The greatest need in the field of Community Health is for people connected to diverse communities, rooted in these relationships, with linguistic and cultural skills. Our Community Health Major is designed to emphasize “competencies” in addition to specific knowledge gained from course work. Employers are eager to see what students can do, as they apply basic knowledge.
On the basis of this evolving understanding, we have designed this major to be built on a small core of key courses that provide those specific knowledge needs, combined with a minor in one of many existing areas in the college curriculum. The goal is for students to gain a coherent knowledge through the core, but in the choice of the minor they decide the specific focus of their approach to issues in community health, and thus hone applicable skills. The public health core functions of assessment, policy development and assurance guide the majors in achieving foundational knowledge.
Experiential learning is also crucial in this field. Due to the fact that the students will have different minors (and therefore different focuses), we think it important to create an opportunity for each class to develop a group identity and working dynamic. Students have three significant opportunities to work in teams on community-based projects: The two-semester Research Design and Applied Statistics courses, the Senior Internship and the Senior Capstone Project. Through these course experiences the students accomplish a task as a team project, gaining experience in working as a group, and also building group identity in the major. Based on the specific focus/minor, each student develops an approach to the project, thus contributing a specific, yet integrated piece to the whole effort. In addition, each student’s senior capstone project may emerge from both the focusing area (minor) and an intended internship choice.
We prepare graduates who are able to present themselves to a prospective employer or graduate school with a transcript that indicates core knowledge, and a portfolio of several projects that shows strong evidence of an applicable skill set.
The goal is for CHC graduates to be able to:
- Communicate effectively, in both written and oral forms, as well as in the use of electronic “new” media
- Apply critical analysis skills to identify and solve important social and health problems
- Design, manage and assess community health intervention projects
- Work collaboratively in teams, drawing on the skills and resources of others, and providing their own leadership
- Understand the diverse cultural and social landscape of community health, and have the ability to interact effectively in diverse communities
- Employ a solid knowledge of community health issues and policies, including an understanding of epidemiology and biostatistics.