School

School of Health Professions

Prepare for a career serving others as a health care professional, with compassion and empathy at the core of everything you do.

Contact Information

Wendy Cehon

Administrative Assistant

508-767-7114


Location

Switzer Building

Welcome to the School of Health Professions at Assumption University. The School consists of the undergraduate majors in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies (HSRS) and Health Sciences as well as the graduate program in Physician Assistant Studies.

Led by a distinguished and experienced faculty, many of whom also practice in their respective disciplines, the undergraduate majors are designed to prepare learners for a career in one of many health professions. Building on the robust liberal arts curriculum based on Catholic principles, the courses within the two majors will help students develop knowledge that prepares them for career of service to others within the health care field. Students will gain an awareness of real world factors that are determinants of health for their future patients and clients. Learners will discover factors related to access to care and how illnesses affect the lives of patients and their families. Moreover, our students will further appreciate the importance of empathy and compassion in relating to those they serve.

The majors help prepare students for medical school, dental school, and graduate programs in physician assistant studies, counseling psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, school psychology, child life, special education, social work and speech-language pathology. There are multiple concentrations available including occupational therapy, physical therapy, communication sciences and disorders, and working with children and adolescents in community settings. Students who pursue these majors and concentrations may also be interested in working in health care administration or health care policy positions. The Health Sciences and HSRS majors will prepare graduates in those fields as well.

Included in both majors are internships in health care settings. These internships are designed to provide experience in an atmosphere consistent with the student’s interests and will provide networking opportunities moving forward.

The Assumption University Physician Assistant graduate program will prepare its graduates to enter the health care field with the education and skills required to provide compassionate and highly competent care to every patient they serve. Your Assumption PA education will highlight the empathetic component of health care. The understanding that each patient is an individual to be cared for, and not just a disease, is fundamental to our mission.

Physician Assistant Studies is a 28 month, 113 credit master’s degree program designed to prepare its graduates for entry-level positions as health care practitioners. The program combines didactic and clinical phases in the medical model. This allows for classroom based study using the newest technology, simulation, and Problem Based Learning in a new 41,000 sf Health Sciences Building. Following the didactic phase, students engage in nine clinical practice rotations in area clinics and hospitals during the clinical phase. The program is approved by our regional accreditor, NECHE, and is pending an evaluation for Accreditation-Provisional from the ARC-PA, the accrediting body for PA programs.

Michael Whitehead

Michael Whitehead, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Dean, School of Health Professions
Founding Program Director, Physician Assistant Studies

Shining Their Light

Katherine Golden

Health Sciences 2020
Ongoing Social Work Intern, Worcester Department of Children and Families; Pursuing Dual Master's Degree in Social Work and Public Health at Boston University

Assumption can open so many doors for you - trust it and let it change your life!

I was prepared for my internship because I went in with knowledge and experience in the field due to my work in the classroom. I learned many professional skills, while at the same time learning about myself and the community I live in.
Kelly O'Laughlin

Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies 2020
Intern, Flagg Street Elementary School

Assumption provided me with an education and the skills needed to be prepared for my internship.

The skills I learned in the classroom helped me navigate challenges and triumphs during my internship. Professors are influential and supportive and are also excellent sources for advice about post-graduation plans.
Emily Singer

Health Sciences 2020
Student Intern, Thom Child & Family Services

Assumption was incredible in facilitating my internship experience.

A faculty member recommended an internship for me based on my interests and then reached out to the agency. The agency then contacted me to set up an interview. In addition, it was Assumption faculty who helped me realize that I want to be an occupational therapist.
Olivia Thompson

Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies 2020
Clinic Intern, Barrett Family Wellness Center; Pursuing Master of Science in Speech and Language Pathology at MGH Institute of Health Professions

Assumption was the best decision I’ve made and couldn’t imagine choosing anywhere else.

The HSRS department was very helpful in securing my internship by conducting meetings about how to start the interview process and then facilitating the internship course. The sense of support from all members of the community made Assumption feel like home for four years.
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An Ideal Place to Learn

Faculty Feature

Cinzia Pica-Smith, Ed.D.


Associate Professor of Human Services & Rehabilitation Studies; Coordinator, Working with Children & Adolescents in Community Settings Concentration

Featured on NPR and at TEDx, Pica-Smith focuses on issues of racial and economic justice in schools

Her research, writing, teaching and community work focus on youth, family, school and community well-being and justice. Other research includes children and adults' multiracial and interracial friendships in school settings, and intercultural education initiatives in Europe.
Nicholas Marshall, MS, PA-C


Director of Didactic Education

A faculty member and practitioner, Marshall served on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis

Previously serving as a Physician Assistant (PA) at UMass Memorial Medical Center, he returned to the hospital's Intensive Care Unit to provide care for the sickest of the sick. In the classroom, Marshall teaches students to be prepared for any situation.
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Programs within the School of Health Professions