WPU to Offer First Bachelor’s in Disability Studies Degree in NJ - Diverse Health

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WPU to Offer First Bachelor’s in Disability Studies Degree in NJ


by Monica Levitan

William Paterson University (WPU) has announced it will soon offer the first bachelor’s program for disability studies in the state of New Jersey, to address the high student demand for the program.

The disability studies program will be designed for students who are interested in working with people with disabilities in the education and human services fields. Scheduled to be available for William Paterson students in the fall 2019 semester, the program will help students prepare for graduate degrees and careers in disciplines such as public health and social work, according to North Jersey Record.

There are less than 20 programs of this kind offered in the country, William Paterson officials said.

“There is a growing demand for graduates who are prepared to work directly with individuals with disabilities,” said College of Education dean Amy Ginsberg. “We are excited to be the first university in New Jersey to offer such an important new degree.”

The disability studies program will expand a “very popular” minor in disabilities studies program, which began being offered to students in 2017. Eighty-five WPU students are enrolled in courses such as Disability and Diversity in Physical Activity, Ethical Issues in Disability Studies and Rethinking Disability.

Other courses students will be required to take as part of the new program’s curriculum include Lifespan Development, Philosophy of Justice, Anthropology Social Movements, Disability and Public Health and Capstone in Disability Studies.

Some elective courses that the students can enroll in include Culture, Identity and Cognition; Concepts and Issues of Aging; Sociology of Mental Health; Behavior Modification; and Disability in a Global Society.

WPU students will also be required to take a community-engagement course where they will participate with area civic groups that serve individuals with disabilities.

The new bachelor’s program will be offered to students in person, online and will have the option to study abroad at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, which is creating a similar curriculum.