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M.S. in Community Health
This program prepares students to practice in the field of public health, which serves to enhance health through education, research, and policy. The curriculum fosters development of core public health competencies, training students to plan, implement, and evaluate both urban and rural health initiatives. Through coursework, research, and community engagement, students will acquire the practical skills necessary to work in a local, national, or international entity addressing public health needs. Alumni have gone on to a wide variety of careers, including directors of public / community health agencies, health educators, medical service managers, grant writers, public health planners, and policy advocates. By design, this program is highly experiential. Over 25% of the program includes professional projects and internships, designed to provide practical experiences (both simulated and actual) so that graduates are equipped and prepared to make significant contributions in the field immediately after graduation.
What You Will Learn:
- The knowledge and skills needed to work in prevention at the community level through programming, advocacy, as well as needs and needs/outcome assessments.
- The ability to use a multidisciplinary approach to examine organizational and public policy issues that influence the operation and outcomes of public health and health care services.
- Examine the behavioral, social, psychological, cultural, economic, and demographic factors related to individual and population health and health disparities. Learn to evaluate and communicate the importance of these factors in making health program decisions.
- Culturally relevant, evidence-based strategies for influencing, formulating, and advocating for social and organizational policies.
- An understanding of the environmental (physical, chemical, biological) factors influencing the health of communities in urban and rural areas, as well as in the workplace.
- An introduction to epidemiology as the foundation of public health practice. Topics include disease transmission and progression, measures of morbidity and mortality, surveillance, screening, and outbreak investigation.
The Fieldwork Experience:
- Completion of a full-year internship at a local health organization or agency, designed to put knowledge into practice through hands-on experience. Past internships have been with the Essex and Franklin County Public Health Departments, the Seaway Valley Prevention Council, and many other places throughout the state and country.
- A close relationship with your field supervisor, who is committed to offering the support and insight you need to reach your highest potential as a public health professional.
- A culminating final project includes planning, implementing, evaluating and communicating the results of a public health initiative such as a program or intervention.
Unique Program Features:
- A network of public health professionals, and the confidence and tools needed to contribute to the field immediately upon graduation.
- Small class sizes promote close relationships with professors and fellow community health classmates. Students graduate with a cohort who provides support throughout the length of their future careers.
- Flexible scheduling with full-time and part-time options, and early afternoon and nighttime classes offered.
According to the NYS Department of Education, Health Educators are among the fastest growing occupations. Job growth is estimated to be 21% from 2012-2020.