Associate in Science Degree
The Associate in Science Degree in Public Health is offered through a consortium of the County College of Morris, Brookdale Community College, Mercer County Community College, and Middlesex County College. The program is designed to address the specific needs of students who are interested in transferring to four-year institutions to earn a baccalaureate degree or higher in public health. Students will develop background knowledge in public health through introductory coursework and training in laboratory science.
Public Health focuses on the health of the entire community rather than the individual. The health of the community involves populations at risk, education and prevention programs, methods of assuring access to appropriate and cost-effective care, and the formation of sound public policies. Public health professionals play a vital role in improving community health issues such as the quality of life for the elderly, drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse, nutrition, food safety, water quality, vaccination programs, bio-terrorism, natural disasters, and infectious diseases.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data and projections, areas in healthcare have a positive growth rate. Predictions indicate that the healthcare industry will produce 3.2 million new jobs in the U.S. by 2019, more than any other industry. The BLS attributes the tremendous growth to advancement in medicine and medical technology in addition to the resultant increase in life expectancy. Significant growth in fields related to public health include health educators, epidemiologists, environmental science and protection technicians, medical and health service managers, environmental scientists and specialists, biological technicians, and occupational health and safety specialists.
Through a strong general education foundation and public health core, students in the program will begin to develop competencies for healthcare professionals. These competencies include analytic/assessment skills, policy development program planning skills, communication skills, cultural competency skills, community dimensions of practice skills, public health science skills, financial planning and management skills, and leadership and systems thinking skills. PBH-101, Principles of Public Health, provides a broad overview of the many facets of public health.
Graduates of the program will be able to achieve the following outcomes: 1) demonstrate scientific foundation knowledge and skills appropriate for student seeking advanced study in the field of public health; 2) apply the scientific method of inquiry to gather and analyze data and use information relevant to major local, national and global health challenges; 3) conduct a literature search on health issues using a variety of academic and public resources; and 4) engage in collaborative approaches for improving the population’s health.