News • April 19, 2021

College of Health Science to launch new academic department

College of Health Science to launch new academic department

Riverside, Calif. (April 19, 2021) – The College of Health Science at California Baptist University will launch a new academic department on July 1.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will consist of the Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. More than 240 students currently are pursuing degrees in those programs.

“The programs are getting bigger,” said Dr. Bryan Ness, chair of the new department. “With the increase in size and the different moving parts, the programs warrant their own unit so that everyone feels a sense of cohesiveness and a unified sense of purpose as a department.” 

Previously those programs were within the Department of Allied Health Professions. Additionally, the College of Health Science has departments of kinesiology, physician assistant studies, and public health sciences. By creating the new department, all five programs now have about the same number of full-time faculty, said Dr. David Pearson, dean of the College of Health Science.

“Academic departments are primarily created around discipline-related features,” Pearson said. “Department size is significant in processes such as budgeting and scheduling, so this new structure will allow us to provide the very best service to our students.”

Ness said the program has a lot of moving parts. Undergraduate students need didactic teaching while graduate students need to earn 400 hours of clinical experience that cover a range of populations and skills. The department includes full-time teaching faculty, adjuncts who provide off-site supervision and help run the Clinical Education Center on campus, and administrators who work on placement.

“There is a combination of the logistics of physically placing students and at the same time monitoring individually their knowledge and skill acquisition,” Ness said.

Ness, who was hired to help build the graduate program, has been at CBU six years.

“My approach as chair will be to keep doing what we’re doing, because it’s been working really well. We have a great team. My goal is to not get in the way and let people do what they’re really good at doing. At the same time, I will try to facilitate as much teamwork and guidance as possible,” Ness said.

“Ultimately for me, being placed in this position is really humbling,” Ness said. “I’m appreciative for the opportunity and excited to see what God brings here in the next few years with the department.”

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