BHS in Community Health
General Education - 37 Hours
Core Curriculum - 28 Hours
Concentration - 32 Hours
Total for Degree - 120 HoursFull Program Requirements
Why Study Community Health?
Health and Healthcare is often focused on the individual to diagnose and treat illnesses. However, Community Health is a population-based program approach to wellness, that can offer an entire community the access and opportunity to experience advanced healthcare that fits their unique situation and challenges.
At Governors State University, our Bachelor of Health Science in Community Health program seeks to promote positive health and wellness programs at both the community and individual levels. Explore the available concentrations and curriculum as you prepare for your career goals in this diverse and essential industry.The health of the community begins at the individual level. Governors State’s Bachelor of Health Science in Community Health prepares students to plan, implement, and evaluate health and wellness programs. With a strong focus on cultural competency, students are equipped to positively influence diverse populations’ health, focusing on eliminating health disparities and improving health equity.
With added focus on individual healthy choices and community programs, the Bachelor of Health Science in Community Health at Governors State University connects you to a range of policies, skills, and advocacy approaches to promote positive solutions at the community and individual levels. Here are some tasks that community health professionals also known as Health Educators may take on in health and healthcare, community centers, School systems or nonprofit situations:
- Connect patients to relevant healthcare services
- Advocate for community needs
- Conduct outreach programs to facilitate greater community health awareness
- Inform community members and healthcare workers about health concerns
- Perform healthcare services as a technician
- Continue your education to advance your healthcare career
The ways in which graduates of the community health program work within a community depend on their chosen concentration; while a community health graduate’s primary goal is to increase awareness, promote positive health practices and services, implement and evaluate programs at the community level, this goal can be reached through a number of services.
Community Health majors choose between three concentrations to advance their area of academic and professional interest:
- Health Promotion Across the Lifespan
- Pre-Health Professions
- Foundations of Substance Abuse
to advance their area of academic and professional interest.
Health and Life Sciences Pathway
If you are an entering honors-eligible freshman, you can follow the Health and Life Sciences Pathway, with eleven tracks structured to prepare you for the graduate-level study needed in many health professions. Within the pathway is the Guaranteed Professional Health Track, which guarantees admission to our masters (occupational therapy and communication disorders) and doctoral (physical therapy) programs as long as GPA and curriculum requirements are met. In the case that you fall below the track’s criteria, you may still remain in the Health and Life Sciences Pathway.
A graduate program helps you reach your professional career goals. Whether seeking a medical degree, Ph.D., or other postgraduate education, this pathway offers you curriculum options to train as an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or other professional occupation. Discuss your career goals with your advisor to see if this track is right for you. You’ll not only need to consider successful completion of the program coursework but also prepare for entrance exams and applications to transition to a graduate program in a healthcare field.
Reach Your Career Goals
Coursework in a Bachelor of Health Science in Community Health focuses on cultural competency, health promotion, implementation, evaluation, and developing research skills. The specific courses depend on your concentration, but all students receive a core curriculum that addresses community topics. Here are some topics that are part of the core curriculum:
- Community health communications
- Community health systems and theories
- Health promotion and education
- Research methods
- Cultural competency
These form a backbone of analytical, communicative, and medical knowledge needed to perform a wide variety of career goals. Consider the various concentrations to find out how a community health degree from Governors State University can help you take the next step in your career. Prepare for a career in one of these particular areas to hone your courses and tailor your experience to your future career.
Employment for community health professionals and health educators is expected to grow by 16% over the next decade—much faster than the national average of all occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
These three concentrations guide the program, both in academic interest and professional development. Each concentration includes a core of essential community health curriculum, but they offer separate areas of research and advocacy that can help promote different voices in a community.
Health Promotion Across the Lifespan
Protect and improve community health through evidence-based methods and prepares for careers in Public Health, which could include Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Education and Community Health. Coursework within this concentration covers a broad range of issues, such as health behavior and nutrition, alternative and conventional medicine, and the effect of epidemics and disasters on community health.
This broad concentration offers an overview of community health for individuals in various life situations. Courses in aging and physical activity promote programs for elderly members of a community, while leadership and communication courses help students connect with members across the lifespan of a particular community.
Prepare to meet prerequisites required for various advanced health professions degrees such as Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Medicine, Dentistry, and Nutrition. The specific pre-requisites vary depending upon which health profession the student intends to pursue.
Because the prerequisites of various professional degree programs vary, this concentration is more personalized. Students work with their academic advisors to discuss their health profession goals and select the courses that prepare them for entry into a professional program. The coursework necessary to enter into a dentistry program varies considerably from a public health or physician assistant degree.
Foundations of Substance Abuse
Support clients and communities suffering from substance abuse issues. Coursework focused on Addiction Studies covers issues such as assessment and referral, systemic impact, and clinical techniques, preparing students to tackle substance abuse issues at both the individual and community levels.
The individual-level curriculum includes psychopharmacology, the recovery process from addictions, and a systems approach to substance abuse. At the community level, courses address community-based prevention strategies and communicating community needs with healthcare providers.
Jobs and Salaries You Can Get With a Community Health Degree
Because of the number of specializations, advanced degrees, and roles within the community health community, there are a considerable number of jobs and salaries available with this degree. Professional positions typically require successful completion of a postgraduate program, while other jobs are available immediately upon graduation. Here are common roles and salaries for community health professionals and health educator jobs:
- Individual and family services: $38,290
- Outpatient care centers: $40,990
- Social advocacy organizations: $47,450
- Health education specialists: $64,680
These are just a few examples of the many healthcare roles and the surrounding community available to graduates of the Community Health degree at Governors State University. If you wish to pursue a graduate degree, additional degrees and salaries can be available.
Explore the Application Process Today
Start your journey today in Chicago’s Southland. As a small school at the edge of a bustling city, Governors State University uniquely positions students in a range of intersecting communities. Work with groups within the Chicago Metro area to perform critical healthcare and advocacy roles. Apply today to see how you can advance your career or take the first community health steps. Work closely with professors and advisors through small class sizes and mentorship programs to make a difference in your community’s health.