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Community and Public Health

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The community and public health program is designed to prepare students in planning, implementing, delivering and evaluating health programs that will improve the quality of life of individuals, groups and communities. The program objectives are to facilitate the development of professional skills in methods and tools of public health data collection, use and analysis for evidence-based approaches to utilize in public health programming which will promote health across the life span.

Program Details

The community and public health program prepares students for careers in public or private health agencies, local and state health departments, nonprofit organizations and in private business. Students enrolled in the major are seeking various types of health career paths including professional school (physical therapy, physician assistant, chiropractor and occupational therapy), graduate school (Master in Public Health, communication studies, health administration and athletic training) as well as the accelerated nursing program. Some students plan to seek employment as health and wellness coaches.  

Accreditation Details and Goals

The vision of the community and public health program is to provide students the opportunity to think critically, communicate effectively, cultivate an understanding of human diversity and value collaboration while creating a culture of health.

Program Goals

  • To prepare students for the responsibilities and roles of a health educator in various community settings.
  • To prepare students to address health needs of an individual, group or community.
  • To prepare students for application to graduate/professional schools in the health care field as well as professional workforce in community health settings.

We currently are not accredited, but are in the process of pursuing that standing.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Inquiry and Analysis – Students will analyze factors that influence health and illness of individuals, groups or communities.
  2. Communication Skills Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate health information, in both oral and written forms, through a variety of media and to diverse audiences.
  3. Diversity, Inclusion and Equity – Students will demonstrate knowledge of contributions made by individuals from diverse and/or underrepresented groups to one’s local, national and global communities.
  4. Ethical Reasoning Students will assess and reflect personal values in relation to current issues and ethical dilemmas within the health profession.
  5. Information Literacy Students will demonstrate the ability to locate, use, evaluate and synthesize health information.
  6. Critical and Creative Thinking Students will consider perspectives of diverse groups when planning, implementing and evaluating health programs.  
  7. Teamwork Students will productively participate in a group activity.

Health Education Minor

A health education minor is an interdisciplinary minor offered to any student at South Dakota State University. It may be of particular interest to those pursuing a teaching degree. The minor can be obtained by completing a required core and set of elective courses offered across several disciplines. This minor is strongly suggested for those individuals pursuing a major in community and public health with a teaching specialization. Having a health education minor can lead to teaching health in public schools in the region. 

For Minnesota certification in health, additional coursework will be required. Please check with the PETE coordinator for these details and to help in planning for this certification. All students interested in obtaining this minor must obtain written approval from the PETE Coordinator. A minimum final grade of "C" is required in each course taken in the minor.

Not sure if this major is for you?

Check out the Degree Explorer in Community and Public Health, to learn more. 

For more information contact: