235495 Teaching epidemiology to achieve public health literacy and community-based learning in an undergraduate population

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:08 AM

Rosemary M. Caron, PhD, MPH , Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
The Educated Citizen and Public Health initiative promotes that an understanding of public health issues is a central component of an educated public and is necessary to develop social responsibility. This initiative supports the Institute of Medicine's recommendation that “all undergraduates should have access to education in public health.” Both movements are well-aligned with the philosophy of liberal education which recommends that baccalaureate students receive a wide breadth of knowledge, adaptable skills, principled values and a sense of societal responsibility. This presentation will describe the following: 1.) an integrative learning methodology for a course in the public health science of epidemiology; 2.) how an epidemiology course can serve as a conduit for creating a population of undergraduates who possess “life tools” based in a liberal education viewpoint that enables them to effectively respond to the challenges of their learning community. The integrative and relative course framework presented can serve as a model for other academic institutions that are attempting to heed this call for an educated public via a theory and practice approach. Specific recommendations are presented to using service and experiential learning approaches in higher education to realize the goals of The Educated Citizen and Public Health initiative. This presentation will describe how expanding public health literacy and community-based learning into undergraduate liberal education can accomplish the following: encourage life-long learning and a commitment to social responsibility; allow for new course/major/minor development in public health in two-year and four-year colleges; promote collaboration; and enable faculty to expand their expertise.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the framework of an epidemiology course in a liberal education-based four-year academic institution. Explain two integrative learning methodologies for a course in epidemiology. Discuss the importance of a public health course in epidemiology and service learning in achieving public health literacy in a baccalaureate population.

Keywords: Epidemiology, Public Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over ten years as a public health practitioner and academician and I am the former Director of the MPH Program at the University of New Hampshire.
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.