Students received two undergraduate degrees, one in Human Sciences and one in Nursing, for the first time as part of a collaboration between the College of Human Sciences (COHS) and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC)
Centered at the College of Human Sciences core is its mission to improve and enhance the human condition. With five pathways for students to choose a career aligned to pre-health careers, the option for a dual degree in Human Sciences and Nursing was a natural fit. This past August, COHS, and TTUHSC celebrated as its first graduating class walked across the stage with two diplomas in hand.
Dean Tim Dodd, Ph.D. pointed to the college's rising focus on health and noted that the partnership is an exciting opportunity for students to broaden their perspective and enhance their skills.
“I am extremely appreciative to the School of Nursing and TTUHSC for helping us move this collaborative effort ahead for the benefit of these students and the patients they will assist,” Dodd said. “Many of our courses in Human Sciences such as Nutrition, Addiction and Recovery Sciences, Human Development, and a number of other areas, can be of tremendous help as we tackle health issues from a comprehensive approach.”
Director of Advising, Ashlee Brown, says that the partnership will allow students to act on college's mission of improving and enhancing the human condition.
“We are excited to celebrate our inaugural graduating class of interinstitutional dual degree students,” Brown said. “This outstanding group of 14 students is only the beginning. As we continue to grow in student enrollment, we look forward to continuous assessment and evolution of the benefits of this program.”
Students in the Human Sciences major complete concentration requirements in three academic areas. Those often align with programs like nutrition for pre-nursing students, which easily fit into nursing school admission requirements. Two concentrations must be in Human Sciences disciplines; however, the third concentration can be completed outside the College of Human Sciences.
The dual degree path is an excellent way for pre-nursing students at Texas Tech to increase their skillset and expand knowledge all before beginning a nursing career. Students who graduate from the program receive their bachelor's degree in Human Sciences from Texas Tech and their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from TTUHSC. As an added benefit, the dual degree fills the gap that sometimes comes for students like Reagan Jones who are awaiting a nursing school acceptance.
“Since I came into college with a few prerequisites completed, the pre-nursing course load became a little light in the semesters before applying to nursing school,” Jones said. “In this awkward break between nursing school and my prerequisites, I was debating on either taking a gap semester or working, which both were not very appealing to me. This program allowed me to stay in school and obtain a second degree with only a few additional courses.”
Because the dual degree aligns with pre-nursing prerequisites, Reagan said she didn't have to worry about staying ahead of her nursing school requirements to add the bachelor's degree in Human Sciences.
“The College of Human Sciences provides wonderful advisors who are helpful in bridging the gap between Texas Tech and TTUHSC,” Jones said. “Sometimes it can be difficult being enrolled in both schools and keeping track of what all is required of you, but the Human Sciences advisors are wonderful at what they do. I never worried about my status in my degree plan because my advisors were always on top of their game.”
Reagan plans to work in a hospital setting as a pediatric or family care nurse. With classes focused on communication, leadership, and human studies, Reagan says she feels equipped to truly make a difference as a registered nurse with a Human Sciences bachelor's degree.
“This degree has helped me establish leadership qualities, improve my communication skills with others, and approach situations with open eyes,” Jones said. “This program has many broad concentrations under its umbrella, but the College of Human Sciences empowers students to make a difference in the lives of others.”