CONCORD — Cabarrus College of Health Sciences continues to expand its health science program offerings with the introduction of a new Bachelor of Science in Community Health and Wellness.
This four-year bachelor’s degree program is designed to meet the growing need for improved community health, education, disease prevention and access to health care.
“Our communities are stronger when our people are healthier,” said Cabarrus College President Cam Cruickshank, Ph.D. “Graduates of our program will have the skills and knowledge to promote wellness, provide folks with accurate, insightful health information, and help ensure people can access the care they need to maintain and improve their health.”
The new bachelor’s degree offers two tracks: health care administration or a clinical track that enables graduates to obtain professional certifications in fields such as health education, lifestyle medicine and medical assisting. The program offers a holistic approach to community health, with coursework in nutrition, lifestyle medicine, community health, determinants of health, health maintenance, health care services, disease prevention, patient navigation, community health education and holistic care.
Graduates will be prepared for careers such as community health worker, health navigator, certified health education specialist, wellness coach and lifestyle medicine practitioner. The need for these professionals is clear, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting 13% job growth in the field through 2029. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020).
“Students enrolled in the Community Health and Wellness program will complete community fieldwork and capstone research projects, ideally within communities in need right here in Cabarrus County,” said program chair Rachel Houston, MPS, CMA (AAMA). “We will partner with Cabarrus Health Alliance, the NC Research Campus, Atrium Health Cabarrus and other local public health entities to ensure students are working alongside respected and trained community health workers as they positively impact historically marginalized communities, especially within our own county.”
Dr. Bonnie Coyle, public health director at Cabarrus Health Alliance, supports the need for this new educational program. “The ability to partner with the college and assist with the creation of a community health workforce is directly in line with our organizational goal to work at the community level to improve health outcomes,” said Coyle.
The inaugural class of the Community Health and Wellness program will begin in August 2022, and the college is now accepting applications. Interested applicants can call the college at 704-403-1555 or visit Community-Health-Wellness.CabarrusCollege.edu.
The Bachelor of Science in Community Health and Wellness is a new program, and approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is pending.