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Restructured, renamed school focuses on health, human sciences

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South Dakota State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences has restructured and renamed one of its schools, now known as the School of Health and Human Sciences. 

The renaming and restructuring took effect July 1. 

The school was previously known as the School of Health and Consumer Sciences, and the name change happened in conjunction with the consumer affairs program moving into SDSU’s Ness School of Management and Economics. 

Evan Ortlieb headshot
Evan Ortlieb

“The new name, the School of Health and Human Sciences, more accurately reflects the diverse programs we have and will further position the school to attract students and faculty to support its mission of improving quality of life for all through conducting innovative research and teaching and delivering effective education and outreach,” said Evan Ortlieb, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. 

“This name change will position the school and its faculty to attract increased amounts of extramural funding and research collaborations with internal and external stakeholders,” he added. 

Human sciences are the most versatile concentrations within consumer sciences and represent areas of study including aviation, fashion studies and retail merchandising, leadership and management of nonprofit organizations, and hospitality, tourism and event management. 

Jessica Meendering
Jessica Meendering

“They all involve teaching students how to enhance others’ quality of life. The programs in the School of Health and Human Sciences are all unique, but the common thread is that they’re people-centered, learning how to serve people from a business, customer service and a leadership perspective,” said Jessica Meendering, director of the School of Health and Human Sciences. 

Other programs within the School of Health and Human Sciences focus on health, like disease and injury prevention and sports promotion. These programs include: community and public health, exercise science, nutrition and dietetics, physical education teacher education, sport and recreation management/administration and athletic training. All offer hands-on and immersive experiences in working with people and industry partners through practicums, internships and field experiences. 

“The courses that are part of consumer affairs overlap with what the Ness School has evolved into, and so we thought it would be a better fit for the students, for visibility and for efficiency and faculty research to house them in Ness,” Meendering added. 

Work on the restructuring began last fall, as the consumer affairs program was updating curriculum and considering a name change. 

The full slate of School of Health and Human Sciences programs now includes: 

  • Preprofessional training programs – pre-athletic training; pre-occupational therapy; and pre-physical therapy. 
  • Undergraduate programs – aviation; community and public health; exercise science; fashion studies and retail merchandising; hospitality, tourism and event management; leadership and management of nonprofit organizations; nutrition and dietetics; physical education teacher education; and sport and recreation management. 
  • Graduate programs – athletic training; nutrition and dietetics; nutrition and exercise sciences (master’s and Ph.D.); and sport and recreation administration. 
  • Minors – apparel and fashion studies; events and facilities administration; health education; leadership; leadership and management of nonprofit organizations; nutrition; retail merchandising; and sport and recreation management.



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