The Community Health program
is based on the competencies needed to become a Certified Health Education Specialist
(CHES). These competencies are common to health education
in whatever setting it takes place: schools, work places, clinical applications, government agencies, or elsewhere in the community. They include assessing individual and community needs; planning, implementing, and evaluating health programs; managing health programs and personnel; grant writing; building coalitions; identifying resources and making referrals; organizing and mobilizing communities; advocating for health-related issues; and using a variety of educational methods. A prominent goal of community health education is to create a sense of well being in communities by reducing the incidence and prevalence of major health risks through education and programs for the prevention of disease.
The Community Health and Health Science majors are designed for students seeking to enter the health professions. If the United States is to reverse the present trend of deteriorating health of its citizens, and do so within an affordable framework, the next generation of health professionals must be conversant with a new health promotion paradigm. The Community Health and Health Science majors introduce students to this new paradigm through an integrated biological, psychological, and sociological approach to promoting health that encourages a shift from reliance primarily on dollars and technology to informed citizen participation.
The Community Health major is designed for students interested in becoming health education specialists. Health education specialists primarily work for organizations in the community that focus on improving health. The Health Science major is designed for students seeking to pursue clinical fields such as physical therapy, physician's assistant, optometry, occupational therapy, and veterinary medicine.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THIS DEGREE?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that approximately 16 percent of all new wage and salary jobs (3.5 million in total) between 2002 and 2012 will be in health-related fields. The job outlook is clearly favorable for those in community health as the entire health services industry is experiencing remarkable growth. A degree in community health opens the door to a diverse and extensive range of opportunities, which include but are not limited to:
Community health educator
Health promotion programmer
Corporate wellness director
Cardiovascular fitness specialist
Cancer information specialist
Community organizer Domestic violence educator
Elder services director
Sex educator Safety educator
Teen outreach coordinator
Women's health director
Men's health director
Youth program specialist
Worksite wellness director