Public Health Program Overview
The Public Health Department provides a dynamic and academically rigorous environment in which students investigate, learn, and apply knowledge through service learning, civic engagement, and scholarship.
With a curriculum that positions students for the growing employment demand for health professionals, this interdisciplinary program is comprised of three options:
- [Population Health](/academics/programs/public health/population health/)
- [Nutrition](/academics/programs/public health/nutrition/)
- [Addictions](/academics/programs/public health/addictions/)
A feature of the program is an interdisciplinary core of classes that each public health major completes. These core courses include Health and Wellness, Nutrition Science, Physical Activity, Societal Impacts on Health, Addiction Theory, Behavior Change, and Community Program Development. This core provides students with a comprehensive understanding of health within the larger context of both the community and global environment.
The public health major offers community engagement and learning activities that support students in addressing societal issues. Recent student experiences have included:
- Organic gardening with preschool children to improve dietary habits
- Developing strategies to reduce prescription drug abuse among high school and college students
- Participating in the healthy community initiative at Cheshire Medical Center
- Working to prevent cyber bullying among middle school students
- Enhancing social support networks with Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers
- Encouraging elementary-age children to walk to school through the national Safe Routes to School initiative
Based on a foundation of diverse professional experiences, Public Health faculty members are well positioned to support and mentor students throughout their academic experience and career pursuits.
Some students who major in other fields choose to minor in the Addiction option. More
The Public Health Department promotes:
- Strong student mentoring and professional development
- Hands-on and applied learning opportunities
- A collaborative and engaged learning environment
Faculty members are active in scholarship, research, mentoring, and community health initiatives, sometimes including their students in research projects. More
Careers in Public Health:
Public Health is a vibrant, growing sector that offers a number of diverse, rewarding careers. To prepare students in a variety of sectors, the Keene State College Public Health Department offers three options: Nutrition, Addiction, and Population Health.
Eight out of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are in the healthcare field. Nurses and physicians’ assistants are in high demand.
Most jobs require less than four years of college education.
About 545,000 establishments make up the healthcare industry; 76 percent are offices of physicians, dentists or other health practitioners. Although hospitals constitute only two percent of all healthcare establishments, they employ 40 percent of all workers.
Healthcare jobs will account for about 19 percent (3.6 million) of the positions created in a 10-year period. Many of the fields projected to grow the fastest in the economy are concentrated in the healthcare industry. For example, total employment of home health aides – including the self-employed – is projected to increase by 56 percent; medical assistants by 52 percent; physician assistants by 50 percent; and physical therapist assistants by 44 percent.
Healthcare jobs are at an all-time high, and are projected to grow even more, to the tune of 30.3% through 2014. There’s money to be made in healthcare jobs, with the most popular by far being registered nurses. Seekers of healthcare jobs are advised to pack their degrees, certifications and experience to win big.