The Maternal and Child Health minor is designed to prepare students for work to improve the health of women, children, adolescents and families. The minor takes a life-course perspective and focuses on areas such as global health, perinatal epidemiology, children and youth with special health care needs, autism spectrum disorders, family-centered maternal and pediatric care, breast feeding, health communication, program evaluation, health disparities, the role of technology in health care, and maternal and child health policy. Students accepted into this minor program will be assigned a faculty advisor from the school’s Maternal and Child Health Program, a multidisciplinary coalition of faculty, community partners and students with backgrounds in community health and prevention, health management and policy, epidemiology, environmental and occupational health, nursing, rehabilitation sciences, social work, medicine and technology –based on mutual student and faculty interest. Students develop skills in critical thinking, application and analysis of maternal and child health issues to be poised for entry into the maternal and child health work force or related doctoral programs.
For people who fund, plan, or implement public health programs, their questions often include: what outcomes do you expect, how will you know if you achieved the desired outcomes, and, for programs that have been implemented, what evidence can you provide that they are having intended effects? The minor in Health Program Monitoring and Evaluation prepares students to develop, improve, and critique public health programs using quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods that can be applied in governmental or non-governmental agencies and in domestic or global contexts. In addition to required courses, students are encouraged to take additional advanced research methods courses and to build practical evaluation experience into their graduate studies by working with faculty on a community-based evaluation project as part of their integrated learning experience.
This minor will strengthen students’ critical thinking skills and their knowledge of public health history and ethics, enabling them to more effectively and thoughtfully perform their primary jobs as professionals in public health practice. For students intending to pursue an academic career in public health, the minor will be of additional value because academics in public health, regardless of their specialty, are thought-leaders who should understand and be conversant in the field’s history, current points of ethical controversy, and the many ways in which these are influenced by conceptual assumptions, value judgments, and historical events. For students with a primary interest in the history and ethics of health professions, this minor will be of value because it will provide a foundation for careers in health care ethics (e.g., positions relating to human or animal research protections, legal or professional ethics) or for entrance into doctoral programs in the humanities or other interdisciplinary programs with an emphasis on ethics and policy.
The minor in Substance Use and Misuse will focus on key issues relating to the history, epidemiology, and study of drug use. This will include examination of drug policies, public health outcomes linked to substance use/misuse, and characteristics of marginalized individuals/communities who use drugs. Students will gain understanding of the economic, cultural, and health-related contexts of drug use, including consideration of intersects between drug use and homelessness, incarceration, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, mental health, violence, and health disparities. Coursework will address the use of qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the public health effects of drug use and about prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies and policies for addressing substance use and misuse. This includes consideration of the use of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, and cocaine; legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco/nicotine; and prescription drugs, such as pharmaceutical opioids, tranquilizers, and stimulants. Morbidity and mortality associated with substance use and misuse is a top public health concern, reflecting the impacts of drug dependence and overdose, drug-use-associated transmission of infectious diseases, and the overuse of prescription opioids in managing chronic pain associated with cancer and other conditions.