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The major in community health prepares students for careers in healthcare, public policy, community education, and much more. Graduates understand both macro and micro perspectives of health within communities.

Why should I study community health?

This B.A. is for students who have an interest in seeing families and communities become and stay healthy. As our world continues to globalize, the need for community health practitioners who see the value of each human life and the collective needs for all of us to flourish grows. You'll gain a deeper understanding of health, how to determine the needs of individuals and different communities, and how to promote wellness and well-being in diverse settings.

Completion of the community health major establishes eligibility to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) examination. This exam measures the possession, application, and interpretation of knowledge essential to the practice of community health/health education. The CHES certification is a national standard for health education practice. 

The degree pairs well with studies or interest in nursing, psychology, and social work.

What can I do with this degree?

Your academic experience will include courses in a variety of disciplines, preparing you for a wide range of careers. Graduates may immediately enter the field in entry-level positions in settings including:

  • City, county, and state government
  • Corporations
  • Department of health
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Health clubs
  • Family planning agencies
  • Nonprofit agencies
  • State and federal health agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • K–12 schools
  • Universities and colleges
  • Community health centers
  • Hospitals and clinics

Within these settings, your responsibilities may vary and include:

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Planning, implementing, and evaluating health programs
  • Teaching in community health settings

Our alumni have held a variety of titles, including:

  • Community health educators or specialists
  • Health and wellness educator
  • Director of volunteers
  • Health administrator
  • Hospital or medical clinic staff
  • Senior healthcare facility staff
  • Community service agency director
  • Community service specialist
  • Health programs outreach specialist
  • Health officer
  • Case manager
  • Employee wellness coordinator
  • Health program director
  • Prevention specialist

You may also choose to continue your education at graduate schools across the country, equipping you for careers in fields like:

  • Health management
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physician assistant
  • Physical therapy
  • Public health (epidemiology, environmental health, etc.)
  • Social work
  • Counseling

What skills will I develop?

  • Critical thinking
  • Effective collaboration
  • Cross-cultural and interpersonal communication
  • Research skills
  • Methods for teaching health topics
  • Leadership 
  • Integration of Christian faith with the study of health and wellness
  • Seeing the big picture of sociological and environmental issues that impact community wellbeing

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Learn beyond the classroom

All community health students gain real-world experience through participation in an internship. During your internship, you'll engage the practice of community health through working in a clinic, social work agency, nonprofit organization, or other location that provides hands-on learning.

Besides a required internship, courses will include practicums and a field experience that expose you to a variety of career opportunities. In addition, internship experiences and other opportunities—including grants and scholarship prospects—may be gained through collaboration with Bethel's Center for Healthcare Excellence.

Make a difference

Service-learning opportunities through your classes or cocurriculars will enrich your studies, preparing you to serve others with your vocation even before you leave Bethel.

Academic Plans and Courses

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