. Specifically, the athletic trainer specializes in six practice areas, including:
- clinical evaluation and diagnosis;
- immediate care;
treatment, rehabilitation and reconditioning;
- organization and administration;
As part of a complete health care team, the athletic trainer works under the direction of a licensed physician and in cooperation with other health care providers, athletic administrators, coaches and parents. The athletic trainer forms relationships with athlete individually and can therefore treat the athlete’s injury appropriately.
Preparing athletes for practice or competition including taping, bandaging, wrapping, and bracing.
The duties of an athletic trainer require extensive knowledge and strong decision making skills which are obtained through the athletic trainer’s educational and clinical experiences. An athletic trainer’s day, for example, may include these tasks:
- Evaluating injuries to decide if the athlete needs further medical treatment.
- Developing conditioning and injury rehabilitation programs.
Communication is interwoven into nearly every aspect of daily life, so much so that we rarely think twice about what it takes to speak a sentence or hear the lyrics to a song.
The Nicholls Health Sciences Concentration in Communicative Disorders degree is dedicated to assisting the student seeking a career as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist in being accepted to a graduate program which is necessary for national certification and state licensure. The program offers a strong academic foundation. Graduates of the program cite the following program strengths as key factors in their subsequent graduate school success: the rigor and comprehensiveness of their courses; and the caring and accessible faculty.
You can make a difference by:
- helping others with speech-language and hearing impairments,
- advocating for prevention and service to family and friends, and
- making a positive difference in people’s lives.
You can also:
- enjoy a career in an expanding profession,
- contribute to the development of new techniques and use technology,
- earn a good living with salary or hourly/contractual options,
- work as part of a professional team or work independently, and
- enjoy job flexibility with different work setting options.
Learn more at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Web site.
Because of the importance and complexity of the communicative disorders field, high standards are generally set for speech and hearing professionals. Upon completing the bachelor’s degree at Nicholls, students enroll in graduate training in speech-language pathology or audiology. Completion of a master’s degree is required before an individual can be certified as a speech-language pathologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. For students beginning academic studies at this time, a doctorate of audiology is required for certification in audiology.
Graduate Study in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
A number of graduate programs exist throughout Louisiana and the nation. Visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association academic program search engine to find a program that meets your needs. Graduate requirements generally include an introduction to research processes; studies of specific speech, language and hearing disorders; and additional practical clinical experience in assessment and intervention. After graduate study, students are eligible to pursue ASHA certification and a full Louisiana state licensure from the Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
Q: What is a speech-language pathologist, and what does the job of a speech-language pathologist entail?
A: A speech-language pathologist works directly with individuals to prevent, identify and/or facilitate the recovery of clients with communication disorders. Types of communication disorders include fluency disorders (stuttering), voice disorders, speech sound production disorders, language disorders, cognitive-linguistic impairments and swallowing impairments. A speech-language pathologist can work with a variety of populations from adults, who have had a brain injury or stroke and have lost their ability to speak, to children, who have not acquired the ability to speak or substitute one sound for another. Learn more by visiting the ASHA Careers Web pages.
Q: What is an audiologist, and what does the job of an audiologist entail?
A: An audiologist evaluates clients with suspected or known hearing impairments to identify the nature and degree of a hearing loss. Audiologists can work in many different settings involving hearing conservation, amplification of residual hearing, fitting of ear molds and hearing aids, and evaluation and screening of populations including newborn infants to geriatrics. Learn more by visiting the ASHA Careers Web pages.
Q: What kinds of clients do speech-language pathologists and audiologists serve?
A: Speech pathologists and audiologists work with clients from ages of birth to geriatrics with communicative disorders.
Q: Do I need a master’s degree to get a job in this field?
A: A master’s degree is required before an individual can be certified as a speech-language pathologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. For students beginning academic studies at this time, a doctorate of audiology is required for certification in audiology.
Q: Are jobs readily available in this field?
A: Jobs in the field of communicative disorders are readily available and work settings range from schools, home health, hospitals, nursing homes, preschools, universities, long-term acute care facilities, out-patient rehabilitation centers and private practices. Additionally, there are individuals employed in professional settings in both part-time and full-time capacities. Some in salaried positions and some in hourly and/or contractual positions.
The following scholarships are available for communicative disorders majors. Application forms may be obtained in the communicative disorders office.
THE HELEN ALENE MELANCON EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNICATIVE DISORDERS ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP is awarded to a high school graduate who demonstrates strong academic and leadership achievements and plans to major in communicative disorders. The recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student. The recipient may keep this scholarship for four years, provided he or she meets all the above criteria and maintains a 2.80 overall grade point average. The recipient must also demonstrate financial need.
JO CAROL NOLEN SCHOLARSHIP is awarded to a full-time student majoring in communicative disorders who has at least an overall 3.0 grade point average and at least a 3.5 grade point average in communicative disorders courses. Applicants must be active members in the Nicholls chapter of the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association and must submit the proper scholarship application before the required deadline.
Other scholarships for first time, continuing and transfer students can be found on the Financial Aid Web site.
Scholarship applicants should be academically strong and derive satisfaction from helping others overcome communication problems. They should also be alert, curious and patient, all qualities necessary for a career in communicative disorders. Financial need receives due attention when scholarship applicants are being considered.
NUTRITION AND FOOD SERVICES
The Health Sciences Nutrition and Food Services Concentration (AHNF) is composed of course work for students intending to pursue careers in nutrition and food service related fields or graduate programs in nutrition and/or food service management. This concentration does not prepare students for a career as a registered dietitian.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Health and Wellness Concentration (AHHW) is designed for students interested in various arenas of health and wellness, including, but not limited to, opportunities for credentialing in fitness and sports performance, as well as preparation for formal graduate study. Employment opportunities can include rehabilitation, industrial medicine, industrial health and wellness, fitness instruction, and various avenues of sports medicine.