AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Georgia Southwestern University is making history with a new program that will train students to become top caregivers for those dealing with developmental disabilities and long-term diseases, like Alzheimer's.
The new program is the Bachelor of Science in Long-Term Care and school officials said it's the first of its kind in the country.
"It's exciting to be on the cutting edge," said Associate Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Dr. Leisa Easom.
Starting this fall, students attending GSW can start earning the degree, which draws in courses from sociology, psychology, business, nursing and the care-giving institute.
Easom said both family and healthcare professionals believe this is a need in the community.
"When we look at the increasing chronic illnesses and disabilities, we need a workforce that is skilled and can take care of helping these people navigate the healthcare system, helping these families survive," explained Easom.
This new four-year undergraduate program will be offered on campus and online.
School officials said it took the university about two years to plan out the courses and make it available for students.
GSW President Neal Weaver said this program has the chance to impact every community in the country.
"Long-term care management is something that every community in the country is dealing with. How do we have facilities that can care for people but still be profitable businesses?" asked Weaver.
Easom can't wait for students to begin the program.
"I think it's unique and I'm excited about the service that we'll be able to provide to families in the future," said Dr. Easom.
For more information on the program, visit the GSW website.
You can apply online for scholarships here.