New degree program at SMCC expands educational opportunities in fast-growing health care field

Southern Maine Community College is offering a new degree program beginning this fall that expands educational opportunities for students wanting to enter the fast-growing health care field.

The Health Sciences degree program provides course offerings and support that lead to careers in health care administration or health care education, or provide the base coursework that leads to a professional degree in the health care field.

“The Health Sciences program gives people the opportunity to explore the numerous options that are available in the health care industry,” said SMCC President Ron Cantor. “This program helps students find a good match for their interests and go on to high-demand careers in the fastest-growing industry in the United States.”

The Health Sciences program will be offered this fall; classes begin August 29. The program is flexible with online and in-class courses that allow students to assess the various career and transfer options that are available to them while earning an Associate of Science degree.

The program offers three educational pathways: Health Care Administration, Health Care Education and Preprofessional Health Care Provider.

The Health Care Administration and Health Care Education tracks provide training for students interested in working in a health care setting as health care administrators, case managers, social workers, health information specialists, educators and other support positions.

The Preprofessional Health Care Provider track is designed for students who are interested in a career in direct patient care and plan to transfer to a baccalaureate institution after earning an associate degree at SMCC. Direct patient care professional careers include positions such as physicians, physician assistants, chiropractors, dentists and pharmacists.

For more information or to apply, people can contact the SMCC Admissions Office at 741-5800 or

In addition to the new Health Science program, SMCC has degree programs in the health care field in Cardiovascular Technology, Emergency Medical Services/Paramedicine, Medical Assisting, Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, Radiography, Respiratory Therapy and Surgical Technology.

Health care occupations and industries are expected to have the fastest employment growth and to add the most jobs of any occupation and industry in the U.S. in the coming years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Employment of health care occupations is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.3 million new jobs. This growth is due to an aging population and because federal health insurance reform is expected to increase the number of individuals who have access to health insurance.