Health and Aging Services Leadership

Prepare for a successful career in health services and senior living..

Bellarmine's Health & Aging Services Leadership programs \prepare students for pursuing a wide range of rewarding career opportunities as leaders in the delivery of health services and senior living, or for continuing their formal education in graduate programs in business, communications, informatics, health sciences or public health.

“Caring for our seniors is perhaps the greatest responsibility we have. Those who walked before us have given so much and made possible the life we all enjoy.” — Senator John Hoeven

Career Opportunities

One of the most prominent demographic shifts anticipated across the United States – and throughout the industrialized world – over the next 25 years is an unprecedented growth in the number of older adults, both in pure number and percentage of the population. Organizations providing health and human services that address this demographic shift are expected to grow exponentially, as are companies that supply goods and services to those providers and public service agencies that regulate them. Each will require well-prepared leaders who can effectively plan, organize, and direct them to achieve their strategic goals and advance their respective missions.

  • Administrator: Institutional Post-Acute Care or Home-and-Community-Based Services, Housing, Transportation
  • Administrative Support: Finance, Human Resources, Marketing & Public Relations, Environmental & Risk Management, Health Informatics
  • Public Sector: Regulatory Agencies and Public Policy
  • Sales: Vendors of Goods and Services to Providers
  • Career Development Center

Academic Pathways

Completing the requirements for any of the three majors offered by this department will equip students with a strong liberal arts undergraduate education as a life foundation, guided by ethics, critical thinking and accountability. The health services core consists of nine courses (27 credit hours) that together provide a curricular framework of interdisciplinary courses in business, communications and informatics, health sciences, and public and global health policy that meets individual student learning needs and career interests.

The Bachelor of Arts in Aging Studies starts with the health services core with at least three courses (9 credit hours) of electives within the major. Students explore service delivery topics related to leadership, workforce, social justice and health care access disparities, technology, health care finance and service trends, and complete an experiential learning component (3 credit hour internship at an approved provider site).

The Bachelor of Science in Senior Living Leadership emphasizes the growing post-acute care segment of healthcare, with nine courses (27 credit hours) of additional required courses addressing accounting, gerontology, regulatory compliance, business and legal environments, facilities and program design, and organizational behavior and leadership, and one elective course (3 credit hours) from within the major. Instruction will be grounded in the five domains identified by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) and included in its accreditation standards for academic program in long term care administration: Resident-Centered Care and Quality of Life, Human Resources, Finance, Environment, and Leadership and Management. Students also complete an experiential learning component (3-credit hour internship at an approved provider site).

The Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration builds on the academic requirements included in the BS – Health Services in Senior Living Leadership major, adding in the final semester a non-credit, comprehensive didactic review, plus the experiential learning requirement for this major is 1,000 contact hours (10 credit hours completed in two five-credit, 500-hour internships). Completing the requirements of this major qualifies a graduate to take the licensing examination required by the NAB (50 states plus Washington, DC and US Territories) to operate a Skilled Nursing Facility (and in a growing number of jurisdictions, other lines of post-acute care services, as well.)

Department of Health and Aging Services Leadership: Minors

The minors offered by the Department of Health and Aging Services Leadership are designed to further prepare students for the dynamic demands of a health care careers. Recent surveys indicate that nearly 20% of employees in the United States, as well as in Louisville, are employed in some sector of health care. Louisville is also the corporate headquarters for 10 major health care companies. Regardless of your major, you may find yourself working for a company with a health care focus. The following minors augment several majors from various academic departments at Bellarmine, including business administration, accounting, anthropology, English, finance, fine arts, psychology, communication, nursing, respiratory therapy, medical laboratory science, biology, sociology, and more.

Minor in Health Care

Students pursuing the minor in Health Care will gain information on various aspects of the health care system in the United States. This minor is an excellent choice for students in business administration, psychology, biology, accounting, finance, communication, or sociology to gain greater familiarity with aspects of health care that may impact and inform a future career. Coursework for the minor includes six courses (18 credits) focused on the current health care system, health policy and legal issues in health care, health care finance, leadership in health care, quality improvement, and health care ethics.

Minor in Health, Culture, and Compassion

This minor requires students to analyze the intersections of health and the human condition through spirituality, ethics, law, culture, literature, and the arts. Studying health from this interdisciplinary perspective fosters compassion, resilience, cultural awareness, and innovation. The minor in Health, Culture, and Compassion prepares students for the dynamic demands of a patient-centered health care ecosystem, which requires professionals to absorb the bigger picture of health care and create sustainable options that are not one-size-fits-all. The program includes six courses (18 credits) covering health humanities, narrative medicine, health care ethics, health policy, gerontology, and cultural communication.

Minor in Health Care Leadership

For students who are already pursuing a major in a health care-related discipline, the minor in Health Care Leadership will complement discipline-specific coursework by adding essential knowledge about the broader health care field and business aspects of health care operations. This minor is ideal for students majoring in nursing, exercise science, respiratory therapy, medical laboratory science, or radiation therapy. Based on feedback from health care leaders, various organizations value additional knowledge when seeking to hire or promote candidates from within their companies. In the required seven courses (21 credits) for the minor, students will learn about business administration, health care law, health policy, quality improvement, health care marketing, financial considerations, and leadership.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the requirements for the B.A. in Aging Studies, B.S. in Senior Living Leadership or B.S. in Health Services Administration will:

  1. Analyze the historical context and current trends of the components, relationships and organizational principles that comprise the health services and senior living field.
  2. Synthesize contemporary best practices for including programmatic, financial, clinical, logistical, technological and social impact aspects in the developing and implementing an organization’s strategic plan.
  3. Synthesize principles of sound executive leadership and business operations to the health services and senior living field.
  4. Evaluate quality assurance and performance improvement opportunities and champion innovation in the field of health services and senior living.
  5. Evaluate ethical considerations to the operation of an organization providing health services and senior living programs.
  6. Integrate federal, state and local laws, regulations and standards to the provision of health services and senior living programs.


Experienced leaders of highly regarded organizations in the field of health services and senior living serve as mentors, called “Preceptors,” during internships designed to familiarize students with such operations. Students can expect to gain first-hand experience by completing a departmental rotation, participating in relevant internal and external meetings, and performing an approved management project.

Student Organizations

The following groups are currently forming, and plan to start accepting memberships in the fall of 2018.

Related Professional Organizations


For more information, contact David G. Wolf, Ph.D., Department Chair, at 502.272.8468 or