Public Health Degree
Healthy people in healthy communities
The mission for the Public Health program at Coastal Carolina University is to prepare students to protect and improve the health of individuals and communities through a challenging academic program with experiential learning opportunities.
Description of the major
Public health is defined as the art and science of helping people change their lifestyles to move toward states of optimal health. When you work in the field of public health, you will assist others in making lifestyle changes by enhancing awareness, changing behavior or creating environments that support better health practices. At Coastal Carolina University we offer a generalist public health degree that has a health promotion focus. Students gain an understanding of disease and illness, epidemiology, statistics, behavior approaches to public health, environmental health, public health policy, advocacy, and health care systems. The public health major blends instruction from biology, chemistry, political science, psychology, sociology, marketing, communication, and medicine, into applications addressing current health problems facing our community.
The Student Experience
- There is a growing demand for culturally diverse outreach workers trained in behavioral and community-based intervention technologies to both educate and empower at-risk populations to improve their health status. The increased emphasis on integrating public health and disease prevention in health plans will increase future career opportunities in primary care settings and community based outreach programs.
- The generalist public health degree fulfills the nine public health domains, while the focus on health promotion prepares students with the following skills within the field: assessing individual and community needs, planning health education and promotion programs, implementing health education and promotion interventions, conducting evaluation and research within public health disciplines, administering health education and promotion strategies, serving as a health education resource person, and communicating and advocating for health education and public health through grant writing, working with the media, coalition building, among others.
- Completion of the program qualifies graduates to apply for certification through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) as a certified Health Education Specialist. CHES certification is encouraged by many health professionals and is required in some states.
- Students majoring in public health have the flexibility of either declaring a minor (18 – 22 credits) or completing a cognate, which is part of Coastal’s tradition. Cognates (15 credits) are classes that are similar in nature so that students get an understanding of an area of study to complement their major. In the public health program, there are four cognate options: 1) General Cognate (100 – 200 level basic science courses or 300 – 400 level coursework outside of the major, for students interested in a complementary area of study or interested in taking prerequisites for a graduate degree or health professions degrees such as physical therapy, occupational therapy or physician’s assistant); 2) Communication; 3) Exercise Science; and 4) Health Services Leadership. Cognates in Communication, Exercise Science and Health Services Leadership have pre-approved sequence of courses.
- In their final semester, students participate in two cumulative experiences. Students complete an internship in a health related agency, locally, nationally or internationally and take a capstone review course that ends with a cumulative exam of major required course content and concepts.
Beyond the classroom
Graduates of the program can move on to careers including health educator, health promotion program planner, nutrition education specialist, food inspector, public health researcher, health information specialist, corporate wellness coordinator, personal trainer, environmental educator, maternal/child nutrition consultant, teen pregnancy prevention coordinator, sexual assault prevention, health policy advocate, and pharmaceutical sales and medical sales. Other graduates choose to earn advanced degrees in areas of public health, global health, health communication, health administration, sociology, psychology, law, physician assistant programs, physical therapy, nursing and dietetics.
Program Goal Statement:
Program Goal is written to reflect what we would like our students to look like when they graduate and what needs to be done to get them there.
Program Goal(s): The Public Health program at Coastal Carolina University aims to:
- prepare students to pursue entry-level careers in the public health field (particularly health education and health promotion), apply to health-related graduate programs, or gain additional training or schooling within other health professions;
- ensure a generalist public health curriculum design that is based on the nine public health domains and seven certified health education specialist (CHES) competencies;
- provide diverse course offerings within the Public Health program;
- provide flexibility of coursework outside of the major by declaring a minor or completing a cognate;
- engage all public health majors in experiential learning; and
- provide academic and career advising by qualified and engaged faculty.
Student Learning Goal Statement:
Student Learning goal is written to reflect what we would like our students to know and what skills we expect them to possess as they go through the program.
Student Learning Goal: Students in the Public Health program at Coastal Carolina University will acquire professional development skills and apply public health theory and concepts to public health practice.
Student Learning Outcome 1: Students will demonstrate broad knowledge of health education/public health content (PUBH 495) and application of public health and health education concepts (PUBH 485).
Student Learning Outcome 2: Students will be able to identify health needs and concerns of a community by developing a literature review (PUBH 201).
Student Learning Outcomes 3: Students will be able to develop strategies to improve community health (PUBH 350).
Student Learning Outcome 4: Students will demonstrate program-planning skills (PUBH 350 & PUBH 491).
Student Learning Outcome 5: Students will develop skills needed to apply theory to public health practice (PUBH 481).
Student Learning Outcome 6: Students will demonstrate professionalism through practical experiences in a setting related to Public Health based on site supervisor student evaluations (PUBH 485).
For more information
- Fredanna M’Cormack McGough, PhD., department chair, 843-349-2991 or email@example.com
- Pam English, administrative specialist, 843-349-6568 or firstname.lastname@example.org