Department of Health

College of Health Sciences

207 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2931
Department of Health
Dr. Brenner, Chairperson
Dr. Carson, Graduate Coordinator

Program of Study

The Department of Health offers degree programs leading to the master of education in health (M.Ed.) and the master of public health (M.P.H.).

The M.Ed. enriches academic preparation for teaching health education in elementary and secondary schools. A concentration in school health is offered.

The M.P.H. is designed primarily to meet the individual needs of the graduate student pursuing a career in public health, with emphasis in community health, environmental health, and health care management.

Communication with the Department

All inquiries and other communications regarding the graduate program in health should be addressed to the graduate coordinator by email, lcarson@wcupa.edu. Students also may call for information at 610-436-2138 or fax at 610-436-2860.

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. For more information on the M.P.H. program, contact the department.


 

Master's Programs in Health

Certificates in Health

All applicants to one of West Chester University’s graduate programs will be held to the graduate admissions requirements. When applicable, additional requirements for admission into specific department program(s) may be listed below.

Admission Requirements for the Master of Public Health

Applicants must meet the basic requirements of the University for admission to graduate study and must present either a baccalaureate degree attained in their anticipated major area of health or equivalent preparation in a related field, and two letters of recommendation. Students applying to the M.P.H. program need an undergraduate course in statistics. Students who do not have adequate academic and professional preparation in the desired program of study will be required to take foundation courses. WCU undergraduates may be eligible to fast track into the M.P.H. program. Contact the department for details.

Admission Requirements for the M.Ed. in School Health

In addition to meeting the basic requirements of the University, applicants must present a baccalaureate degree attained in the field of health, or equivalent preparation in a related field and two letters of recommendation.

Admission Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Health Care Management

Applicants must meet the basic requirements of the University and must present either a baccalaureate degree attained in their anticipated major area of health or equivalent preparation in a related field. They must also submit a one-page statement of career objectives and arrange for two letters of recommendation. For more information contact Dr. Gopal Sankaran at gsankaran@wcupa.edu.

Admission Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Emergency Preparedness

Applicants must meet the basic requirements of the University and must present either a baccalaureate degree attained in their anticipated major area of health or equivalent preparation in a related field. They must also submit a one-page statement of career objectives and arrange for two letters of recommendation. For more information contact Dr. Charles Shorten, 610-436-2860; fax, 610-436-2860; or email, cshorten@wcupa.edu.

Admission Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Integrative Health

Applicants must meet the basic requirements of the University and must present either a baccalaureate degree attained in their anticipated major area of health or equivalent preparation in a related field. They must also submit a one-page statement of career objectives and arrange for two letters of recommendation. For more information contact Dr. Donal McCown at dmccown@wcupa.edu.

Admission Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

Applicants must meet the basic requirements of the University and must present either a baccalaureate degree attained in their anticipated major area of health or equivalent preparation in a related field. They must also submit a one-page statement of career objectives and arrange for two letters of recommendation. For more information contact Dr. Mary Bowen at mbowen@wcupa.edu.

All graduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the graduate catalog. Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department program(s) may be listed below.

Requirements for the M.P.H.

Requirements for Admission to Degree Candidacy in the Master of Public Health

Within the 12-15 semester hours of precandidacy, majors in health must complete departmental and concentration core courses with a minimum grade point average for these and all other courses during precandidacy of 3.0.

M.P.H. Community Service Requirement:

All students need  to complete at least 6 hours of community service. Courses where the M.P.H. Community Service Requirement is met are noted on the M.P.H. Track  Advising  Sheets.

Graduation Requirement

Students must complete the M.P.H. curriculum with a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.

Requirements for the M.Ed.

  1. Satisfactory completion of the M.Ed. curriculum, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in the concentration
  2. Successful completion of the research project

Registration Policy for Research Credits

Research credits for the M.Ed. are earned in HEA 601. These credits must be preceded by successful completion of the degree core, concentration core, and concentration electives taken under advisement. The student can enroll in HEA 601 only once.

Requirements for Admission to Degree Candidacy for the M.Ed. in School Health

Within the 12-15 semester hours of precandidacy, the student must complete departmental and concentration core courses with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. Students who do not have adequate professional and/or academic preparation for the desired program of study will be required to take foundation courses. Teaching certification is not offered through this program.

