About Robbins College

About Robbins College

The programs that form the Robbins College were brought together in 2014 to form the College of Health and Human Sciences, which was named the Robbins College after a transformational gift from William K. and Mary Jo Robbins. Today, the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences (RCHHS), comprises four formal departments:

• Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)

• Health, Human Performance, and Recreation (HHPR)

• Human Sciences and Design (HSD)

• Public Health (PH)

Two additional programs are in the process of becoming departments – Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT). While varied in their professional approaches, the programs in RCHHS share a common purpose of improving health, well-being, and quality of life for individuals, families, communities, and environments.

RCCHS serves humanity through research, creative scholarship, education, and engagement. The College facilitates active learning, emphasizes evidence-based practice, uses multiple delivery systems, develops interdisciplinary relationships, and cooperates with community partners to prepare competent and caring health and human sciences professionals who recognize and demonstrate creativity and the importance of diversity. The College prides itself on having a collegial, supportive, and student-centered culture that emphasizes hands-on experience and prepares students to meet their professional goals.

Academic organization, programs, and administration

At the undergraduate level, RCHHS offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Apparel Design and Product Development, Apparel Merchandising, Child and Family Studies (with a variety of concentrations), Communications Sciences and Disorders, Exercise Physiology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Sciences Studies (with a variety of pre-professional tracks), Interior Design, Nutrition (with three different concentrations); Bachelor of Science in Education degrees in All-level Physical Education, Health, Kinesiology, and Leisure Studies, and Recreation and Leisure Services; and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. At the graduate level, RCHHS offers a Master of Athletic Training (MAT); a Master of Public Health (MPH); and Master of Science in Communications Sciences and Disorders; Master of Science in Exercise Physiology; Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences; and Master of Science in Sport Pedagogy. RCHHS has launched PhD programs in Communications Sciences and Disorders and Exercise and Nutrition Sciences; a PhD in Public Health is expected to be launched in Fall 2022. In addition, RCCHS offers hybrid and online accelerated professional doctorates in Occupational Therapy (OTD – entry-level and post-professional) and Physical Therapy (DPT). RCHHS also offers joint bachelor’s and master’s programs, as well as a variety of minors.

In addition to academic programs offered on-site and online, Baylor also has a 70-year affiliation with the U.S. Military to offer graduate programs to military personnel at military sites, including Fort Sam Houston, Fort Bliss, West Point, Fort Lewis, and Fort Hood. Instructors in the program go through the Baylor faculty review process for faculty appointments; the programs are accredited through Baylor; and students completing these programs receive a Baylor degree. Oversight of the health-related programs is managed through the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in the Dean’s office at RCHHS. Currently, degree programs include: Anesthesia Nursing DNP (in conjunction with Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing); Health Care Administration MHA and Joint MHA/MBA (in conjunction with Hankamer School of Business); Nutrition U.S. Military-Baylor GPN; entry-level OTD; Occupational Therapy SDCOT; Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy DSCPT; Physical Therapy DPT; Physician Assistant Studies Army/Air Force Programs PA in Emergency Medicine, Clinical Orthopedics, and General Surgery/Intensivist; and Sports Medicine-Physical Therapy at West Point DSCPT. Many of these programs are ranked among the top 20 in the nation.

RCHHS maintains a range of professional accreditations for its programs. Baylor’s Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The Interior Design program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Within Nutrition, the undergraduate program in pre-dietetics and the Dietetics Internship are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE). The Piper Center is a National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)-accredited lab school. The Public Health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The entry-level doctoral occupational therapy degree (OTD) program has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and will undergo accreditation review in June 2022.

The Child and Family Studies Program in the Department of Human Sciences and Design also houses a laboratory school, the Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development. Located in downtown Waco, the Piper Center serves university as well as community families by providing an exemplary learning environment for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, teacher preparation, and child development observation and research. The Piper Center enrolls about 65 children, ages eight weeks to five years with 12 full-time teachers and 30 student workers.

RCHHS employs 44 full-time, tenure-line faculty, 59 clinical and teaching faculty, and 37 staff. While most faculty are located in Waco, faculty for online and hybrid OTD and DPT programs are geographically distributed around the country and come to Waco for immersive instruction during each semester. Sponsored research awards have grown to nearly $1.7 million in 2021, with external research funding coming from a variety of sources, including NIH, the Department of Defense, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Park Service, the Center for Disease Control, the Templeton Foundation, and the American Heart Association, among others. Several faculty have been awarded Early Career Awards.

In Spring 2021, RCHHS enrolled 1,871 undergraduate students and 1,343 graduate students, up from 1,450 and 115, respectively, only five years ago. The undergraduate population is still growing, enrolling a record-breaking class of 650 new students in Fall 2021. The growth in graduate students has come largely from the explosive growth of online and hybrid programs. The first two PhD. students in Communication Sciences and Disorders entered in Fall 2021, with the expectation that program enrollment will increase each year moving forward.

RCHHS has budgeted operations expenditures of $62.6 million, generated by tuition, development, and income from the College’s $18.6 million endowment. Baylor operates on a central budgetary model at the undergraduate level and on a revenue-sharing model for graduate and online program tuition. RCHHS  generates substantial revenue through its online and hybrid programs, which are offered in conjunction with two online providers – 2U and Evidence in Motion. The revenue generated by online and hybrid program funds RCHHS strategic programs and initiatives, including the development of doctoral programs. Several programs in RCHHS have received strong donor support, particularly Communications Sciences and Disorders, where significant seven- and eight-figure gifts have funded the recent renovation of the CSD Clinic and the creation of the Autism Clinic.

RCHHS programs are distributed across several facilities. The HSD Department is spread across the Goebel Building, Mary Gibbs Jones HSD Building, and the Piper Child Development Center. Communication Sciences and Disorders offers clinical services through its state-of-the-art Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic. The Baylor Laboratories for Exercise Science and Technology, the Mooney Lab for Exercise, Nutrition, and Biochemistry, and the Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Laboratory integrate four separate facilities in the Marrs-McLean Gymnasium, providing students opportunities for collaborative research and hands-on instruction.

The College’s last strategic plan, approved in 2017, supports Baylor University’s goals, outlined in Pro Futuris and Illuminate, through increased research productivity, procurement of federal, foundation, and industry grant dollars, increased peer-reviewed publications and creative work, growth of existing graduate programs and creation of new graduate programs, all while continuing to strengthen and maintain undergraduate programs. Specifically, the plan embraces six distinct themes:

  • Increase research capacity;

  • Increase enrollment and metrics of quality in existing graduate program;

  • Create new graduate programs;

  • Increase revenue with existing and new graduate programs;

  • Strengthen and maintain undergraduate programs;

  • Increase global experiences for faculty and students.

In the last five years, RCHHS has made significant strides in each of these areas, creating a strong foundation for continued growth and leadership.