Strategic Plan for Biomedical Sciences
Context For Planning
The Biomedical Sciences Department was originally a component of the School of Health Sciences and became established as an independent unit when the School of Health Professions was formed in 1998. The Biomedical Sciences curriculum and much of its faculty members' research centers on biology and medicine from a human perspective, with a particular focus on health and disease. The Biomedical Sciences major provides the foundation required for most advanced health professional programs, as well as for graduate programs in the sciences. Originally there were two majors offered: Health Sciences, for those going on to Masters programs in the health professions (physician assistant, occupational therapy, physical therapy) and Biomedical Sciences, for students bound for medical school, graduate school, or similar professional programs. In 2004 the Health Sciences major became the Health Professions major within the College of Health Professions. The Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMS), situated within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, itself established in 2004, is now among the largest majors on campus. It offers one major track with two applicable emphases. The BMS major strives to provide the best possible preparation for students to be successful in their application to professional programs or in securing employment within the science community. The BMS Department strategic plan was developed by the assessment committee by using the Department's previous 2012 strategic plan and feedback from its faculty to guide its formation. The plan attempts to frame in contemporary language the ambitions of its faculty to create a first-class degree program in a supportive, inclusive environment that fosters intellectual growth.
The Biomedical Sciences Department integrates significant and practical experiences using exceptional
classroom teaching practices and high impact experiences to prepare students to be critical thinkers,
engaged citizens, and knowledgeable professionals in the human biological
The Biomedical Sciences Department aspires to provide a first-rate degree program.
- We recognize that a current and challenging curriculum, highlighted by intensive laboratory courses is a vital component of a first-rate biomedical sciences program. To this end, we aspire to offer a rigorous core curriculum which provides a strong basis of theoretical and practical skills, and supported by electives that enhance our students' abilities in selected areas of human biology.
- We recognize that student involvement in original research is a critical component to a first-rate biomedical sciences program and we aspire to provide the means for all our undergraduates to participate in high-impact research.
- We recognize that a diverse faculty engaged in their areas of expertise and responsive to the needs of our students, colleagues, and community are necessary for a first-rate program. We aspire to support our faculty such that they may perform this role.
- We recognize that graduates from the Biomedical Sciences who are competitive for direct employment or admission to graduate and professional programs are indicative of a first-rate academic program. We aspire to have each and everyone of our graduates either employed in a field of their choice using the expertise developed in the Biomedical Sciences Department or accepted into graduate or professional programs in which they will build on their expertise.
The Biomedical Sciences department values an academic environment that features: a broad, challenging, and current curriculum featuring intensive laboratory courses along with excellent classroom instruction; opportunities for high-impact undergraduate research; an engaged, diverse and responsive faculty, dedicated to excellent teaching, scholarship, and professional service; an understanding of the methods, tools, and history of science; and a recognition of the value of service. In particular, we value:
skills that permit critical assessment of scientific claims and the value of
their application as solutions to current problems;
- teaching that is inter-disciplinary and leads to an understanding of human biology and medicine in the context of the whole person;
- learning from a global perspective that engenders personal responsibility and contribution as a citizen of the world community;
- the continual professional development of our faculty to be life-long learners and active contributors to their professional societies;
- clear, consistent communication with other academic units and the administrative components of the university;
- timely and clear communication of departmental accomplishments;
- fair and equitable appraisal of faculty and student work;
- a supportive, diverse, and inclusive workplace environment in which faculty can synergistically balance teaching, scholarship, and service; and
- providing our new faculty (part-time, visiting, affiliate, and tenure track) with the support necessary to ensure their successful integration into the department.