Online Program

Advancing Public Health Awareness and Knowledge Among College Students

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:20 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.

Marc D. Hiller, MPH, DrPH, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Rosemary M. Caron, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
The IOM has extended its call to provide for broader public health awareness and the making of an educated public health citizenry. Yet, given the largely invisible nature of public health, except when faced with an emergency, educational institutions are challenged to develop and implement general public health courses that attract students who are not already thinking about potential public health careers. Often, the lack of student interest and the fear of budgetary impacts of low enrollments are cited as reasons for not promoting core public health courses. Additionally, undergraduates may know little about public health or its impact on their daily lives, and have thought even less about implications of its absence. Whether or not students seek a career in public health, the need for its common awareness and appreciation, merits public health being an option and fulfilling a general education course requirement in liberal arts and community colleges throughout the US.

In this study, the authors survey student awareness and knowledge of, as well as personal interest in, public health, health promotion and prevention. In doing so, they query a wide range of preventable communicable and chronic diseases, risk behaviors, and environmental issues. Based on their data analysis, they propose recommendations and offer examples regarding the design and implementation of ways in which public health may be infused into college curricula. They share engaging initiatives that may be included in basic public health courses to attract diverse student groups and that provide opportunities to assure active, community-based learning.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of a public health education to college students. Assess the current awareness and knowledge of public health among college students. Formulate a minimum of two recommendations for the design and implementation of public health into college curricula.

Keyword(s): Public Health Curricula & Competencies, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the former Director of the University of New Hampshire's (UNH) MPH Program. I am currently a faculty member in the UNH Department of Health Management and Policy and I teach public health courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to coming to academia, I practiced public health, for ten years, at the local and state governmental and private consulting levels.
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.