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Science Area Programs

Preparation for Health Professions

Medicine and Dentistry

Allied Health Professions

Liberal Arts/Nursing

Summer Courses and Science Stations

Science Area Course Descriptions

 

Natural science departments aim to provide the background and experience necessary for professional work in the natural sciences, for continuation of the study of natural science in graduate school, and to stimulate and interrelate scientific thinking with other disciplines. A belief in the God of the Bible as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe is a basic presupposition.

Courses of study are offered in applied health science, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, geology, mathematics, and physics, with cooperative programs in engineering and nursing. Assistance is provided for all students to help them make appropriate educational plans and career choices. This aid is given by the student's faculty advisor, by department chairs, and by the Director of Health Professions, who maintains files of resource materials for student use.

Preparation for Health Professions

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The Health Professions Program provides a comprehensive program of profession-driven opportunities and support services that prepare students for diverse fields in the health professions and for service in helping build the church and benefit society worldwide. The Health Professions Program aims to promote student development through excellence in acquainting students with the wide array of health professions careers, guiding their pre-professional formation and development, providing strategies and perspective to shape their pathway to the health profession of choice, and guiding them in thinking holistically and with a Christ-centered worldview about how they may serve in the chosen health professions field.

Students planning on a career in medicine or one of the related health fields may major in any subject area but must meet the specific admission requirements of the professional schools to which they expect to apply. The Director of the Health Professions works closely with students who are interested in any of the health fields. Career information and advising are provided to help students in selecting courses, preparing for required admissions tests, and understanding the application process to professional schools in their chosen fields. These activities are coordinated through the Health Professions Office. Students can make use of the resources through one-on-one advising appointments, open office hours and various workshops. Additionally, healthcare professionals visit campus to meet with students in interested in various career paths throughout the year.

Medicine and Dentistry

Specific training in medicine and dentistry is given in professional schools and is based on a broad and strong preparation in the liberal arts. This is true for optometry, podiatry and veterinary medicine as well. Critical analysis and reasoning skills, clear speaking, and writing are necessary skills in these professions. Experiences such as shadowing healthcare professionals, volunteer service, and research are important practices that help a student gain a greater understanding of healthcare and develop various relational and technical skills. Both interpersonal and intrapersonal attributes are valued. Personal attributes such as integrity, concern for the well-being of others, humility, professionalism, compassion, personal maturity, and a deep commitment to a life of service are highly sought by leaders in the health professions.

The new competency-based MCAT 2015 was first administered in April 2015. Some changes occurred in the DAT in 2015 as well. School-specific changes in medical school admissions requirements may align with courses required for the MCAT 2015. In addition to course pre-requisites, school-specific admissions requirements may include competencies (both academic and personal, interpersonal and intrapersonal) and foundational concepts in science and social and behavioral science. The four sections of MCAT 2015 are (1) Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, (2) Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, (3) Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, and (4) Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior. Therefore to prepare for MCAT 2015 students should take Introductory Biology (BIOL 241, 242), General Chemistry (CHEM 231, 232), Organic Chemistry (CHEM 341,342), Biochemistry (CHEM 461), Introductory Physics (PHYS 221-222). The subjects of psychology, sociology and statistics are also covered on the exam. Students may discern whether or not they would benefit from formal study in these areas. If so, the appropriate courses would be: Introductory Psychology (PSYC 101) Introductory Sociology (SOC 115), and Statistics (MATH 263, PSYCH 268, and AHS 281). Regardless of the major selected at Wheaton, students planning on these careers must take courses to prepare for the national admissions exams and the pre-professional courses which meet the minimal entrance requirements for most medical and dental schools. Beyond the courses listed as preparation for MCAT 2015, school-specific admissions may require other courses such as Math 231, 232, BIOL 362. Additional courses, such as ANTH 116, 353, 361; BIOL 317, 331, 332, 336, 356, 358, 362, 364, 374, 381; CHEM 355; COMM 221, 362; CSCI 135, 231; AHS 351, 368, 369, 378, 381, 452; PHYS 311; PSYC 268, 317, 348, and SOC 228, 238, 364, 383 may be helpful toward the student's preparation for professional training. SCI 229 (Internship/Seminar in the Health Professions) is highly recommended and provides an opportunity for an approved observational/experience in a health profession, to study the issues affecting the quality and form of health care in America, and to make an informed choice of a vocation in the health professions.

Because competition for entry into medical schools is significant, strong performance in academic course work and national admissions tests (MCAT) is essential. In 2016 there were 51,000 applicants nationwide. Of these applicants, about 42% were offered acceptance to at least one medical school. In 2016, 20,347 accepted applicants matriculated to various allopathic programs across the country. Applicants who were accepted in 2016 nationally had an average GPA of 3.7. For competency-based admissions, a holistic review of applicants includes evaluation of their experiences, attributes, and academic metrics. Good planning and careful preparation by Wheaton students and a comprehensive advising and counseling program provided by the Health Professions Office combine to enhance the possibilities of acceptance into medical school.

Allied Health Professions

Students can receive basic preparation for many allied health careers such as optometry, nutrition and dietetics, health systems management, pharmacy, audiology, speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, health information management, physician assistant, and public health. Students generally pursue a major, receive a B.S. degree, and continue their studies in clinical or graduate programs. The Health Professions Office maintains catalogs and information concerning health careers, and is available for advice and counsel concerning course selection, types of programs, and the application process.

