Public Health Pathway

Public Health Pathway

Are you interested in a career in a health profession? Or in addressing broad questions of public health? The Public Health Pathway provides an opportunity for students to explore a wide range of health-related careers by combining courses from across the academic divisions with a range of experiential learning opportunities.

Students in the Public Health Pathway will take up questions that go beyond the preparation for a professional degree in the health sciences. From the arts and humanities, what are the ethical and religious dimensions of health? From history and the social sciences, how are ideas and practices of illness and health manifest in different cultures? From the natural sciences, what are scientific tools and bodies of knowledge will help us understand health?

The Public Health Pathway provides students with an opportunity to explore public health careers by combining course work from across the academic disciplines, with a range of experiential learning opportunities that both allow students to apply the knowledge they have already acquired to conditions outside the classroom, and to acquire new knowledge through that experience. Equally important, the Public Health Pathway also provides ample opportunity and encouragement for students to think deeply and critically about how their strengths and skills can most effectively, and meaningfully, contribute to the health of a community. To facilitate this process, students on the Public Health Pathway will have access to a long list of alumni who have gone onto rewarding, fulfilling public health careers.

The field of public health is a crucial facet of the health-care system, and contains a very wide, diverse, and growing range of careers that focus on promoting the health and safety of the community, such as:

  • Dietitian and nutritionist
  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Health Educator
  • Community Health Worker
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
  • Public Health Nurse
  • Public Health Communications Specialist
  • Public Health Lawyer
  • Public Health Policy Analyst

Students who complete the Public Health Pathway will not only have a realistic understanding of the opportunities in the career path they will follow upon graduation, but will also understand the larger historical, economic, and social forces that influence public health. Upon graduation, these students will be well positioned to become effective participants, and ultimately leaders, in promoting community health and well-being.

Students will complete four courses from the approved list below (with no more than two courses coming from a single academic division).

Coursework requirements in the Public Health Pathway are also fulfillments of the College’s required courses for Learning Across the Disciplines.

Arts and Humanities

Coursework that meets this requirement considers issues in public health within disciplines in arts and humanities.

  • AMST 22600: History of Ancient Medicine
  • PHIL 21500: Biomedical Ethics
  • RELS 19901: Religion, Health, and Disease
  • RELS 26933: Religion and Science
  • RELS 26947: Death and Afterlives
  • RELS 26949 : Religion and Bioethics

History and Social Sciences

Courses approved to meet this requirement provide perspectives on public health issues from disciplines in history and the social sciences.

  • ANTH 21000: Biological Anthropology*
  • ANTH-29901: Global Politics of Reproduction*
  • COMD 14100: Introduction to Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • COMD 15400: Audiology Practicum*
  • COMD 15500: Language Enrichment Activities Practicum* (officially designated EL class)
  • COMD 15000, 15100, 15200, 15300: Speech and Language Clinical Practicum* (officially designated EL class)
  • COMD 24400: Audiology*
  • COMD 27000: Auditory Rehabilitation*
  • COMD 34400: Speech and Hearing Sciences*
  • COMM 26300 Health Communication*
  • ECON 26800: Health Economics*
  • ENVS 22000: From Farm to Table: Understanding the Food System
  • HIST 10184: Intro to Chinese Medicine
  • HIST 20115: Body in Chinese Tradition*
  • HIST 20135: The History of Pain
  • HIST 21200: Plague in Towns of Tuscany (TREK)
  • HIST 27511: Plagues in History* (TREK)
  • PSYC 21200: Psychopathology*
  • PSYC 23000: Human Neuropsychology*
  • PSYC 29916: Neurodiversity*
  • PSYC 29920: Global Perspectives on Disability
  • PSYC 32400: Cognitive Neuroscience*
  • PSYC 34500: Drugs and Behavior*

Mathematics and Natural Sciences

These are courses that offer applications of mathematics and natural sciences to issues in public health.

  • BCMB 33100: Principles of Biochemistry*
  • BCMB 33200: Biochemistry of Metabolism*
  • BIOL 10003: Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • BIOL 10009: The Biology of Nutrition
  • BIOL 33500: Microbiology*
  • BIOL 36600: Immunology*
  • CHEM 21100: Organic Chemistry I*
  • CHEM 21200: Organic Chemistry II*
  • DATA-10200: Introduction to Statistics
  • ESCI-25000: Intro to Geographic Information Systems
  • NEUR 39902: Neuropharmacology*

*Course has pre-requisite or requires instructor permission to register

PATH 11002: Initial Reflection

This course asks you to complete three basic steps:

  1. Spend time reflecting on several questions about why you’ve chosen this Pathway.
  2. Discuss your thoughts with other Public Health students, faculty, and staff.
  3. Write about how your initial thoughts, the conversations you had with your Pathway community, and any new or different insights you have as a result.

