Baker University is proud to announce three new undergraduate programs on the Baldwin City campus: health humanities, public health, and recreation. As the first university in Kansas, Baker University continues its long history of recognizing educational needs and developing innovative programs for the ever-changing higher education landscape.

Baker’s health humanities program is the first multidisciplinary degree of its kind to be offered in Kansas. Health humanities is a fast-growing field that brings together the arts and sciences to address the health and well-being of the whole person. Health humanities graduates may go on to work for nonprofit organizations, state or federal government, hospitals, medical offices, or insurance companies in roles such as health care administrators, patient care coordinators, or patient advocates. With further education, graduates may work as art therapists, medical illustrators, medical librarians, medical historians, and health lawyers.

“The number of undergraduate health humanities programs in the U.S. has more than quadrupled since the year 2000, and I am thrilled that Baker University is now home to the first and only one in Kansas,” said Associate Professor of English Tamara Slankard. “Graduates in this rapidly growing field of study are in high demand because they are well-rounded, holistic thinkers who demonstrate factual knowledge and practical skills as well as the ability to engage in humanistic inquiry.”

The public health program at Baker promotes a passion for protecting and enhancing the quality of life of individuals and communities through prevention and wellness programs and research. The curriculum offers extensive hands-on experience and in-depth classroom work. Public health students have the opportunity to assist in faculty research and internships in local health departments and rehab facilities.

“We are very excited to introduce a major that prepares students to enter a professional health care field that is continually unifying policy makers, professional agencies, universities, and health care and allied health care providers with a goal to impact a full range of factors touching an individual’s general health,” said Chris Todden, director of exercise science and public health. These students can become key players in public health nursing, physical activity, law, research, communication, and education. These professionals come together to reinvent strategy and utilize evidence-based systems to support a society in which we are all aware that everyone benefits when people are healthier.”

Students pursuing the recreation major will prepare themselves for a rewarding vocation that promotes active, healthy lifestyles for all populations through programs that focus on the whole person. This program is ideal for students who have a passion for health and fitness. The course work integrates real-life experiences and theoretical concepts to cultivate a well-educated and inspired professional, dedicated to promoting healthy living.

“Recreation majors can travel down several paths when pursuing their profession,” said Associate Professor Verneda Edwards. “From nonprofit community organizations, commercial recreation, employee services, tourism and hospitality, private membership organizations, armed forces, and park agencies, students have many avenues to pursue through this recreation major.”

For more information about all the areas of study offered at Baker University, visit bakerU.edu/academics/.