Professors

Debra Bill (1998)

B.A., Central Connecticut State University; M.P.H., University of North Carolina; Ph.D., Temple University

James W. Brenner (2004)

Chairperson, Health

B.S., West Chester University; M.Ed., College of New Jersey; Ph.D., Temple University

Lynn Carson (1991)

Graduate Coordinator, Health

B.A., Neumann College; M.S., St. Joseph's University; Ph.D., Temple University

Bethann Cinelli (1987)

B.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania; M.Ed., Temple University; D.Ed., Pennsylvania State University

Tammy C. James (1994)

B.S., M.E., Ph.D., Kent State University

Gopal Sankaran (1989)

B.S., M.B., Maulanaazad Medical College (India); M.D., All India Institute of Medical Sciences; M.P.H., Dr.P.H., University of California, Berkeley

Charles V. Shorten (1989)

B.S., M.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Ph.D., Clemson University

Associate Professors

Tanya Gatenby (2000)

B.A., M.S., University of Arkansas; Ph.D., University of North Carolina

Donald McCown (2011)

B.A., Eastern University; M.S.S., Bryn Mawr College; Ph.D. Tilburg University

Christine Williams (2009)

B.S., M.S., University of Delaware; Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University

Assistant Professors

Lorenzo Cena (2016)

B.S., Brigham Young University; M.S., Iowa State University; Ph.D., University of Iowa

Sharon Bernecki Dejoy (2012)

A.S., Miami-Dade College; B.A., Columbia University; M.P.H., Ph.D., University of South Florida

Harry Holt (2016)

B.S., Economics/Pre-Law/Political Science, Indiana University; Juris Doctorate, MBA Case Western University; Ph.D. Health Policy and Administration, The Pennsylvania State University

Whitney Katirai (2016)

B.A., University of Louisville; M.P.H., Ed.D., University of Kentucky

Neha Sunger (2014)

M.S. Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur; Ph.D. Drexel University

Chiwoneso Tinago (2016)

B.S., William Carey University; M.P.H., University of Southern Mississippi; Ph.D., University of South Carolina

ENV

ENV 524. Industrial Hygiene. 3 Credits.

A study of the recognition, evaluation, and control of health hazards in the work environment.
Pre / Co requisites: ENV 524 requires prerequisite of ENV 530.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall.

ENV 530. General Environmental Health. 3 Credits.

This course will address the protection of human health from environmental disease agents. Students will learn current issues in environmental risk assessment, air and water pollution, waste management, and workplace health and safety. Students will use this information to communicate effectively the relevant environmental risk to populations they serve. Training and education strategies and the use of instructional resources, including the Internet, will be integrated into the learning experience.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall.

ENV 532. Hospital Environment. 3 Credits.

A comprehensive assessment of the environmental health aspects of hospitals, including micro-biologic considerations, environmental hygiene, safety, general sanitation, and administration.

ENV 533. Water Quality and Health. 3 Credits.

An examination of the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of natural waters and their significance for human health; methods of water treatment and distribution also will be considered.
Typically offered in Summer.

ENV 538. Ground Water Contamination. 3 Credits.

Provides a qualitative and quantitative examination of the fate, transport, and remediation of contaminants in ground water.

ENV 545. Risk Assessment. 3 Credits.

Provides a qualitative and quantitative examination of hazard, toxicity, and exposure assessment to establish human health and ecological risk from environmental contamination.
Typically offered in Spring.

ENV 547. Environmental Regulations. 3 Credits.

Provides a fundamental overview of major environmental law principles. Focuses on a wide range of air, waste, water, transportation, and occupational regulations.
Typically offered in Fall.

ENV 551. Environmental Toxicology. 3 Credits.

A multifaceted investigation of the health problems caused by various toxins and hazards found in the general environment and the workplace. The human body's reactions to environmental toxins; how suspected environmental toxins are experimentally investigated and the specific health effects of critical environmental toxins will be emphasized.
Pre / Co requisites: ENV 551 requires prerequisite of ENV 530.
Typically offered in Spring.