PATH 22002: Career Planning

For this course, you will explore career and internship resources offered through Career Planning in APEX, specifically Handshake and Fighting Scots Career Connections. You will also craft a career-ready resume. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the many resources offered by the Career Planning office to bring your resume to a truly professional level. Booking an appointment with a Career Planning staff member or peer advisor to go over your resume is strongly recommended.

PATH 33002: Experiential Learning

This course asks you to complete an authentic, hands-on experience in one of the career areas you’re exploring. It is more than simply having an experience, however. In order to maximize the benefits and learning you gain, you will deliberately walk through goal setting, planning, and “preflection” (pre-reflection) before you complete the career experience. During and after your experience, you will spend time considering what you learned about yourself from the experience and how those lessons might impact your next career steps. Completing this thorough, guided process is what makes this “experiential learning” rather than just an experience.

Steps to complete PATH 330:

Before Registering:

  1. Explore a range of possible experiences that will help you further your career goals.
  2. Plan your EL experience, taking advantage of resources and assistance offered by faculty or staff on the Pathway team, someone from APEX’s Experiential Learning & Community Engagement Office, Wooster alumni working in the career field, and/or your own connections in the field.
  3. Complete the EL Approval Form & gain official approval from your Pathway faculty/staff team.

During the Course:

  1. Complete your EL experience (can be done before or during PATH 330).
  2. Upload your EL Verification Form.
  3. Submit your post-EL reflection.

PATH 44002: Final Reflection

When you’ve completed all the elements of the Pathway – PATH 110, 220, 330 and your chosen topical courses – you will reflect on your total Pathways experience with questions like: What did the topical courses teach you that are relevant to this career area? What are the career lessons from your experiential learning experience(s)? How did your perceptions of this career area and your place in it shift over time and where have they landed for now? When you step back and look at the bigger picture of your Pathways experience, in what ways are you stronger and more prepared to take your next career steps?

You will present your reflections publicly, which both encourages significant reflection and benefits those who are coming behind you on their own career journeys. Generally, students will do this by presenting a poster at a college event. You will also need to update your resume with all your Pathway experiences and create or update your LinkedIn profile.

Students in the Public Health Pathway are required to complete two (2) EL opportunities.

These EL opportunities range from specific classes to volunteer experiences to off-campus study programs. The following list is illustrative of the types of EL opportunities that students can pursue along the pathway, but students can also develop and propose to the Public Health Pathway Committee additional EL opportunities that deepen their understanding of public health, and allow them to explore public health related careers.

Possibilities include:

  • Some certified EL courses
  • APEX Fellowships
  • Participate in the Health Coaches Program
  • Volunteer at Viola Startzman Clinic
  • Shadow medical and health professionals in Wooster, Wayne County, or elsewhere
  • Leadership in student clubs or organizations including Pre-Health Club, Minorities in STEM, First Responders, Colleges against Cancer, Sexual Respect Coalition, Wooster Volunteer Network, and others
  • Work in the Training Room of the Scot Center
  • Off Campus Study with a public health focus

Planning your EL:

  1. Read through the EL Approval Form and any other EL guidelines provided by your Pathway.
  2. Develop an idea about the type of experience you’d like to do and when you’d like to do it. Find experiences that might work for you. Some ways to do this:
  3. Create a list of the most exciting 2 or 3 opportunities you’ve found 
  4. Meet with someone from your Pathway’s faculty/staff team to choose one and get unofficial approval for the experience
  5. Apply for the experience.
  6. Once you’ve been accepted, review the EL Approval Form again and carefully collect all the required information.
  7. Fill out and submit your EL Approval Form.
  8. Once you’ve gotten approval for your EL, you can register for PATH 330.

Important EL Forms:

EL Approval Form: complete after planning your EL, before doing the EL. Submit through MS Forms.

EL Verification Form: done by you and your EL supervisor at the end of your EL. Submit as part of PATH 330 work.

Required Training

  • None Currently


Develop Professional Skills

Opportunities listed here will offer you a chance to develop your professional skills related to this Pathway. You will find everything from online courses to workshops to Wooster classes with a verified experiential learning component ("EL-credentialed"). Note: Not all Pathway courses are listed here and not all Wooster courses listed count toward your Pathway coursework. They are featured here because they may help you develop relevant professional skills.

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