Sam Houston State University’s newest College, the College of Health Sciences (COHS), opened its doors on September 1, 2013, and within two months, the College’s website was launched as the initial step in establishing a prominent online presence.
According to Dr. Michael Lacourse, Dean of COHS, the College was founded on the importance of emerging technologies in the health and medical fields, and it was imperative to also incorporate the capabilities of online learning into the College.
“We want all of our courses to be developed in the digital format – including online degrees – and we plan to utilize Interactive Television (ITV) technology and hybrid courses in addition to offering courses at The Woodlands Center,” Lacourse said. “In order to make these programs a success, it is imperative to continually update our site to communicate what is currently occurring in the College.”
With the establishment of COHS, it was necessary to build a website that met the immediate demands of announcing and promoting the College and its strategic themes – Preventative Health and Wellness; Professionalism; Diversity; Community Engagement; and Innovation/Research – while maintaining the flexibility to make updates without drastically changing the design. The site was also constructed to accommodate the anticipated growth and demands of incoming students.
While creating the site, special consideration was also taken into account for the ever-changing nature of the health and medical fields. The website also serves to unite the online presence of the College’s three academic units: the School of Nursing; the Department of Health & Kinesiology; and the Office of Medical & Allied Health Programs.
“Our website audience is largely composed of prospective and current students, but equally important it is also a resource for prospective and current faculty members,” said Lacourse. “I would like the site to be a resource for information on our programs within the College, as well as emerging trends and ongoing research in the field of health care. Our goal for the site is to be a resource for what is occurring in the health community, both locally and globally.”
To help establish an online community for visitors, the College features three “spotlight” sections highlighting a distinguished student, professor, and alumni on its main page. Additionally, there is a growing repository of resources for students, alumni, faculty, and healthcare professionals which include links to professional organizations and current innovations in health science programs. The individual Department pages are expected to be completed by the end of the Fall 2013 semester.
For more information and current news on the College of Health Sciences, please visit http://www.shsu.edu/academics/health-sciences/.