ENV 553. Occupational Safety. 3 Credits.

A study of the practices to reduce safety risks in the work environment through recognition, evaluation, and control of safety hazards.
Pre / Co requisites: ENV 553 requires a prerequisite of ENV 530.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Spring.

ENV 570. Emergency Preparedness. 3 Credits.

This course examines the historical, legal, and regulatory framework for dealing with emergencies emphasizing the four phases of emergency management. It addresses emergency preparedness by schools, businesses, communities, and counties for natural disasters, failures of technology (spills, accidents, and explosions), and acts of war or terrorism. The course is designed for professionals in environmental and public health, emergency responders (police, fire, hazmat, and medical), planners, educators, and others who may serve in a leadership capacity.
Typically offered in Summer.

ENV 575. Bioterrorism Bio-Crises & Public Health. 3 Credits.

This course addresses the protection of the public's health and that of workers such as first responders from biological agents that cause disease and/or death. Students will learn scientific concepts, issues and techniques currently used in disaster mitigation and response for vio-crises such as disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics as well as bioterrorism emergencies. Students will manage scenarios to enhance leadership skills. As available, a service learning research project will be incorporated.
Typically offered in Fall.

ENV 581. Special Topics: ENV. 1-3 Credits.

An in-depth study of selected, current topics relevant to the development of environmental health professionals. Specific topics will be noted in the master schedule.
Pre / Co requisites: ENV 581 requires prerequisite of ENV 530.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

HEA

HEA 500. DISEASES. 3 Credits.

Provides a contemporary view of disease and prevention, and a more precise understanding of disease processes. Body systems are reviewed, and the etiology, pathophysiology, symptoms, diagnostic techniques, and treatment methods used in selected diseases are studied. Illnesses most frequently found in our society are explored.

HEA 501. Integrative Health. 3 Credits.

A comprehensive evaluation of alternative and complementary medicine aimed at describing how these modalities are being integrated with allopathic care. Focus will be on Eastern, African, and Native American traditions; homeopathy; naturopathy; botanical medicine; energy work; and mind/body health.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 502. Human Development Implications Health Education. 3 Credits.

This course examines human development from an applied perspective. Health educators and others working with preschool and school-aged children, as well as adolescents will examine physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Course participants will explore developmentally appropriate approaches to education and mentoring of children and youth. The course includes the use of readings on contemporary issues and policy initiatives affecting children and youth, along with case studies.

HEA 511. Stress Management Techniques and Program Development. 3 Credits.

The first half of the course is devoted to examining basic stress concepts, the psychophysiology of stress, common stressors and their effect, and the relationship between stress and disease. The second half consists of a comprehensive review of stress management techniques that deal with cognitive restructuring, relaxation, and relationship building. Considerable emphasis is placed on personal application and group interaction in the classes.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 512. Challenge of HIV/AIDS: ISS-IMP-PREV-CONT. 3 Credits.

Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS; natural history of HIV infection, psychosocial, economic, educational, ethical, legal, and health care issues related to HIV/AIDS will be addressed. Impact on social groups (minorities, women, and adolescents) will be discussed. Heath promotion and disease prevention strategies will be highlighted.
Typically offered in Fall.

HEA 513. Legal Aspects of Health Care. 3 Credits.

An analysis of the basic legal concepts and major legal issues that are important to and directly affect the health services administrator. Topics include legal frameworks of health organizations and health practitioners, administrative policy, contracts, consent, patient's rights, legal death, insurance, liability, and research.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 514. Approaches to Health Care Delivery. 3 Credits.

The future of managed care depends on the performance of the managed care industry, especially the goal of providing high quality health care at the lowest costs possible. This course will discuss the challenges faced by managed care organizations and strategies used to overcome them.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Summer.

HEA 516. Health Care Management. 3 Credits.

Administrative and management techniques acquired in the administrative core are applied to the problems involved in health administration/management. Topics will include federal, state, and local health agencies; health care centers; organization principles; personnel factors; public relations; and fiscal management.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

HEA 520. Public Health Epidemiology. 3 Credits.

