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IOWA Magazine | December 2020

Iowa Debuts New Education Studies and Human Relations Major

A new degree program prepares students for education professions outside of teaching.
Allison O'Hara PHOTO COURTESY ALLISON O'HARA Allison O’Hara

Allison O'Hara has always been interested in helping people through health care and education. After coming to the University of Iowa, she struggled to find a major that encompassed her aspirations, until she found the new education studies and human relations (ESHR) major at the College of Education.

ESHR is a multidisciplinary major that fits those looking to enter a helping profession, but who do not want to teach in a traditional classroom. It prepares students for jobs in helping and learning professions, advanced studies in education, counseling, and more.

The human relations subprogram instructs students on how to best counsel or aid those going through difficult times, such as trauma, addiction, or personal problems. Alternatively, the education studies subprogram prepares students for supporting roles in a school setting, where they might work on improving policy or developing more efficient learning processes for students.

O'Hara, a part of the human relations subprogram, would like to work in a school setting to improve mental health. "I was drawn to ESHR because it brought together my two favorite things: education and health care," says the junior from Lake Zurich, Illinois, who also holds a major in psychology and minor in human relations. "What I find most unique about this major is that it provides students with a vast amount of career options."

For more information about the Bachelor of Arts degree in ESHR, visit the College of Education website.

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