Public Health Education
What You Should Know
Public health is the science and art of preventing illness and disease and promoting evidence-based health practices with the goal of improving the quality of life. It is concerned with threats to health based on population health analysis. The population in question can be as small as a handful of people, or as large as all the inhabitants of several continents. The dimensions of health can encompass a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, as defined by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).
What Public Educators Do
Public health incorporates the interdisciplinary approaches of epidemiology, biostatistics and a vast array of health services. A host of specialists including educators, journalists, researchers, administrators, environmentalists, demographers, social workers, laboratory scientists and more work to protect the health of the public. Public health professionals serve local, national and international communities in settings such as environmental health, community health, behavioral health, health economics, public policy, insurance and occupational health. Public health is a very rewarding field offering great personal fulfillment in serving others.
The Bachelor of Science in Public Health Education (BSPHE) prepares students to pursue entry level careers in public health within governmental, private or non-profit sectors in areas such as public health education, health promotion, environmental health, community health, epidemiology, nutrition, health informatics, biostatistics, global health, maternal and child health, health economics, health services research, health policy and health planning and assessment. Because public health professionals work in such a wide variety of settings and often work in multi-disciplinary capacities, the salaries vary significantly from job to job. An estimated salary range for BSPHE graduates is $37,000 to $50,000 and can then range from $60,000 to $150,000 for MPH graduates, depending on the area of specialization. (Source for this and other information: Association of Schools of Public Health website: http:www.whatispublichealth.org/what/index.html)
According to the U.S. Department of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health educators and community health workers is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be driven by efforts to improve health outcomes and to reduce healthcare costs by teaching people about healthy habits and behaviors and utilization of available health care services. Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh.community-and-social-service/health-educators.html
Public health practitioners work in a variety of settings to include professional offices, community health clinics, hospitals, community centers, classrooms and environmental health field work.
Good Preparation for Success in the Program
The public health program is based on a strong foundation in the biological, physical and social sciences. Excellent communication skills, comfort with technology, leadership experience, a passion for learning and challenges as well as the ability to work well within a diverse environment are important, along with a strong ethical perspective.
The Program at the University of North Dakota
The BSPHE curriculum is composed of the public health professional core (54 credits) and essential studies and selective elective courses (71 credits) for a total of 125 credits. The electives are intended to be discipline-specific or inter-disciplinary/inter-professional, with experiential learning in health-related activities, which will include service-learning, a capstone course and evidence-based practice in public health.
The design of the BSPHE allows for pre-professional students in areas such as pre-pharmacy, pre-optometry, pre-medicine or pre-dentristry to complete this degree and also meet their admission requirements for their respective disciplinary programs. The BSPHE provides an excellent foundation for any related health professions degree.
As a new program, the BSPHE will be seeking accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health
For Additional information:
Department of Kinesiology and Public Health Education
College of Education and Human Development
University of North Dakota
Hyslip Sports Center Room 210
2751 2nd Ave North, Stop 8235
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8235
Tanis Walch, PhD,
Public Health Education Coordinator
Hyslop Rm 225