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Public Health Education (BSPHE)

A group of health professionals

What Can I Do with a BSPHE?Why BSPHE? The Demand for Health Educators

A  B.S. in Public Health Education will qualify and prepare you for positions in community health and public health as well as hospitals, insurance companies, primary care provider offices, private and commercial community health organizations, research organizations, health coaches in wellness centers, educators within biology and pharmaceutical industry and governmental public health organizations.

This is an inter-disciplinary program crossing the departments of Natural Sciences, Nursing, Business, Psychology and Sociology.   Students will complete experiential field internships with clinical affiliates which currently include St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, ADAPT of Essex County and TeleNurse Network and RWJBarnabas Health.

Community health education specialists are in demand in response to the nation’s need to address the staggering rise in healthcare costs related to preventable diseases.  Community health educators are prepared to provide health promotion and disease prevention education.  The national healthcare delivery system has taken initiatives to support efforts by insurance companies, employers, healthcare providers and governments to educate health professionals to more effectively teach people how to live healthy lives and thereby avoid costly diseases that are preventable.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for 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.  Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities.

For more information about health educators visit http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm.

 The program design:

Liberal Arts (CS 115 waived ) 37 credits
Pre-Requisite Major Core 25 credits
Major Inter-disciplinary Coursework 41  credits
Open electives 18 credits
Total 121  credits


Core Major pre-requisites Major Credits

Total Credits Liberal Arts Foundational and Enriched Core:

Freshmen Seminar 1
Communication Arts 3
English Literature and Writing 3
History 3
Modern Language 3
Math 3
Philosophy 3
Theology 3
Introduction to Philosophy 3
Introduction to Christian Theology 3
Catholic & Dominican Tradition 3
Global Awareness & Cultural Understanding 3
Ethical Inquiry & Applications 3
Total Credits 37

Total Credits Major pre-requisites

Human Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2 8
Chemistry 4
General Psychology 3
Introduction to Sociology 3
Microbiology with Lab 4
Psychological Statistics 3
Total Credits 25

Total Inter-disciplinary Major Credits

PU/HE/PS/BU/SO/PO  41 credits

Students pursuing degree B.S. Public Health Education must complete the following 9 required courses – Total Major & Inter-Disciplinary 41 credits:

Public Health Major Requirements

HS 101 Medical Terminology
PU 205 Theory of Health Behavior
NU 310 Pharmacology
PU 301 Fundamentals of Epidemiology
PU 405 Introduction to Public Health
PS 215 Human Sexuality
HI 101 or 102 Western Civilization
PU 410 Nutrition
PU 415 Public Health Planning & Evaluation
PU 489 Field Internship
 Total Credits 26

In addition to the above-required courses, students must take an additional 5 inter-disciplinary courses (15 credits) from the following clusters (with advisement).

Inter-disciplinary Core

Business Cluster Psychology Cluster Sociology Cluster Political Science Cluster
BU 105 Contemporary Business
BU 110 Business Communications
BU 221 Marketing
BU 260 Principles of Management
BU 235 Choice: From self-management to Leadership
CS 238 E-Commerce
PS 216 Adol Psych
PS 207 General Psych II  (Pre-req PS 150)
PS 209 Prenatal & Infant Psych
 PS 232 Psych of Personality
PS 261 Interpersonal Relations
PS 306 Psychology of Adulthood
PS 336 Positive Psychology
PS 309 Psychopathology (Pre-req PS150 & PS 207)
PS 318 Cross-Cultural Counseling
PS 322 Educational Psychology
PS 328 Psychology of Learning
PS 335 Health Psychology
PS 321 Human Motivation
PS 313 Counseling Psychology
SO 323 Soc. Of Rac/Cult Groups
SO 334 Sociology of Medicine
SO 231 Sociology of Poverty
SO 330 Soc. Of Marriage/Family
SO 339 Sociology of Aging
SO 326 Social Inequality
PO 125 Understanding the Political World
PO 225 American Government
PO 328 Ethnic Politics
PO 362 International Relations


Direct assessment metrics include objective tests, written assignments with rubrics, oral presentations with rubrics and classroom assignments with clearly described learning objectives.  Written and oral communication skills will be evaluated with rubrics based upon core competencies and necessary skills for public health education students, such as motivational interviewing techniques which are applied at the community level.  Capstone project developed in senior year includes a community health assessment and population-based intervention with evaluation.

Programmatic Objectives:  At the conclusion of the academic degree program, BSPHE majors will be able to:

  1. Examine behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors that enhance or compromise population health status at the individual and community level.
  2. Demonstrate effective assessment skills to determine needs, assets and capacity for health education.
  3. Provide health promotion and disease prevention advocacy to Individuals groups and communities.
  4. Apply ethical principles and values to the practice of promoting population health.
  5. Describe and define healthcare delivery systems.
  6. Identify resources needed to implement programs of health education and disease prevention.
  7. Collect and analyze health promotion and disease prevention data to develop evidence based interventions
  8. Provide health education programs to specific populations in a variety of settings.
  9. Utilize targeted approaches to assist clients in a variety of settings to increase health literacy
  10. Demonstrate effective communication skills in organizing and implementing health promotion programs.
  11. Collaborate with clients and health care professionals to maximize health education programs for populations in a variety of settings.
  12. Identify and describe interventions to affect policy change affecting public health.

PU 205 Theory of Health Behavior

Students will receive an overview of how social and behavioral sciences contribute to our understanding of health behavior.  This course provides an introduction to health belief theories offering the learner an understanding of the relationship between health belief theories and health promotion and disease prevention interventions.  Associations between behavior and selected major health issues will be discussed.

PU 301 Fundamentals of Epidemiology

This course introduces the science of epidemiology and covers the fundamentals of infectious disease epidemiology, environmental epidemiology, and psychosocial behavioral epidemiology.  Students will examine the epidemiology of infectious diseases, chronic diseases and their impact on population health.  Basic concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics are applied to public health problems to measure and describe population health.  Students will apply basic epidemiologic concepts to public health practice to promote public health at the population level.

PU 405 Introduction to Public Health

This course provides Public Health Education majors with a fundamental understanding of the professional field of public health education and other health related fields.  Students will identify and explore the theoretical and practical issues in the field of population health locally, nationally and globally.  Successful completion of the course provides students with the ability to identity and apply principles of population health teaching to promote health and prevent disease. Students will explore the cultural, social and economic barriers faced by individuals, groups and communities that affect population health.  Students will receive an understanding of the role of health educator in promoting health and preventing disease as they identify methods for assessment, planning, implementing and evaluating an intervention for an identified population through academic experiences including experiential learning within the community.

PU 489 Field Internship

Qualified students are given the opportunity to engage in field internship through arrangement with the Department of Public Health and the faculty adviser.  Under supervision, students will apply concepts and skills learned in the classroom to gain practical knowledge and experience in a community setting.  Requires Departmental approval.

Traditional aged freshmen entering from high school, students transferring with BSPHE degree completion option for A.A. degree in social sciences, or students wanting to change careers and earn a Second Degree are all welcome to enter the program.