Salem College has invested extensive thought and research in consideration of what the next 250 years should look like for our institution. We have carefully and thoughtfully asked ourselves how we remain true to our legacy and adapt to emerging trends, new career paths, new societal needs, and the evolving desires and requirements of our current and future students.
We are excited to introduce, beginning in fall 2021, a new campus-wide, curricular, and co-curricular approach rooted in Health Leadership. It is important to keep in mind that the foundation of education at Salem College continues to be based in a liberal arts experience and our core belief and legacy that educated, empowered women can truly change the world.
All the unique and special things about Salem College that led you to enroll are still an integral part of our community. We are still grounded in our mission to prepare students to go out and change the world. Our new Health Leadership focus will not change who we are, it will allow us to be even more!
Students, regardless of major, will have the opportunity to be immersed in Salem College’s new Health Leadership focus, with core curriculum seminars and co-curricular activities centered on the topic. This new focus does not mark any change in students’ current trajectory or requirements for their major. However, it does mean a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at the forefront of something new, transformative, purpose-driven, and future-oriented. It will position all Salem College students to explore employment opportunities in this rapidly growing sector of the economy.
New Educational Opportunities
- New Majors: We have added three health-oriented majors including Health Sciences, Health Humanities, and Health Advocacy and Humanitarian Systems. Find out more about these majors.
- Innovative, Focused Curriculum: We have a core curriculum focused on health, wellness, and leadership.
- Exciting Co-curricular Opportunities: We are expanding new internship and service-learning opportunities as well as offering new speaker series and first-year and senior seminars dedicated to topics related to Health Leadership.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What does Salem’s Health Leadership focus mean for current students?
Today’s Salem students will remain on their current trajectory and will have the unique opportunity to be immersed in Salem College’s new Health Leadership focus. Regardless of their major, students will be involved with core curriculum seminars and co-curricular activities centered on the topics of health and leadership, adding valuable components to their education as employers around the globe grow more focused on the role health plays in a vast array of industries. Additionally, all students also will have the option of pursuing one of the three new majors launching in Fall 2021, including Health Sciences, Health Humanities, and Health Advocacy and Humanitarian Systems.
Will current students need to change their majors to one of the three new options?
No. Students who have already declared their major will be able to complete their degree program as originally expected. The three new majors—Health Sciences, Health Humanities, and Health Advocacy and Humanitarian Systems—will be offered alongside an array of traditional liberal arts majors. Students who have not yet declared their major will be able to select their major(s) from the three new majors as well as from an array of traditional liberal arts majors that will continue to be offered. With the addition of new courses, the combination of the three new majors and the existing majors will help create a focused liberal arts curriculum that intersects with Salem’s distinctive focus on Health Leadership.
What is the Health Leadership focus at Salem College?
Today, Salem College is focusing its 250-year legacy of leadership on becoming the nation’s only liberal arts college dedicated to elevating and expanding the role of women in Health Leadership. This new Health Leadership approach to liberal arts education will prepare the next generation of women to become empowered, ethical, effective health leaders in a wide range of fields from medicine and wellness to law and public policy, from business and not-for-profit to advocacy and the environment.
What Inspired Salem College to undergo this transformation?
Salem has a long history of adapting to the most critical challenges of our time, as well as responding to the changing expectations and needs of women. As the world continues to rapidly change, great institutions must change with it. This process began almost three years ago—supported by deep research, expert education and industry consultants, and deep engagement with more than 200 Salem stakeholders—including faculty, staff, administration, students, alumnae, Board of Trustees members, and more. The data was overwhelming and impossible to ignore. Our decision was ultimately grounded in several critical factors including a growing interest from prospective students in health and more purpose driven education, Salem’s strong track record in health and sciences, continued job growth in health-related fields, and the crucial need to fill the gap of women leaders across the entire health ecosystem.
Why does this make sense for Salem?
Salem’s 250-year history of delivering highly focused, personalized, and immersive educational experiences for women makes it uniquely positioned to educate, elevate, and expand the role women play in the future of Health Leadership. Having a health focus inside a liberal arts environment is a powerful combination for women who want to make a profound difference by planning a career path in the health industry.
Why is it important to focus on women in Health Leadership?
Women play a critical role in the health arena globally, representing the majority of workers in health fields, but are vastly underrepresented in leadership and decision-making positions across the industry. There is an essential need for women’s voices, perspectives, and skills to drive progress in fields of health, and for women leaders to contribute to health innovation, problem solving, and collaboration at the highest levels—thereby transforming lives and communities across the country and around the globe.
What will the academic programming include?
Like any great transformation, this will be a careful and phased process. 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 the role of women in Health Leadership.
Will Salem remain a liberal arts college?
Yes. Given health is not a singular field and Salem’s long legacy has focused on women’s leadership, Salem College has developed a unique curricular and co-curricular model that is rooted in a liberal arts foundation. We designed this curricular model specifically to address the shift in direction in the health industry—beyond medical and technical skills to include humanitarian and critical thinking.
How can you be involved and support Salem’s exciting new Health Leadership focus?
Salem is looking for partners, supporters, and students who are interested in engaging with the nation’s only liberal arts college dedicated to elevating and expanding the role of women in Health Leadership. Prospective sponsors and partners click here. Prospective students click here. Give to Salem here.