212508 A new undergraduate major in Public Health and the importance of experiential learning in the program

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:30 PM

Daniel Shea Gerber, EDD, MPH , Public Health, University of Massachusetts/Amherst, Amherst, MA
The presentation will explain how experiential learning is integrated throughout the entire program through different approaches such as: internships, community service learning, case studies, program development, etc. In May of 2007, the Massachusetts Board of Education approved the UMass undergraduate major "Public Health Sciences." The major is designed, like the field of public health, as an interdisciplinary program and a program of self-discovery, helping students answer the question(s): What kind of public health professional do I want to become? Do I want to work in health research? Do I want to work on creating health policies to support our society to be healthier? Maybe I want to work in the medical field (as a doctor, nurse, physician assistant, etc.) and an undergraduate degree will help launch me on this journey. Maybe I'd like to work in communities —here in the U.S., or abroad—educating people to live healthier lives. The public health field is broad and exciting, and the undergraduate program is designed to help students answer these questions by offering courses and different experiential learning approaches to support developing their interests and educational goals.

Learning Objectives:
Explain why experiential learning is important to undergraduate public health students. Identify the different experiential learning approaches and how they are integrated throughout the undergraduate program.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Daniel S. Gerber, ED.D., M.P.H. Director of the Public Health Undergraduate Major School of Public Health and Health Sciences University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.