Community Health at Western Washington University
Are you interested in making a difference in the world? Are you compassionate and enjoy working with people? Are you concerned about any of these (or other) health issues?
- Violence Prevention
- Sexuality and Sexual Health
- Physical Activity
- Illness and Disease
- Substance Abuse
- Social Justice
- The Environment
Western's Community Health program is recognized as one of the leading undergraduate programs in the Northwest. The major offers a curriculum for students interested in careers in health education and health promotion within one of five settings: community, school, worksite, college/university and/or medical/clinical. Western's program is designed to prepare students for the examination to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). A CHES is an individual credentialed as a result of passing a national examination demonstrating competency based on criteria established by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.
Graduates of Community Health work in a variety of settings: community health agencies, worksites (business and industry), hospital-based wellness programs, public health departments, environmental agencies, voluntary non-profit organizations, and schools, including colleges and universities. They work with people of all ages, from children to seniors. To address the many contributing factors that lead to a health problem, they work with policy makers and other helping professionals.
The Community Health Degree
The Community Health degree is a Bachelor of Science degree with a total of 101-102 credits. To help prepare our student colleagues to be effective Community Health educators, we require study in a variety of areas: the biological and social sciences, health content, health methods, and health education theory and practice. The Community Health curriculum includes both content and process-oriented courses and emphasizes service-learning and field experience. The last quarter is a full-time internship (40 hours/week) at a setting that has a formalized health education/health promotion program. The internship is a formal contractual agreement among the Community Health program, the student, and the agency site supervisor.
Prospective majors are strongly encouraged to complete their chemistry and anatomy and physiology requirements before or during their junior year to ensure on time graduation. Biology 348 is a pre-requisite for entry into 400-level courses.
[Secondary teacher education majors interested in teaching school health education need to major in the Physical Education pedagogy program for an endorsement in Physical Education and Health.]