The College of Health and Human Services was established in 2008 through a merger of existing programs in health science, kinesiology, medical laboratory science, nursing, occupational therapy and social work. The programs meet national standards of excellence for their related discipline and produce graduates prepared for positions in health and human services.
Health programs began at SVSU in 1976 when Dr. Crystal M. Lange provided visionary leadership for development of bachelors programs in nursing and medical technology, initially known as the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences. By 1992 the Occupational Therapy program was admitted. Dr. Lange was Dean of the College for twenty years, and prior to her death in 1999 it was renamed in her honor, becoming the Crystal M. Lange College of Nursing & Health Sciences. In 2006 Health Science programs were developed, followed in 2008 by the merger of existing Kinesiology and Social Work programs into the new College of Health and Human Services. The Kinesiology program evolved out of the Physical and Health Education program. The Social Work program has been in existence at SVSU since 1982. As the college has grown so has its scope and influence on the region. The merger has facilitated dialogue on opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration to meet regional health and human services needs through research, education, and service.
There are 34 faculty in the college, 43% of tenure-track faculty have doctoral preparation and several more are nearing completion of doctoral degrees.
A new $28 million Health & Human Services Building was completed at the beginning of the Fall 2010 semester. The 90,000 square feet building includes 12 classrooms, 13 laboratories and office space housing eight academic programs. The labs feature equipment that is state of the art; that is essential in the health professions where graduates are expected to be proficient in the latest techniques to treat patients. More than 2,000 SVSU students have declared majors in the College of Health and Human Services.
The building has been constructed to achieve a silver rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Its aqua-thermal heating and cooling system is expected to result in energy savings of around $85,000 per year. Some 22 miles of coiled piping has been submerged in a nearby retention pond; it is filled with 10,000 gallons of DOWFROST, an environmentally safe propylene glycol product donated by The Dow Chemical Company.
The State of Michigan provided 75 percent of the funding ($21 million) for the building. SVSU is supplying the remaining 25 percent ($7 million).
RN to BSN program courses have a long history of being offered via technology to off campus locations. SVSU's Macomb site is now scheduled to provide a distance-learning option for the Occupational Therapy program and some Health Science courses. Community-based learning experiences are offered in local schools, social services agencies, correctional and juvenile detention facilities, acute and long term care facilities, public health and home care agencies and rehabilitation centers. While students are learning, they provide valuable health and human services to individuals, families and communities.
Dr. Lange joined the SVSU staff in 1976 as Dean and Professor. Her leadership ability was recognized early in her career, resulting in supervisory positions in nursing practice and education. Her contribution to nursing education and professional organizations led to national recognition as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses (FAAN).
Love of learning and service to others were important to Dr. Lange, and she encouraged others to follow her example. She was known to say, "I thought I had learned all my lessons, but I guess there is still something God has to teach me." Her impact on others was evident in the words of President Eric Gilbertson who said, "We name things for people because they represent the very best qualities to which the rest of us must aspire. Crystal's name should be an inspiration to all those students and others who will benefit from her life and work."