Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
Community Health, BS
What Is the Study of Community Health?
The Community Health degree consists of two to three years of course work in Health Education and supporting areas. This includes required course work in both content and process-oriented Health Education courses, Social Sciences (Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology), Biological and Physical Sciences (Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise Physiology, and Chemistry), Nutrition, and electives that complement a student's interests and professional needs.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
Community Health Educators assess individual and community needs for health education; plan, implement and administer health education strategies, interventions and programs; conduct evaluation and research; serve as a health education resource; and communicate and advocate for health and health education. Effective Health Education is ecological in its approach. When planning the focus of interventions, trained Health Educators consider all factors that contribute to health and disease: individual behavior; group dynamics; environmental conditions; economics; politics, laws and policies; culture, ethnicity, and gender; and the availability, accessibility, and quality of health services.
Students who are accepted into the Community Health major explore the biological, social, environmental and individual determinants of health. The curriculum is based on the skills and competencies to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) through the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing, Inc. The program is rigorous and faculty members emphasize diverse classroom projects and community outreach. At the end of the program, a full-time internship (40 hours per week for 10 weeks) in a health education setting is required.
The Community Health major is appropriate for students who want to work in community, public, and global health; health communication; governmental and non-profit agencies and organizations; medical care settings; worksite wellness programs; and college and university student service health education programs. It can also serve as a preparatory program for graduate or post-baccalaureate study in Health Education, Public Health, and related areas.
How to Declare:
Pre-major: Students can pre-major in Community Health in order to access entry-level courses. To pre-major, a student must have at least a 2.5 GPA.
Admissions: To declare, students must submit a program application. Further information is available from the Program Coordinator. Application does not guarantee acceptance into the major.
Application deadlines: Program applications must be submitted by October 15 of the year prior to Health Education 400-level courses.
Health Education Core: 67 credits
- HLED 150 Consumer and Environmental Health (4)
- HLED 151 Society and Drugs (2)
- HLED 152 Society and Sex (2)
- HLED 345 Health Promotion/Disease Prevention (4)
- HLED 350 Nutrition (3)
- HLED 407 Principles and Foundations of Health Education (5)
- HLED 410 Health Communication and Social Marketing (4)
- HLED 420 Epidemiology and Biostatistics (5)
- HLED 432 Organization and Administration of Community Health Programs (4)
- HLED 447 Community Health (4)
- HLED 450 Methods and Materials in Health Education (5)
- HLED 460 Program Planning and Implementation of Health Programs (5)
- HLED 465 Program Evaluation and Research Design (5)
- HLED 471 Internship I (3)
- HLED 472 Internship II (12)
- HLED 473 Internship III (15)
Supporting Required Courses: 25 credits
- CHEM 121 General Chemistry I (5)
- CHEM 251 Elementary Organic Chemistry (5) or CHEM 351 Organic Chemistry (4)
- BIOL 348 Human Anatomy and Physiology (5)
- BIOL 349 Human Physiology (5)
- KIN 413 Physiology of Exercise (5)
Electives Under Advisement: 10 credits
- SOC 260 The Family in Society (5)
- SOC 333 Aging in America (5)
- SOC 338 Sociology of Sexual Behavior (5)
- SOC 340 Sociology of Organizations (5)
- SOC 380 Sociology of Youth (5)
- ANTH 353 Sex and Gender in Culture (5)
- ANTH 424 Medical Anthropology (5)
- COMM 224 Small Group Processes (4)
- HLED 210 Introduction to Public Health (4)
- HLED 435 Worksite Health Promotion (5)
- JOUR 330 Principles of Public Relations (4)
- PSY 230 Lifespan Developmental Psychology (5)
- PSY 240 Social Psychology (5)
- KIN 414 Physical Activity and Nutrition (3)
- KIN 415 Physical Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription (5)
- ENG 302 Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing (5)
- BCOM: COMM 244
- SSC: SOC 260; HLED 210
- BCGM: ANTH 353
- LSCI: CHEM 121, 251
- Community Health Educator
- Tobacco Control Specialist
- Sexuality Education Coordinator
- HIV/AIDS Educator
- Hospital-based Wellness Program Director
- Public Health Educator
- Substance Abuse Educator
- College Health Educator
- Injury Prevention Specialist
- Curriculum Development Specialist
- Health Consultant
- Health Information Specialist
- Nutrition and Physical Activity Coordinator