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Community Health Option, Health Science/A.S Degree

Program Advisor: Chris Aylesworth, DVM, 413-236-2107

Associate in Science Health Science: Community Health Option provides comprehensive coursework for students who would like to work in a rapidly expanding field of public health. The program closely matches freshman and sophomore curriculum at colleges offering Baccalaureate degrees in public health, community health, health education, and other related fields. Students who complete this degree will also earn a Community Health Worker (CHW) certificate as part of their degree requirement. 

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Expected Outcomes

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • Understand the essentials of US Health Care System and be able to navigate local, state, and federal programs and nonprofit organization services related to health insurance, public health, social services, and other resources to protect and promote health;

  • Identify and explain how different population groups are affected by health disparities and social determinants of health;

  • Understand and effectively use key public health models, concepts, and approaches in systematic solving of community health problems and in development, implementation, and coordination of public health initiatives/projects that aim to prevent risky behaviors and promote healthy lifestyles;

  • Communicate effectively with clients, community members, and colleagues in the contexts involving different cultural, socio-economic, demographic, and professional groups; 

  • Transfer to a Bachelor’s of Science Public Health (Health Education, Community Health, or other related field) program at a four-year college or university. 

Admission Requirements

Admission to the program will be based on an open enrollment basis. Students who enroll in the certificate program must fill out an application and have a high school transcript (or equivalent).

Graduation Requirements

To earn a degree in this program, a student must complete all program credits, plus the following additional requirements.

Program Courses

25 Credits

CHW-110: Essential Health Topics for CHW

3 credits

CHW-120: Community Health Worker Core Competencies 

4 credits

CHW-220: Practicum for CHW 1

3 credits

CHW-210: Introduction to Public Health

3 credits

AHS-111: Introduction to Patient Care Skills & Health Career Exploration 

3 credits

AHS-148: Responding to Medical Emergencies 

2 credits

CHW-225: Health Care in the United States 

3 credits

PSY-107: Introductory Psychology 

3 credits

ENV-127: Environmental Awareness & Responsibility 

1 credit

The Practicum for Community Health Worker will operate in compliance with the BCC policy that requires students participating in an academic, community or clinical program that involves potential unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and/or Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check.

General Education Courses

36 Credits

ENG-101/ENG-102/Other college ENG composition course 

6 credits

MAT-136: Mathematics for the Health Sciences 

3 credits

BIO-105: Fundamentals of Biology 

4 credits

CHM-150a: Essentials of Chemistry 

4 credits

COM-104: Introduction to Interpersonal Communication/
COM-105: Introduction to Oral Communication/
COM-107: Introduction to Oral Communication in Business 

3 credits

BIO-201: Anatomy and Physiology I 

4 credits

PHL-209: Ethics/
PHL-111: Alternatives to Violence 

3 credits

SOC-216: Racial & Ethnic Minorities 

3 credits

MAT-123: Elementary Statistics 

3 credits

HIS-225: Comparative Religions/
HIS-232: The World Since 1945 

3 credits

Professional electives chosen from the following:

Professional Electives 3 Credits
SOC-105 Introductory Sociology 3 Credits
CRJ-108 Substance Abuse Education 3 Credits
ECE-122 Special Needs in Early Childhood Education 3 Credits
PSY-208 Interviewing & Counseling 3 Credits
PSY-226 Abnormal Psychology 3 Credits

SOC-208 Contemporary Social Problems 

3 Credits

Additional Requirements 

Core Competencies Portfolio 2

Demonstrated college-level skills in reading and writing 

Minimum Cumulative Average:

  • Overall: 2.000 
  • Program requirements: 2.000 

2 Core Competencies Portfolio will consist of final assignments completed by the students and evaluated by course instructors as part of the requirement for five CHW courses. The portfolio should be submitted to the Program Advisor as part of the program completion requirement.  

Suggested Pathway to Graduation

The following is a suggestion for completing this program in two years. The actual time needed to complete the program will vary according to each student’s individual needs.

First Semester 16 Credits

ENG-101/ENG 102/Other college ENG composition course 

 3 credits

COM-104: Introduction to Interpersonal Communication/
COM-105: Introduction to Oral Communication/
COM-107: Introduction to Oral Communication in Business 

 3 credits

PSY-107: Introductory Psychology 

 3 credits

CHW-110: Essential Health Topics for CHW

 3 credits

CHW-120: CHW Core Competencies 

 4 credits
Second Semester 17 Credits

ENG-101/ENG-102/Other college ENG composition course 

 3 credits

CHW-210: Introduction to Public Health

 3 credits

CHW-220: Practicum for CHW

 3 credits

AHS-111: Introduction to Patient Care Skills & Health Career Exploration 

 3 credits

AHS-148: Responding to Medical Emergencies 

 2 credits
Suggested Electives (choose one)  

SOC-105 Introductory Sociology 

3 Credits

CRJ-108 Substance Abuse Education 

3 Credits

ECE-122 Special Needs in Early Childhood Education 

3 Credits

PSY-208 Interviewing and Counseling 

3 Credits
PSY-226 Abnormal Psychology 3 Credits

SOC-208 Contemporary Social Problems 

3 Credits
Third Semester 15 Credits

MAT-136: Mathematics for the Health Sciences 

3 credits

BIO-105: Fundamentals of Biology 

4 credits

CHM-150a: Essentials of Chemistry 

4 credits

CHW-225: Health Care in the United States 

3 credits

ENV-127: Environmental Awareness & Responsibility 

1 credit

Fourth Semester 16 Credits

BIO-201: Anatomy and Physiology I 

4 credits

PHL-209: Ethics/
PHL-111: Alternatives to Violence 

3 credits

SOC-216: Racial & Ethnic Minorities 

3 credits

MAT-123: Elementary Statistics 

3 credits

HIS-225: Comparative Religions/
HIS-232: The World Since 1945 

3 credits

For information about typical program costs, student loan debt, graduation rates, and jobs associated with this program, read the Gainful Employment Disclosure

This workforce program was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

Equal Opportunity Is the Law: It is against the law for this recipient of Federal financial assistance to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, or citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the U.S. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. If you think that you have been subjected to discrimination, you may file a complaint within 180 days with either the recipient's Equal Opportunity Officer or the Director, Civil Rights Center (CRC), U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Room N-4123, Washington, DC 20210.