Liberal Arts/Nursing

Students completing the Liberal Arts/Nursing program will receive two degrees—a Bachelor of Arts or Sciences from Wheaton and the appropriate professional nursing degree from the nursing school (B.S.N.). Three years are spent at Wheaton in the pursuit of general education and basic science courses. The Liberal Arts Nursing majors then apply and if accepted, transfer to a CCNE or NLNAC-accredited baccalaureate nursing program and complete the B.S.N. in an additional two years. Wheaton is affiliated with Emory University (BSN Transfer Option) for students who wish to follow this option. The second possibility is to apply and if accepted, transfer to Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) and complete their Transition to Nursing program. This program is completed in fourteen months. Wheaton currently has a formalized arrangement with IWU that permits students to enroll in this accelerated BSN program. Minimum standards must be maintained to be considered for acceptance. Additional information can be sought from the Director of Health Professions regarding both options.

Requirements for the Major:

In addition to general education courses, basic natural and social science courses required by Wheaton (and by most professional nursing programs) include the following: CHEM 231, 232, 241; AHS 351 and AHS 361 or BIOL 321; BIOL 241, and at least four semester hours of upper division natural science courses (BIOL 364 strongly recommended); PSYC 101, 268 (or other statistics course), and PSYCH 317; SOC 115, and SCI 494. Additional affiliate-specific courses may be required by the nursing schools (BIOL 381, AHS 368). A required number of hours at the nursing school are necessary to fulfill and complete the requirements for the LA/N major. Students may obtain the complete list of required pre-requisites for the program(s) they intend to pursue as part of the Liberal Arts-Nursing major from the Director of Health Professions.

Many students pursue nursing while studying a different discipline/major at Wheaton. Students will complete their Wheaton degree and then apply to a nursing program intending to enter after graduation. Students are encouraged to consider Accelerated BSN programs and Graduate Entry Master's programs for this option. As pre-requisites for nursing programs vary, students are strongly encouraged to contact the Director of Health Professions early to assist and help plan course selection and understand the options when pursuing a nursing career.

Summer Courses at Science Stations

The Science Division offers students the opportunity to take courses at affiliated science stations during the summer. Information on Wheaton's own Black Hills Science Station in South Dakota and information about the Au Sable Institute in Michigan can be found in the Special Programs section of this catalog.

Science Area Courses (SCI)

SCI 211. Natural Systems of the Northwoods. An integrative science course centering on natural history and systems with an exploration of abiotic and biotic factors. Offered exclusively during the summer for education students only (preservice teachers) at HoneyRock. Su only. (2)

SCI 229. Internship/Seminar in the Health Professions. Economic, political, sociological, psychological, and ethical problems facing health professionals and some biblical responses to these problems. Designed for students with a definite interest in one of the health professions, this course provides opportunity to observe the field first hand through a required shadowing internship, and to study the scope of health care in the U.S. Prerequisites: sophomore standing, registration with the Health Professions Program, one year of college biology or chemistry, consent of instructor. Does not apply toward the general education science requirement. (2, lin)

SCI 301. Natural Science: Foundations, Methods, Challenges. A historical and philosophical study of methodological and foundational issues in the natural sciences focusing principally on physics, astronomy, biology, and challenges the natural sciences present to culture. Prerequisite: Any SP course. SIP, PI.

SCI 311. Theories of Origins. Examination of scientific theories of origins and development, such as Big Bang cosmology, Earth's formation and early history, origin of life, origin of species, history of life, and human origins. Relationships between biblical and scientific explanations are explored for each topic. Prerequisite: any SP course. $30 field trip fee. Counts as upper division science requirement under legacy gen ed. SIP

SCI 321. Science for Middle and High School Teachers. Required for science majors who plan to teach high school. Survey of science curricula, computer applications in science teaching, laboratory theory and evaluation processes, management of laboratories, and field trips. Prerequisites: ten hours of education courses and ten hours of courses in teaching area major. (2)

SCI 322. Elementary Grade Education Science Curriculum. Required for elementary education majors. Survey of elementary science curricula and resources; consideration of perspective, process, content, and application of science in teaching. Concurrent with EDUC 305L, 311, 311L, 312, 315, 317, SSCI 321 or consent of instructor. Prerequisites: ten hours of education courses and at least one science laboratory course. (2)

SCI 325. Methods of Teaching Middle Grade Science. Required for those seeking an endorsement for teaching middle grade science. Includes theories and methods for teaching science at the middle grade level (grades 5-8). Topics include effective teaching strategies, planning, and assessment of science content, particularly with science processes and inquiry. Based on the Next Generation Science Standards and the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards. Prerequisite: Admission to the WheTEP program. (2)

SCI 393. Interdisciplinary Studies in Science. Seminar. Interdisciplinary study of topics in the natural sciences. Prerequisite: a lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. Does not satisfy the Nature cluster non-lab legacy general education credit. (2-4)

SCI 494. Nursing Capstone. The capstone seminar will evaluate contemporary issues within nursing and healthcare with special attention to some biblical responses to these issues. This course provides opportunity to observe the field of nursing firsthand through a required shadowing internship, and to study the scope of healthcare in the U.S. Prerequisites: Junior standing, declared LA-Nursing major, consent of instructor. (2, lin)

Revision Date: June 1, 2017

 

 

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