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The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences


The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences consists of the Departments of Dance, Health Studies and Gerontology, Kinesiology, and Recreation and Leisure Studies. No new students are being admitted to the Dance Program. Current Dance students must complete their degree requirements by the end of Winter term 1997. The major theme of the Faculty is the development of knowledge and programs related to health and well-being. In as much as contemporary definitions of health and well-being, such as that of the World Health Organization, embrace the mental and social, as well as the physical dimensions of life, the activities of the Faculty address the contribution to be made to the effective understanding of these issues through an interdisciplinary approach.

The emphasis is on the interaction between biological and behavioural factors as they contribute to 1) promoting health, 2) treating disease, 3) minimizing the impact of disease and 4) fostering enhanced quality of life. This is reflected in the variety of academic perspectives provided by the research and teaching activities of the various programs within the Faculty. These include identification of the factors which place individuals at risk for developing disease, using appropriate scientific methodology to address psychological and sociocultural influences, as well as basic biological mechanisms. This knowledge is applied to the strategic development of programs which enhance the health status of populations, as well as to the identification of the principles underlying effective large scale dissemination of such programs.

The study of leisure and cultural phenomena, their related environments and historical development, contributes to the development of leisure and cultural opportunities and practices which are integral to the well-being of groups and individuals. General and specific problems associated with leisure services include their public acceptance, financing, quality, quantity, distribution and modes of delivery. Of increasing interest is the impact of new technologies on leisure and cultural practices.

The Departments of Health Studies and Gerontology, Kinesiology and Recreation and Leisure Studies offer both Regular and Co-operative programs. Dance is offered through the Regular program.

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Computing Facilities

The mandate of the Faculty is to provide a wide range of computing and consulting support for students, faculty and staff of Applied Health Sciences.

The Applied Health Sciences Computing Office maintains a DEC 5000/200 Unix server for general computing and especially for the analysis of large statistical databases. X-windows workstations, located in the building, allow access to a range of Unix-based graphical software.

The Computing Office also maintains a WATSTAR network for students that provides access to a full range of PC-based software, including Windows applications, word processing, statistical software, graphics software.

Laser printing is available on site.

In the research labs, many other forms of computing and testing equipment are supported. Equipment varies by area of study and includes highly specialized commercial and custom equipment.

Computing and statistical consulting are provided in the building on a regular basis. Courses on the use of equipment and software are frequently offered both by the Applied Health Sciences Computing Office and centrally by the Department of Computing Services.

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Dance

The Dance program is currently being phased out at the University of Waterloo. Students currently enrolled in the degree program must plan to complete the degree requirements by the end of winter term 1997. Students should consult with their faculty advisor regarding the sequence of courses leading to graduation.

Courses offered by the Dance Department are available to interested students in other departments provided that course prerequisites are satisfied.

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Health Studies and Gerontology

The Health Studies program provides students with an integrated curriculum that combines the behaviourial, biological, social, and health sciences in the examination of contemporary problems in health promotion and disease prevention. The program explores the causation and prevention of diseases that contribute significantly to chronic disability and premature death, increased medical and social costs, and reduced quality of life. Of primary interest is the role of personal risk factors and societal determinants of health of individuals and populations throughout the lifespan. Special emphasis is placed on the prevention of major chronic diseases which have modifiable risk factors - these include coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, drug and alcohol dependency, sexually transmitted diseases, dementia, mental illness, and other disabling conditions. The inclusion of methodology courses in statistics, research design, computer science, program evaluation, and epidemiology allows students to acquire the analytical skills necessary to pursue challenging careers in the development, management, and evaluation of health promotion programs, or in many other health-related careers.

Additional qualifications may be gained through the Pre-Health-Professions Option for those students intending to pursue careers in medicine, other health professions, or health research. Several other options or minor programs (e.g. Biology, Personnel Studies, Management Sciences) may be selected to further develop individual interests and career goals.

The Department also offers a Minor or Diploma in Gerontology for students interested in the issues related to aging. The Minor/Diploma in Gerontology provides an awareness of aging processes and prepares students for careers or professions that deal with the institutional care or community support of the elderly. It also offers professional development for those already working in the field, as well as an opportunity for non-specialists to increase their understanding of aging and the life challenges of the older person.

Career opportunities for Health Studies and Gerontology students exist in the public sector through the federal, provincial, and regional health agencies; in school, hospital, and institutional health programs; and through community health programs. In the private sector, employment opportunities are found in the voluntary health organizations, in health management consulting, and in health related industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical products, and health services. Graduates may also pursue further studies in health promotion, medicine, biomedical research, gerontology, public health, health administration, environmental health, epidemiology, education, and related fields.

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Kinesiology

The Kinesiology program permits the student to study, in depth, the science of human movement. Many of the course offerings are not found elsewhere. A primary feature of the program is the breadth and depth of preparation in the biological, physical and social sciences. This forms a career foundation for a future which will demand both competence and flexibility.

The program may be customized by selecting specialized electives within the department. Traditional electives (e.g. Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics) allow the development of expertise in research-based occupations such as gait analysis in rehabilitation, microgravity or underwater physiology, work-station design and worker efficiency. In keeping with contemporary applied emphases, competence may also be developed in advanced practicum courses in sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, and movement assessment. Project-oriented courses are offered in biomechanics, sport psychology, and clinical studies such as the role of cognitive dysfunction in motor skill. Students with this preparation in Kinesiology find careers in areas such as ergonomics, special education, fitness management, and exercise therapy for the elderly. Further specialization in graduate schools or in professional programs (e.g. medicine or chiropractic) is also pursued by our top graduands.

The program may be further tailored to individual interests and careers by selecting elective courses in renowned departments on campus, many of which offer Joint Honours degrees with Kinesiology (see sections under "Kinesiology") or a minor (e.g. Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science). Several Option programs (e.g. Ergonomics, Gerontology, Management Studies, Society, Technology and Values) may be taken to broaden the science base and elective specialization of the programs in Kinesiology.

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Recreation and Leisure Studies

Recreation and Leisure Studies combines a knowledge of people, environments and management into an academic package that prepares graduates for careers in a variety of public and private agencies. In addition, the program provides a good foundation for future graduate studies.

This Honours Bachelor of Arts program allows students to obtain a proficiency in a specialization by taking one of the following options:

  1. Business Option
  2. Parks Option
  3. Therapeutic Recreation Option
Students also have the freedom to complement their Recreation and Leisure Studies program with courses from a broad range of subjects offered outside of the Department. Business, Dance, Geography, Gerontology, Kinesiology, Planning, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology are popular choices.

Through technical and report writing, group and independent projects, interactions with leading professionals from the field, research, applied computer work, presentations, and case studies, students develop professional skills which are marketable in many employment settings.

The diverse backgrounds of the 13 full-time professors, the variety of courses from which students may choose, and the option to select the Co-operative or Regular mode of education, make Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo one of the leading programs of its kind in North America.

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Degrees

Health Studies graduates receive an Honours Bachelor of Science degree. Kinesiology graduates receive either an Honours Bachelor of Science degree or a General Bachelor of Science degree. Recreation and Leisure Studies program graduates are granted an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree. Those students who graduate from a Dance program receive an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree or a General Bachelor of Arts degree. Studies in Gerontology lead to either a Diploma, or a Minor in Gerontology in conjunction with any type of Honours degree.

Graduates who have pursued their studies in a Co-operative program and who have successfully completed four work terms, four work reports, and who remain registered in the Co-operative program, will have the words "Co-operative Program" added to their University diploma.

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