Online Program

Promoting public health careers in a diverse undergraduate student population

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Robert L. Seidman, PhD, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Jesse C. Bliss, MPH, LLU Center for Public Health Preparedness, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Manjit Singh Randhawa, MD, MPH, School of Public Health, Office of Public Health Practice, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Michele M. Wood, PhD, Department of Health Science, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
A large percentage of the existing public health workforce is eligible to retire within the next five years. There is concern among public health professionals that a competent future workforce may be jeopardized due to an insufficient number of qualified people who are aware of and interested in public health careers. This is particularly true for those from diverse and underrepresented populations. In 2012, the California-Nevada Public Health Training Center offered three different events at universities in Southern California targeting undergraduate students in order to provide information to undergraduate students about public health careers and graduate education opportunities in public health. Almost two-thirds of the participants reported being from ethnic minority or underrepresented populations, and one-third of the students indicated prior to the event that they were unlikely to apply to a graduate program in public health. This presentation provides detailed information about the undergraduate student events, including advertising approaches, how participants were recruited, demographic information, the specific topics of individual sessions and types of community professionals involved, changes in participants' knowledge of different disciplines in public health and educational opportunities for graduate study, and their interest in a public health career. Information from a long-term followup survey will also be reported to identify the number of graduating students participating in these events who applied for graduate study in public health or obtained employment in some public health field. Opportunities for other academic programs to provide similar student outreach events will be explored.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the approaches and outcomes from three different presentations to undergraduate students designed to increase interest in public health careers. Identify best practices for interesting undergraduate students to pursue graduate study and careers in public health.

Keyword(s): Public Health Careers, Public Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of the California-Nevada Public Health Training Center that organized these student outreach presentations. I also coordinated one of the presentations.
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.