Writer: Felipe Rivas
2 min read July 2021 — Known as a world-leader in culinary, food science and hospitality management career tracks, Johnson & Wales University’s new College of Health & Wellness is leveraging the school’s legacy to meet the demand of students interested in a career in the healthcare industry.
Students interested in improving the public health of their local communities or passionate about the wide breadth of opportunities available in healthcare, can look to the new College of Health & Wellness for carefully tailored curricula that best meet their career interests.
Located in the Charlotte and Providence campuses, the new college is an intentional extension of the university’s foundational culinary legacy and a concerted effort to move into a more defined health and wellness category, using food as a part of that strategy.
“The College of Health & Wellness provides tremendous growth opportunities in terms of careers, especially in the Charlotte market. There is a lot of demand for this college, which is why it made sense for us to open it, but I think it’s also just an extension of who we are,” Johnson & Wales University – Charlotte’s Dean of Academic Affairs, David Jewell, told Invest:.
As the local market continues to contend with the ongoing health crisis, Charlotte is in the midst of ushering in a new era of healthcare-based education options. Both UNC and Wake Forest universities have announced ambitious plans of expanding much needed medical schools in the Queen City supported by Novant Health and Atrium Health systems, respectively.
This provides Johnson & Wales University the opportunity to become another pillar sustaining the growth of the healthcare sector in Charlotte for decades to come. Rooted in the concept of food as medicine, nutrition and food science are primary industry segments for the university to best leverage its legacy as the new college grows.
“Food as medicine is a concept that’s not exactly new; it’s been around for a while, but we’d like to think we’re at the forefront of it. With medical schools coming into the Charlotte area, we’re hoping to play a role with nutrition and food as medicine for those medical students through the educational process,” Jewell said.
Featuring majors and minors in health science, public health and nutrition, the university is exploring options to establish programs in exercise science and healthcare administration by fall of 2022. “Segueing through our world-class reputation, we’re looking to establish exercise science as our next program, and we may also start healthcare administration alongside that. The exercise science program is crucial in establishing a human performance and sports nexus. We have all the pieces in place to pull this off. It will be incredibly unique,” Jewell said.
Working with industry partners has been a keen focus for the university since it entered the Charlotte market in the early 2000s. The university’s strong partnerships with Atrium Health and sports teams throughout the Charlotte community give the new College of Health and Wellness a leg up as it begins to recruit and instruct students.
“We’ve long been known to have career-focused education. We work with our corporate partners to ensure we’re preparing students to be successful in their future careers. This includes feedback from our partners on what they need. We want our students to have amazing experiences as well, providing exclusive internships, for example, to meet the needs of our students and corporate partners,” Jewell said.
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