Public Health Program
“After my graduation from Slippery Rock University, I had no problem gaining employment. Other health professionals seemed to be very impressed with the educational background I received as a community health major. Because I am working as a health data analyst, I found my data management, biostatistics, and epidemiology courses to be most helpful. My employers were also impressed that, while at SRU, I participated in an undergraduate research project. This provided me with the opportunity to further explore and practice data analysis.”
Amy Zychowski ’99
Public Health is a discipline in which professionals deliver health information and programs within the community setting. Graduates of this program have a broad based background in the field of health that prepares them for entry level positions in health education, health promotion, health data management or for further graduate study in a health-related field.
Upon completion of this program our students are eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist examination, which is a national credentialing examination for people who wish to practice health education in a community (non-public school) setting. Today, the Certified Health Education Specialist credential is often preferred or even required for many community health education positions. Graduates who complete our Public Health program successfully pass the Certified Health Education Specialist examination at a rate well above the national average. Recent graduates have entered positions in state and local health departments, community based wellness programs, voluntary health organizations such as the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society, and federal government health programs, and health insurance companies. Graduates also enter graduate programs in physical or occupational therapy, physicians assistant, nutrition, and public health.
Students are encouraged to take additional coursework or minors in complementary areas of study such as gerontology, Spanish, psychology or business. The program culminates in a 12-credit internship, which provides hands-on experiences and further insight into career opportunities in public health. Students may select their own internship site or may choose from a database of previously used sites. It is through this internship experience that students actually identify the branch of public health in which they would like to practice. Students are required to select a major project for their internship experience that demonstrates mastery of entry-level professional skills. Frequently interns remain at the sites as employees following their internships.
Public Health faculty members have on-going research projects in which advanced level students can become involved. Students help professors analyze data and prepare professional conference presentations, which the student actually presents under the mentorship of the faculty member. Other student activities include the Pennsylvania Public Health Association Collegiate Chapter and the peer health education program run by the SRU student health service.