An overview of the epidemiological model of disease causation. Various epidemiological study designs and their applications will be presented.
Pre / Co requisites: HEA 520 requires a prerequisite of MAT 121 or equivalent.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

HEA 526. Biostatistics for Public Health. 3 Credits.

An overview of scientific methods, research designs, sampling, and survey techniques pertinent to the study of health issues will be presented. Choice and use of epidemiological and statistical software to analyze health data sets will be emphasized.
Pre / Co requisites: HEA 526 requires a prerequisite of MAT 121 or equivalent.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

HEA 527. Human Sexuality & Family Life Education. 3 Credits.

This course will address current trends in family life education and the development and implementation of programs in schools and community settings. Emphasis will be placed on developing appropriate content and strategies useful in the classroom.

HEA 529. Mental Health Issues & Sch Hea Program. 3 Credits.

This course provides an overview of mental health and counseling issues affecting children and youth in today's school and communities. The goal of the course is to broaden the student's understanding of key mental health issues children face in school and community settings. This course will provide relevant background information that will be used to promote positive mental health in the school, clinic, and community setting.

HEA 531. The Community as a Basis for Health. 3 Credits.

An analysis of the community with its diverse population and its response to critical and current health problems. Emphasis will be placed on the need for balance between individual and community needs, rights, and responsibilities.
Typically offered in Fall.

HEA 537. Women's Health Issues A Transcultural Perspective. 3 Credits.

Using a life cycle approach, a comparative analysis of women's lives and their health status across different cultures and nations will be made. Women's health status as related to their mutiple roles in the family and society.

HEA 538. Evaluation of Health Programs. 3 Credits.

Emphasis will focus on the procedures essential to the evaluation of health programs in a variety of settings (community, medical, school, worksite). Major areas include conducting needs assessments, quality assurance measures, data collection methods, and preparation of final reports. Includes both theoretical and practical experience.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 539. Health Promotion Program Planning. 3 Credits.

An advanced program palnning course that provides students with an opportunity to apply theories, principles, teaching strategies and methods by developing a comprehensive plan for a health promotion program.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 543. Transcultural Health Practices. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the role of culture in health and illness, and its role in accessing and utilizing health care in the United States.
Typically offered in Fall.

HEA 544. Program Administration in Health and Human Service. 3 Credits.

This course will provide students with the skills needed to administer community health programs in a non-profit setting with a focus on program management in non-profit agencies.
Typically offered in Summer.

HEA 545. Mind/Body Medicine. 3 Credits.

A comprehensive evaluation of the mind's role in disease prevention and healing. Emphasis will be placed on learning and practicing mind/body techiniques and assessing the mind's role in preventing disease and promoting healing.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 546. Medical Geography for Management. 3 Credits.

This course is a survey of medical geography which includes a broad range of geographical work in health care. Emphasis is placed on human-environment interactions and their influence on public health. Medical geography distinguishes itself from the discipline of geography by its thematic focus, not its methods or theoretical grounding. In this course, students will learn course content and in addition, develop their mapping skills through a computer-based program with the idea of helping students understand the importance of medical geography through the hands-on application of medical geography research.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Summer.

HEA 547. Principles Of Botanical Medicine. 3 Credits.

A comprehensive evidence-based assessment of botanical medicines in health promotion, disease prevention and symptom management.

HEA 548. A Life Span Approach to Public Health. 3 Credits.

Using a life span approach, this course will examine how disability, disease and other poor health outcomes at end of life are associated with a range of adverse social and behavioral health risks incurred across the life span and stemming from early life conditions and experiences. Using this approach students will learn about current public health programs for older adults, develop and evaluate such programs and refine or develop interventions designed to prevent/delay poor health outcomes.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

HEA 550. Evidence-Based Medicine and Public Health. 3 Credits.

A seminar on learning salient principles of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based public health and their applications to improve health of individuals and populations.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 555. Women's Health Issues A Transcultural Perspective. 3 Credits.

Using a life cycle approach, a comparative analysis of women's lives and their health status across different cultures and nations will be made. Women's health status as related to their multiple roles in family and society.

HEA 581. Special Topics: Health. 1-3 Credits.

