Why study Public Health?
Grounded in the tenets of disease prevention, health promotion, health and social equity, and environmental sustainability, COCC’s Public Health program encourages students to promote personal and population health using a systems-thinking approach to understand the health connections between people, places, and policies. With experiential learning in the form of labs and field trips, and with hands-on practicum opportunities through partner public health agencies, students trace the full arc of community health, from local farms to the front lines of primary health care. The program’s curriculum centers on equity, environment, and sustainability to help build a holistic appreciation for the field and its impact. Educational paths include an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree with an emphasis in Public Health, and an 11-week Community Health Worker training.
"COCC teaches open minds and open hearts for this incredibly crucial fabric of our community. The curriculum for COCC Public Health students includes guest speakers and community panels with lived experiences and up-close public health realities. We have been very fortunate to provide learning to, and learn from, COCC students." — Donna Mills, retired executive director, Central Oregon Health Council
The Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree with a focus on Public Health meets lower-division general education requirements at all Oregon public universities. Lower-division coursework provides students with a strong foundation in public health topics, including health promotion, disease prevention, health psychology, health care policy, health equity, and environmental sustainability.
Public health careers include program planners, program evaluators, researchers, educators, epidemiologists, health and safety engineers, advocacy and policy advisors, health communication specialists, community developers and organizers, global health development officers, minority health and health disparities experts, and environmental health specialists. Work activities may include developing educational programs, creating health promotion policies, providing social services, conducting mixed-methods research, and leading community development and health systems reform.
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