Master of Public Health: Community Health Education

Curriculum


CSUN's online Master of Public Health: Community Health Education program has a carefully crafted curriculum designed for the cohort format. In this format, each course builds upon prior courses to provide students with essential and versatile professional knowledge, skills and abilities that will enable them to be successful as leaders and managers in a wide range of educational organizations and institutions. While the program is delivered entirely online, instructional approaches to the courses vary to ensure that they combine to make the overall program a comprehensive learning experience with highly successful outcomes.

  1. HSCI 539: Current Issues in Health Education
  2. EOH 554: Environmental Health
  3. HSCI 533: Advanced Concepts of Health Behavior
  4. HSCI 536: Cultural Issues in Healthcare
  5. HSCI 390 Biostatistics + HSCI 390L Biostatistics Lab
  6. HSCI 531: Program Planning and Evaluation
  7. HSCI 535: Curriculum Development in Health Education
  8. HSCI 587: Seminar: Epidemiology
  9. HSCI 694: Research Design
  10. HSCI 693 A: Field Training
  11. HSCI 592: Advanced Biostatistics for the Health Sciences
  12. HSCI 541: Administration, Supervision and Consultation in Health Education
  13. HSCI 538: Seminar: Community Health Action
  14. HSCI 537: Communication in Health Education
  15. HSCI 697: Comprehensive Exam

In addition to completing regular online assignments, the MPH ONLINE program typically meets weekly for live, online sessions one week night per week, in each class, between 6 pm and 8 pm Pacific Time, with a start time no later than 6:30 pm. The specific day / time for live sessions will be announced no later than 1 month before the cohort launch. Rare exceptions may apply.

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are listed by course number.

course name description

HSCI 539

Current Issues in Health Education The program begins with an overview of the field of public health and how it is integrated into the larger fields of prevention and wellness.Participants consider health disparities, the commitments and values that should guide public health professionals, and the emerging public health issues commanding the attention of scholars and practitioners in the field today. Finally, participants in this courseexplore current and relevant public health topics and the many factors influencing the health status of populations and communities from a global as well as a national perspective.

EOH 554

Environmental Health Building on HSCI 539, this course examines how the environment impacts public health in different community, regional and national contexts. The emphasis is on the natural environment, as affected by both human action and natural forces, as well as on working/living environments in various communities and industries. The course provides an opportunity for participants to look closely at changing environmental issues and the challenges that they present for public health practitioners.Participants learn how local and regional public health professionals analyze environmental challenges and shape public health programs in collaboration within a larger public health system.

HSCI 533

Advanced Concepts of Health Behavior A significant part of the public health professional's role is, first, to understand and, then, strategically influence the health behavior of the individuals and communities they serve with the goal of improving public health through positive behavioral change. Participants in this course will learn how public health professionals develop an understanding of individual and community life choices, as well as the social contexts that impact both those choices and the overall health of the community in the near- and the longer-terms. This course introduces participants to the key theories and current methodologies used by contemporary public health professionals to influence health behavior in individuals, groups and communities. The course also includes opportunities to apply theory to practice through case studies and/or field assignments.

HSCI 536

Cultural Issues in Health Сare This course helps participants to develop a sophisticated awareness of diversity and the importance of giving appropriate attention to the impact of different social and cultural contexts on both advantageous and potentially problematic health behaviors. The course introduces participants to population statistics, social dynamics, and leading theories regarding individual and community health disparities. Participants will learn approaches used by public health professionals to develop culturally appropriate and effective public health education programs for various communities and groups. The course will focus on developing the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to develop public health strategies that will not only work in different cultural settings but also give community members the information and options they need to consider alternatives that might improve individual and community health outcomes.

HSCI 390

Biostatistics + HSCI 390L Biostatistics Lab For public health practitioners, data-rich studies are essential to understanding public health challenges and developing the most promising strategies for addressing those challenges. This course provides both foundational knowledge and an introduction to applied biostatistics in the context of public health professional practice. The course consists of two components: lecture and "lab." The lecture component introduces participants to basic principles, analytic skills and approaches to interpreting and understanding research reports and scholarship as essential to data collection and program planning for public health professionals. The second component is an online lab that focuses on demonstrating and refining biostatistical skills. Foundational skills developed in this course will be expanded in the advanced biostatistics course (HSCI 592) offered later in the program.

HSCI 531

Program Planning and Evaluation For a public health professional, designing an educational program (referred to in the field as a "public health program") is a key professional skill. This course focuses on the first phases of planning a public health program. Participants learn how to assess community public health needs and assets; to create theoretically based, effective program objectives; to analyze assessment data; to identify evidence-based public health programs that are most effective; and to apply evaluation strategies. Participants will both learn to analyze factors to be considered in developing programs and have the opportunity to work on a planning project that will develop their ability to apply planning principles to practice.

