The Public Health Program provides knowledge and a skill set to participate in the protection and improvement of health in communities.
The undergraduate major in public health exemplifies the university’s metropolitan vision. The metro-Detroit area is home to a number of racial and ethnic minority groups, for instance African Americans, Native Americans and Arab Americans. Research on health disparities (some of which has been conducted here on the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus) shows that these groups, in particular, are at increased risk for chronic health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Students graduating with a degree in public health would be able to have a direct impact on helping to educate, research/understand and implement wellness-based programs that might positively impact health in these already at-risk groups locally and beyond.
This program is rooted in strong academics, innovative research and engaged learning. In addition, the program emphasizes community engagement and academic service learning. The public health major includes 3-6 credits for internship placement in a local health setting, fostering engagement, service learning and integration with the Detroit community.
Students graduating with a degree in public health will be well-prepared for service roles in the community or for continuing graduate education in public health. In addition, the program will serve to promote growth in the college and potentially increase recognition of the university’s health related programming.
The Public Health degree at University of Michigan-Dearborn is designed to educate students with regard to health- and disease-based principles of public health. The goals of the public health undergraduate program are to provide knowledge and a skill set allowing for participation in the protection and improvement of health in local and regional communities through the activities of education, promotion of healthy lifestyles and research for disease and injury prevention.
The degree's goals are aligned with essential elements of public health education as identified by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). These include:
- Problem solving: Identifying and responding quickly to public health challenges.
- Components of the health system: Understand how policy, behavior, the environment, and other influences converge to affect public health.
- Leadership: Learn outreach and advocacy skills.
- Management and teamwork: Gain organizational and team-building skills that facilitate cross-sector collaboration and change management.
- Global health: Become aware of the “cultural and geopolitical sensitivities” and global power dynamics.
- Policy: Understand the policy process so that professionals can advocate for change.
- Analytic methods: Know scientific and quantitative approaches so that students can analyze and integrate data from multiple sources.
- Technology and information: Use information technology effectively.
- Budgeting and finance: Learn basic skills for making decisions that involve budgetary and financial concerns.
- Communications – Write and public speak to reach multiple audiences.