Creating and offering interdisciplinary courses is an important element of the Strategic Plan of the School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS). HHS faculty demonstrated their commitment to interdisciplinary courses with their endorsement of the HHS Strategic Plan, which states as its first objective:
Enrich education and training with more interdisciplinary and interdepartmental courses and programs for both undergraduate and graduate students.
With this statement, HHS faculty demonstrate their understanding that students benefit when they take classes with students from diverse disciplines, hear other perspectives, and learn from each other.
Increasingly, employers and funding agencies are looking for graduates with interdisciplinary training and experience in multidisciplinary research teams. And, faculty recognizes that budgetary considerations and diminished financial resources require us to be more efficient in limiting class sections and avoiding duplication.
Interprofessional education (IPE) is an approach to teaching and learning used widely in many health and human sciences professions. It brings together students from two or more professions to learn about, from and with each other in service of enabling effective collaboration. Its goal is to improve health outcomes through the education of a collaborative practice-ready workforce that is prepared to respond to local health needs. (WHO, 2010).
Interdisciplinary endeavors, including interprofessional education, go beyond offering courses. Activities may include seminars and workshops, grand rounds and internships/practica. Because proposing and offering courses provide a relatively obvious beginning point, the HHS Chairs Council in conjunction with the HHS Curriculum Committee outline the process for course approval.