The Westbrook College of Health Professions (WCHP) Common Curriculum is designed to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in liberal arts and sciences course work while exploring health profession study. Contemporary education in the health professions is demanding and unique. The shaping of a competent health professional requires strong traditional liberal arts and sciences foundations, comprehensive disciplinary knowledge and the advancement of interprofessional abilities. The construction of the WCHP Common Curriculum supports the development of the student in this educational endeavor.
The WCHP Common Curriculum is constructed around three (3) domains of study: Study in the Arts and Sciences, Interprofessional Education and Discipline-specific Study.
Study in the Arts and Sciences: Engagement in the arts and sciences provides an essential underpinning for health profession study and renders a framework for the first two academic years. This arena serves to develop important intellectual skills, and is characterized by a well-scaffolded sequence of biological course work and study in social-behavioral science. Quantitative reasoning and critical thinking are examined through mathematics and scientific inquiry. Written and oral communication abilities are cultivated through English composition and supporting exploratory humanities. Elements of the College of Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum are interwoven throughout, providing academic offerings in creative arts, social-global awareness, humanities exploration, and advanced studies/ human traditions course work. Understanding in the arts and sciences is additionally fostered through Core Connections and other special campus co-curricular events and throughout general collegiate life. Study in the arts and sciences supports the development of effective communication skills, critical thinking abilities, quantitative reasoning and exploration of issues related to societal diversity.
Interprofessional Education: Contemporary health profession practice demands that graduates be competent not only in disciplinary expertise but also interprofessional collaboration. This requires health professionals to learn about, with and from each other in gaining knowledge and capability in communication, teamwork, understanding of roles and responsibilities and ethical comportment. Interprofessional education course work (IPE) examines these competencies, providing students with the opportunity to engage in increasingly complex problem solving, work collaboratively in teams, analyze systems, apply principles of intrapersonal/ interpersonal communication, and appraise and utilize best evidence in considering patient care. Interprofessional course work is delivered in years one and two, with application occurring through experiential learning in years three and four.
Discipline-specific Study: Engagement in the major characterizes years three and four of health profession course work. Study within the major provides the student with experiential learning opportunities integrating foundational cognitive, psychomotor, and affective knowledge gained from study in the arts and sciences and IPE. Disciplinary education is informed by classroom learning experiences, guided hands-on clinical laboratory, facilitated simulation exercises, and diverse experiences in field work and clinical practice sites. Study within the major advances critical and creative thinking within the discipline, instills a spirit of inquiry and life-long learning, and upholds the imperative of citizenship within a complex, changing society.
WCHP Common Curriculum Objectives and Summary
- Employ critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Examine ethical knowledge, professional standards and values congruent with interprofessional practice
- Demonstrate effective communication and interprofessional collaboration abilities
- Appraise knowledge of self and self-reflective abilities for interprofessional practice
The WCHP Common Curriculum is outcomes-oriented and emphasizes active, engaged approaches to learning. It challenges students to acquire and then integrate knowledge across fields of study in shaping a capable and competent health professional. The faculty in the Westbrook College of Health Professions uphold the Common Curriculum as an essential component to producing graduates who are highly effective in their disciplinary practice, competent with interprofessional collaboration and informed citizens ready to contribute to a complex, dynamic society.