To a Degree and Beyond

Pictured: Wendy Lawson, Dean of Health and Community Services, Jeff McIsaac, Dean of Applied Research, and Joseph Varrasso, Professor of Electrical and Computer Science

Mohawk College is offering its first stand-alone degree, along with a postgraduate certificate, in Digital Health.

“This is a major milestone for the college and it’s so appropriate that the first degree is in Digital Health, because Mohawk has such deep expertise in that space,” said Jeff McIsaac, Dean of Applied Research.

“This is a really important test case for Mohawk in launching a degree program that blends experiential and classroom learning, with industry- applied research.”

“The digital health field is rapidly growing and it’s a well-established area of excellence at Mohawk College. It makes sense to develop a degree to provide synergies in research, faculty teaching and student learning that really builds on our strengths.” States Joe Varrasso, Professor of Electrical and Computer Science.

The degree program, which is embedded in the School of Engineering Technology, combines computer science, health and business disciplines and will culminate in a capstone project. It will prepare students for careers as software developers and networkers for healthcare providers, business developers and data analysts for health tech companies, and as entrepreneurs.

“As digital and sensor technology expands, the number of healthcare applications will continue to increase. Remote digital monitoring will provide medical professionals with faster, better information to improve the patient experience. And wearable technology will improve workplace health and safety,” said David Santi, Dean of Engineering Technology at Mohawk. “Our Digital Health students will be at the forefront of those developments, as they support Canada’s healthcare sector during this period of revolutionary change.”

The postgraduate certificate program will welcome students with a prior credential in a wide variety of fields, such as health, business and technology. It will allow them to apply their current skills and deepen their knowledge of the rapidly growing field of digital health.

The development of the Bachelor of Digital Health (Honours) involved five deans and the co-design of courses and learning outcomes involved multiple program areas. The first students will begin their studies in September 2021. “To see this level of co-design is unusual but there is so much value in beginning these conversations,” said Wendy Lawson, Dean of the School of Health and Community Services.

“I expect this kind of thing will happen more often because there is much crossover of the skills needed to be successful in this employment landscape.”

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