HSCI 535

Curriculum Development in Health Education In this course, participants will learn to develop learning objectives, curriculum content and instructional approaches that define the public health education program that they created in the previous course (HSCI 531). Participants in this course will develop a solid foundation in learning theory, the theory and practice of curriculum design, the principles of instructional design, the impact of instructional strategies, and curricular assessment. Participants will apply the theories and principles learned to the development of a complete public health curriculum focused on the topic/issue identified during the prior planning and evaluation course. These two courses, HSCI 531 and HSCI 535, function complementarily to build one of the core competencies of an effective public health education professional: namely, the ability to plan, implement and evaluate public health education programs.

HSCI 587

Seminar: Epidemiology Epidemiology is the study of disease and disease trends, with an emphasis on how morbidity, mortality, and longevity across time impact disease and illness from regional, national, and (sometimes) global perspectives. Course participants examine historical trends in epidemiology, current trends, and projections for the future.Participants also consider the implications of comparative studies and analyses of the patterns of disease and disease trends in different communities, industries and nations. The course focuses on a critical analysis of literature related to the newer concepts of epidemiology as applied to preventive medicine, health care management and public health. Participants will choose a health topic and perform a literature review and basic epidemiological analysis to reveal epidemiological trends and statistics affecting the chosen topic. Competence in epidemiological principles and analysis is one of the five core areas of professional preparation in the field of public health.

HSCI 694

Research Design Research design and methodology is essential for public health professionals to become competent in conducting their own research as well as in interpreting published research and evidence-based practices. This course focuses on critical consideration of research methodology as applied to the health sciences and provides an overview of the design and conduct of research perspectives and methodologies. Participants both examine the formation of a research question and create their own research questions. Describing and applying various research designs, they study site, population, as well as issues and methods of data collection and analysis. The course examines the major types of research design, including experimental, quasi-experimental, etc. Participants will become more competent in research methodology and application.

HSCI 693 A

Field Training Successful completion of this master's degree program requires 400 hours of fieldwork, during which participants put the knowledge, skills and professional abilities gained in the coursework to date into practice. This course begins with a guided approach to planning for fieldwork and selecting a fieldwork site, preparing for fieldwork, and securing the needed permissions and approvals to go forward with the fieldwork as planned. The course includes both pre-evaluations and post-evaluations of the skills, capabilities, and insights of participants, to measure and inform their growth as reflective practitioners. Each participant will keep a journal during the fieldwork period, and will attend periodic online class meetings with advisors and other program participants. Participants will also be asked to prepare a final fieldwork report.

HSCI 592

Advanced Biostatistics for the Health Sciences This course builds on the earlier biostatistics foundations course – as well as on the courses in program planning, curriculum development, epidemiology, and field work – to give participants a more advanced level of connection to the essential tools and insights that biostatistics offers the public health professional. Public health practitioners must base their work on a solid understanding of research. In this course, participants engage in the more advanced statistical analyses and theories that are essential for conducting viable research in the field, documenting the effectiveness of public health strategies used in practice, and developing increasingly more informed and effective public health programs. The work in this course combines data collection, design of data-gathering instruments, data analysis, statistical methods, and statistical reasoning for the health sciences and public health professional practice.

HSCI 541

Administration, Supervision and Consultation in Health Education Public health professionals prepared at the master's degree level often find themselves called upon to play managerial, supervisory, consulting and/or administrative roles for projects, units, groups, agencies, or organizations. This course gives participants a valuable introduction to the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to be effective in these leadership roles. From the perspective of public health and health education professional practice, participants in this course will explore the role of a manager/leader in different professional contexts; the professional ethics of leadership; project management, supervision and personnel issues; budgeting; managing partnerships, collaborations, and boards; regulatory and legal considerations; and external relations. Case studies, guest speakers in leadership positions, and examples from practice will stimulate and guide discussion and reflection.

HSCI 538

Seminar: Community Health Action Community health action is the core of community health education/ health promotion practice, yet the traditional settings for community health education have changed and expanded. Health educators are no longer confined exclusively to public health or voluntary health settings but have moved to community sites. While the concept of "community" has changed drastically, it continues toemphasize the varying types of formal and informal linkages with many organizations that interface and interact with the "community," however that term is defined. This course provides students with the skills needed to assess communities and assist in translating community knowledge of such linkages into ways of actively assessing and dealing with community health development and social planning needs. With this knowledge, students are equipped to take active roles in promoting citizen participation in health planning, organization for social action, and health-related policy development.

HSCI 537

Communication in Health Education It is essential that public health professionals have strong interpersonal communication skills and be competent in creating effective health messages. This course covers the analysis, development and utilization of media communication in Health Education, and provides an in-depth analysis of the role of health communication in public health programs. By the end of this course, participants will become competent in health communication theory, the role of social marketing and mass media, management of communication programs, interpersonal communication, social networks, social change, and the creation of effective health messages, campaigns and collateral. To offer practical application and experience, participants create their own creative health communication materials.

HSCI 697

Comprehensive Exam The comprehensive exam provides participants with a culminating experience for applying and synthesizing knowledge, content, theoretical frameworks, practical experiences and literature covered throughout the program. Exam questions will address content related to specific courses. Participants have two weeks to complete and submit the exam. The comprehensive exam is required for successful program completion.