Public Health Degree
About Public Health
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. The Bachelor of Science in public health program blends instruction from biology, psychology, sociology, marketing, epidemiology, statistics, and medicine into applications addressing current health problems facing our communities. Students completing the program earn the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.
The mission of the public health program is to integrate theoretical concepts, creative research activities, ethical perspectives, an appreciation for the richness of global diversity, and community health outreach opportunities to best prepare undergraduates who are ready for graduate study or professional careers. Through collaborative, engaged learning experiences in assessing community health needs as well as planning, implementing, evaluating, conducting, and administering health education and promotion strategies, graduates are prepared to take leadership roles in protecting and improving the community’s health. Public health faculty members strengthen the profession of public health by providing student-centered, experiential learning in a challenging, positive academic environment, which is nationally recognized for excellence by the Society for Public Health Education and the American Association for Health Education.
Student Learning Outcomes
Student learning outcomes for the major include, but are not limited to the following:
- Students will demonstrate broad knowledge of health education/public health content.
- Students will be able to design basic public health programs in response to an identified health need in the community.
- Students will be able to conduct evaluation related to public health programs.
- Students will demonstrate leadership skills.
- Students will demonstrate professional behaviors and overall ability based upon the internship site supervisor evaluation both on the mid-term evaluation and the final evaluation.
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.
Students desiring careers in allied health fields such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, communication science and physician's assistant may complete prerequisites for these programs within the public health degree.
Students may complete the public health degree with an option in exercise science. This option is designed for students who desire to work in wellness or personal training centers.
The health services leadership option is a directed course of study to broaden students’ understanding of the complex issues facing future health care and public health professionals. This option is recommended for those who wish to go directly into the workforce upon graduation.
The health communication option is beneficial to promoting and protecting the public’s health and may serve as a venue for health policy advocacy.
Completion of the program qualifies graduates to apply for certification through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) as a Certified Health Specialist (CHES). CHES certification is encouraged by many health professionals and is required in some states.
Students have the opportunity to participate in an internship for one semester in a health-related agency such as Conway Medical Wellness and Fitness Center, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, Rape Crisis Center, Shoreline Behavioral Health Services, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the American Cancer Society.
Beyond the Classroom
Graduates of the program move on to careers including: health promotion programmer, health information specialist, corporate wellness, personal trainer, environmental educator, maternal/child nutrition consultant, teen pregnancy prevention coordinator, family service specialist, youth educator, alcohol educator, health education coordinator, health policy advocate, pharmaceutical sales representative and medical sales.
For information, contact:
Fredanna M'Cormack McGough, Ph.D.
Pam English (Walker)