In-depth study of selected health topics current to the interests and needs of professionals serving in various health and health-related areas. Topics will be announced prior to the first day of each semester.
Typically offered in Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

HEA 601. Research/Report Writing. 3 Credits.

The M.Ed. candidate selects a school health issue or a critical topic for review of the literature and produces a scholarly manuscript for publication in a professional journal.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

HEA 609. Independent Study and Special Projects. 1-3 Credits.

Research projects, seminar papers, reports of special conferences, and reading in health.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.

HEA 610. Integrative Health Coaching. 3 Credits.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of the theory and practice of health coaching in integrative health and health promotion programs and settings.

HEA 611. Field Placement. 3 Credits.

A project for students in health concentrations. All core course work should be completed before beginning the project.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.

HEA 612. Health Care Financial Analysis and Management. 3 Credits.

This course is an introductory health care finance course for graduate students. Emphasis is placed on the most important accounting and financial management principles and concepts relevant to organizations that provide health care services.
Distance education offering may be available.

HEA 613. Advocacy and Quality of Health Care Services. 3 Credits.

An introduction to patient advocacy for graduate students in health professions. Topics include ethics, health care financing and policy, health advocacy for special populations, and key strategies for system change.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall.

HEA 614. Health Care Technology and Information Management. 3 Credits.

This course will provide future health care managers with the knowledge and skills they need to work effectively with information systems technology. Topics covered in this course include emerging technology, information systems, the internet's impact on health care organizations, and system standards, among others.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall.

HEA 616. Strategic Leadership in Health Care. 3 Credits.

Healthcare industry requires visionary, creative and transformational leaders who can navigate effectively through a dynamic and complex landscape. This course will provide foundational concepts and principles necessary for exercising strategic leadership.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 620. School Health Programs. 3 Credits.

This course provides the theoretical underpinnings of the profession, professional responsibilities, and programmatic and critical issues in comprehensive school health programs.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 622. Principles of Curriculum and Instruction for Health. 3 Credits.

This course will address the foundation, philosophy, and practice of comprehensive school health education. Major focus in on the development, implementation, and evaluation of K-12 comprehensive school health education.
Typically offered in Fall.

HEA 623. Substance Abuse Prevention. 3 Credits.

Designed for future and present school and public health educators, this course includes content and program planning skills for community and school: tobacco, alcohol, and other drug prevention curriculum and programs.
Typically offered in Spring.

HEA 632. Social and Behavior Aspects of Public Health. 3 Credits.

An advanced course on current theories in health behavior and the application of these theories to management methods in the health care field. Topics include trends in health behavior, health concerns, analysis of the decision-making process, and factors affecting health behavior.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

HEA 645. Global Community Health Promotion. 3 Credits.

Global Community Health Promotion (3) This course focuses on the core concepts involved in the planning, assessment and implementation of global community health promotion among different cultures from around the world. Topics will include key concepts in global community health, how to measure global community health, tools to assess a specific country's health status, culture, and resources, as well as strategies to improve a specific country's health status, issues of health equity and aging around the world, and key organizations involved in global community health. Students will be asked to develop a country-specific community health promotion plan from a global community health perspective.
Typically offered in Summer.

HEA 648. Research Methods in Public Health. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the theory and practice of research applied to public health problems. Students will be exposed to the design and implementation of public health research projects. The course is centered on the tools and techniques of research and their application to formal research design.
Pre / Co requisites: HEA 648 requires prerequisites of HEA 520 and HEA 526.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

HEA 649. Applied Learning Experience I. 3 Credits.

This course prepares students for the Applied Learning Experience II which includes the culminating experience (research report) and practicum. This preparation will include a comprehensive and integrated application of MPH curriculum in the development of the research and major project plan.
Pre / Co requisites: HEA 649 requires prerequisites of HEA 520, HEA 526, and HEA 648.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

HEA 650. Applied Learning Experience II. 3 Credits.

This course is intended as a capstone experience in the M.S. in health program. It is intended to bring students together from a wide array of subdisciplines in public health, and through field and research experience explore and share common principles of public health practice. Students will choose a project within their area of expertise and, under faculty guidance, produce an end product that meets professional standards. A formal student presentation of the final product is the culminating experience of the seminar.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.