Gaining Our BSPH Focus: Transitioning from Bouquet to Single Flower

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Many undergraduate programs in public health/health education and promotion have their foundation in the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) competencies. For many years, these programs have been training the future public health workforce-without calling it Public Health. Degree names range from a Bachelor of Science in: Health Science, Community Health, Community Health Education, and the like. Several of these programs have undergone significant transitions in the past two years, specifically, logistical transition - from one academic unit to another, degree name changes, and curriculum revisions in which coursework aligns more closely with current public health competencies for undergraduate education. These transitions represent trends in the field: the publication of guidelines for stand-alone BSPH or otherwise named programs and the incorporation of a major professional association (American Association for Health Education) into another professional association (SOPHE) directly aligns to these trends.

This presentation will describe the transition of one such program, a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, previously housed with a "bouquet" of other health-related programs: Exercise Science, Athletic Training, Nutrition, Health/PE teacher education and Sport Management in a College of Health and Human Sciences, to a "single flower" Bachelor of Science in Public Health in a College of Public Health. Specifically we will discuss: the challenges, resolutions and implications of: a) changing the name of the degree including marketing strategies for attracting new majors; b) advisement; c) curriculum reorganization; and d) incorporating current faculty with primary responsibilities for teaching in the graduate program to teach undergraduates.

We will share our lessons learned and best practices for achieving transition success.


Undergraduate Public Health and Global Health Education Summit


Arlington, VA