St. Clair County Community College (SC4) and Western Michigan University (WMU) have signed a major agreement to create a smoother process for SC4 graduates who transfer to WMU to pursue a bachelor’s degree in public health.
Students interested in earning a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from WMU now can take a pre-public health pathway at SC4, which includes the first 60 credits of the program and results in earning an Associate of Science on their way to the four-year degree. Students would then transfer to WMU to take the 62 minimum remaining credits of the bachelor’s degree program.
A degree in public health prepares students for a growing field that focuses on primary prevention of negative population health issues in community settings. Unlike many other health care careers, public health professionals do not focus on individual patients or clients. Instead, they seek ways to prevent diseases, change people’s behavior, pass laws, increase access to health services, and increase awareness to at-risk populations.
WMU’s public health program is designed as a cohort model and offers access to practical experiences with area local agencies that immerse students in relevant programs and projects—and provide them with invaluable experiences that set them up for long-term success.
“We’re thrilled to partner with WMU to offer SC4 students a clearer and more concise path to a career in public health,” said Dr. Deborah A. Snyder, president of SC4. “This agreement and partnership will help students seamlessly transfer to WMU by minimizing the loss of credits and duplication of coursework.”
“We’re excited about this student pathway agreement with SC4,” adds Dr. Ron Cisler, dean of the WMU College of Health and Human Services. “The global pandemic truly highlighted the many ways we all rely on public health professionals on a daily basis. Employers in public health face a growing need for highly qualified professionals, and we are very happy to partner with SC4 to help our students meet that need.”
Under the terms of the agreement, SC4 and WMU will be jointly responsible for advising and assisting students and for maintaining collaboration among faculty, administrators and staff.
“This agreement between SC4 and WMU is a solution for a national challenge we are facing with the growing need for public health professionals,” said Robert Bensley, WMU professor of public health. “The recent pandemic has only confirmed the importance of having a strong public health workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics has identified public health as one of the fastest growing professions, in addition to the large turnover being experienced due to those eligible for retirement.”
The WMU Bachelor of Science in Public Health was recently identified by bachelorsdegreecenter.org as being one of the top 25 undergraduate public health programs in the country.
Potential career paths for public health professionals include:
- Public health educator
- Health educator
- Health education specialist
- Nutrition educator
- Community health educator
- Community outreach manager
- Wellness program specialist
- Health education coordinator
- HIV prevention coordinator
- Worksite health promotion specialist
- Health promotion coordinator
- Certified health and wellness coach
- Patient program coordinator
- Sexuality educator
- Behavioral health education specialist
- Injury prevention coordinator
- Substance abuse prevention specialist
- Tobacco treatment counselor
- Wellness account manager
- Community educator
- Community initiatives coordinator
- Youth/family program coordinator
- Sexual violence prevention coordinator
- Event specialist
- Community development director
Students must meet the standard admission, curriculum and graduation requirements of both institutions. Also, each institution will continue to maintain its own authority over its curriculum, course requirements, program requirements and degree requirements.
Prospective students can learn more about and apply to St. Clair County Community College online. Contact the SC4 team with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 810-989-5571, or schedule an advising appointment online.
St. Clair County Community College
St. Clair County Community College prepares students for rewarding careers through associate degrees, one-year certificates, and four-year degrees through university partnerships and transfer pathways. Founded in 1923, its commitment to providing affordable access to a college education and meeting community needs is unwavering and contributes greatly to the economic vitality of Michigan and beyond.
Western Michigan University
Western Michigan University is a learner-centered, research university, building intellectual inquiry and discovery into undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in a way that fosters knowledge and innovation, and transforms wisdom into action. As a public university, WMU provides leadership in teaching, research, learning, and service, and is committed to enhancing the future of our global citizenry.