WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Public health is the science and art of preventing illness and disease and promoting evidence-based health practices with the goal of improving the quality of life. It is concerned with threats to health based on population health analysis. The population in question can be as small as a handful of people, or as large as all the inhabitants of several continents. The dimensions of health can encompass a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, as defined by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).
WHAT PUBLIC HEALTH WORKERS DO
Public health incorporates the interdisciplinary approaches of epidemiology, biostatistics and a vast array of health services. A host of specialists including educators, journalists, researchers, administrators, environmentalists, demographers, social workers, laboratory scientists and more, work to protect the health of the public. Public health professionals serve local, national and international communities in settings such as environmental health, community health, behavioral health, health economics, public policy, insurance and occupational health. Public health is a very rewarding field offering great personal fulfillment in serving others.
The Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) prepares students to pursue entry level careers in public health within governmental, private or non-profit sectors in areas such as public health education, health promotion, environmental health, community health, epidemiology, nutrition, health informatics, biostatistics, global health, maternal and child health, health economics, health services research, health policy and health planning and assessment. Because public health professionals work in such a wide variety of settings and often work in multi-disciplinary capacities, the salaries vary significantly from job to job. An estimated salary range for BSPH graduates is $37,000 to $50,000 and can then range from $60,000 to $150,000 for MPH graduates, depending on the area of specialization. (Source for this and other information: Association of Schools of Public Health website: http://www.whatispublichealth.org/what/index.html)
According to the U.S. Department of Labor-Bureau of labor Statistics, employment of 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. Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm
Public health practitioners work in a variety of settings to include professional offices, community health clinics, hospitals, community centers, classrooms and environmental health field work.
GOOD PREPARATION FOR SUCCESS IN THE PROGRAM
The public health program is based on a strong foundation in the biological, physical and social sciences. Excellent communication skills, comfort with technology, leadership experience, a passion for learning and challenges as well as the ability to work well within a diverse environment are important along with a strong ethical perspective.
THE PROGRAM AT FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
The Ferris Public Health program is focused “rural public health” which is intended to focus on populations that are underserved by virtue of their geographic location in rural settings. The BSPH program includes both traditional and accelerated tracks, with the accelerated track culminating in a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree within 5 years.
The BPH curriculum is composed of the public health professional core (56 credits) and general education and selective elective courses (74 credits) for a total of 130 credits. The electives are intended to be discipline-specific or inter-disciplinary/inter-professional courses and experiential learning in health-related activities, which will include service-learning, a capstone project and evidence-based practice in Public Health.
The design of the BSPH allows for pre-professional students in areas such as pre-pharmacy, pre-optometry, pre-medicine or pre-dentistry to complete this degree and also meet their admission requirements for their respective disciplinary programs. The BSPH provides an excellent foundation for any related health professions degree.
The Bachelor of Science in Public Health requires a minimum GP A of 2.0 overall for graduation. Students must earn a grade of “C” or higher in all major (PUBH) and COHP courses and meet all the general education requirements as outlined in the General Education website.
ADMISSION TO THE PROGRAM
Admission requirements for the BSPH include the following:
Minimum GPA of 2.7 on a 4.00 scale (Traditional Track) or 3.0 on a 4.00 scale (Accelerated Track)
International applicants must submit a minimum paper or internet TOEFL score of 550/80 respectively
Completion of the pre-professional courses with minimal grades of “C” in all Biology, Chemistry and Math and CHP Core courses (COHP prefix).
As a new program, the BSPH will be seeking accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health upon the graduation of the first cohort.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
College of Health Professions
Ferris State University
200 Ferris Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
The College of Health Professions Website: http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/colleges/alliedhe/
For More Information about Public Health Careers, Programs and Accreditation, please refer to the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) website: http://www.asph.org/document.cfm?page=727