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PHP 009 March: Community Colleges and Public Health: New Opportunities for Health Education

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The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health’s Framing the Future Task Force and the League for Innovation in the Community College (the League) cosponsored the Community Colleges and Public Health report. The report recommends that community colleges consider offering public health associate degrees and academic certificate programs including two prototype curricular models developed with support from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These include Public Health: Generalist & Specializations and Health Navigator. Each model includes 30 semester hours of coursework in public health core, required courses, experiential learning, and electives along with content outlines for public health core and specialty coursework. The report has been approved by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health’s Board and widely disseminated by the League. The League is currently implementing a planning and recognition process to encourage community colleges to plan associate degree and academic certificate programs consistent with the report including both prototype curricular frameworks. The Public Health: Generalist & Specializations is designed for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs in general public health, health education, health administration, and environmental health. The Health Navigator programs are designed for employment as community health workers, health care/patient navigators, and/or health insurance navigators. The rapidly expanding job market for these fields is discussed as well as the recommendation that these associate degrees be planned to enable transfer to bachelor’s degree programs in health education. Implications for the future of the health education profession are also addressed.


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