Salem College, one of the oldest women’s liberal arts colleges in the United States, today announced the upcoming launch of a newly transformed academic model and undergraduate experience, focused on preparing the next generation of women leaders in fields relating to health. The new model – which will include both curricular and co-curricular components – will debut in fall 2021 and expand and evolve over time.  

Starting this fall, Salem will add three new health-oriented majors – Health Sciences, Health Humanities, and Health Advocacy and Humanitarian Systems – as well as women’s leadership development programming, a renewed core liberal arts curriculum, and expanded internship and service-learning opportunities, all centered on the topics of leadership and health. Students will be immersed in Salem College’s health leadership focus, with core curriculum seminars and co-curricular activities centered on the topic. This unique transition makes Salem College the only liberal arts institution to establish a distinct focus on elevating and expanding women in health leadership.

“We need more women leaders across virtually every sector, but particularly within the larger health landscape – spanning healthcare, health policy, advocacy, education, and law – it’s absolutely critical that we begin to close the gap between the high number of women professionals and the low number of women in leadership and decision-making positions,” said Lucy Rose, Former FDA Executive, Global Healthcare Consultant, Salem Academy and College Vice-Chair Board of Trustees. “Over the past several years, we’ve seen a steady increase both in the demand for health professionals and in student interest across these fields. For a well-established women’s college like Salem, the time has never been better to launch a reimagined liberal arts experience designed specifically to address these leadership gaps, at the community, national, and global levels, and prepare these women for burgeoning careers across the health spectrum.”

“As an institution that has prepared women to lead and engage in the challenges of their time for 250 years, Salem is eager to once again be at the forefront of driving transformational change for the world,” said Susan Henking, Ph.D., Salem Academy and College Interim President.

Salem’s long track record of delivering highly focused, personalized, and immersive educational experiences makes it uniquely equipped to create a new generation and network of women leaders in health. More so, since 2010, students graduating with a degree from the Natural Sciences or Mathematics departments at Salem College have achieved an 89.6% acceptance rate into health science-related programs, including dental, graduate research, medical, occupational therapy, osteopathic medical, pharmacy, physician assistant, and physical therapy schools. The new educational model not only aligns with the college’s strong history in preparing women for graduate and professional school in health-related careers, but is also rooted in extensive research and planning and comes in direct response to several critical trends: a growing interest from prospective students in health and more purpose driven education, continued job growth in health-related fields, and the crucial need to fill the gap of women leaders across the entire health ecosystem.

“Leadership doesn’t begin in the office or the workforce; it’s something that must be fostered and developed during the undergraduate experience,” said Sarah L. Berga, M.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Salem Academy and College Board of Trustees. “As we enter a post-COVID world, it’s critical that we foster a new generation and network of women prepared to catalyze progress among the myriad of intersecting health issues. I couldn’t be more excited to see the positive impact that both Salem College and its future alumnae will have on the health trajectory of individuals and the world.”

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