You likely know that Lehigh University expanded in 2019 by adding the College of Health. But since its launch, much has happened under the effective leadership of Dean Elizabeth A. Dolan.
Dolan had served as interim dean of the college since 2020 and was installed officially in September 2023 giving new momentum to the College of Health’s mission to improve health outcomes for populations, communities, and individuals through research and education.
The College of Health focuses on impacting the determinants of health that exist outside the health care system, and Dolan has expanded and developed curriculum, recruited outstanding new faculty, and built internal and external partnerships to enable the impressive growth of the college in a short period of time.
Here are five things everyone should know about Lehigh’s College of Health:
- It's expanding … and isn't stopping. When launching in 2019, the College of Health offered one undergraduate major and no graduate programs. Soon, students will have the choice of four majors, nine minors, two intercollegiate programs for undergraduates, two masters programs, and one Ph.D. program. Explore the full list of programs on the College of Health website.
By fall 2024, the college hopes to add a BS in biostatistics and health data science, a BA in health, medicine, and society (jointly with the College of Arts and Sciences), an intercollegiate program in health & engineering, and another intercollegiate program in business & health.
The college has also grown its team as well, increasing to eight staff members and 27 faculty members. The additional offerings and resources since 2019 have increased the student body in kind, growing from 64 to over 220 undergraduate students, and zero to 30 graduate students.
- Faculty is dedicated to uncovering the factors that determine health and illness. To do this, the College of Health employs faculty with expertise in community-based participatory research, the multiple determinants of health, epidemiology, health policy, biostatistics, and health data science.
The faculty’s areas of expertise encompass a wide spectrum of critical topics, such as Indigenous peoples’ health, environmental justice, maternal and infant mortality, independence for individuals with disabilities, infectious and chronic diseases, mental health concerns of immigrant and aging populations, and the complexities of addiction.
- 100% of students gain experiential learning opportunities. The College of Health devotes 25% of its credits in undergraduate students’ curricula to experiential learning. Providing learning opportunities outside the classroom is crucial to setting College of Health students up for success in the healthcare field, giving them a well-rounded understanding of health and wellness.
Thanks to donations and endowments, the College of Health offers funding for external experiential learning opportunities in order to make learning outside of the classroom accessible to all students.
- Students are prepared for successful careers in the high-demand healthcare market. The health sector accounts for 18% of the GDP in the U.S., and from 2019–29, employment opportunities in the health sector have been predicted to grow by 15%, making for in-demand graduates.
The College of Health educates students to follow these careers with a deep understanding of the multiple determinants of health, experience working with communities, and a strong foundation in data analytics.
- Alumni have inspired and funded many of the most successful initiatives since the College of Health launched. With 600+ working in health care, Lehigh alumni supported the College of Health from the beginning. They continue influencing its success by mentoring students through Lehigh’s Healthcare Alliance alumni network. Many others come to classes to share their experience, expertise, and career paths with students. They also host and fund internships and facilitate partnerships at the College level.
Want to get involved? Learn more about how you can contribute to the Healthcare Alliance on their website, and email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries about funding, internships, and partnerships. And lastly, you can spread the word about the College of Health!