A new partnership is enhancing opportunities for Earlham College students to pursue careers in public health.
Earlham has established a preferred pathway with the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis that provides a recommended track for graduates to apply to the Master of Public Health (MPH) program. The development of this pathway is one of the goals of Earlham’s Indiana Pathways program.
“This preferred pathway allows Earlham to raise the profile of public health as a career option on campus,” Professor of Chemistry Mike Deibel says. “Our students will benefit from earlier admissions decisions so they can better plan for their future.”
Public health is an emerging career of choice for Earlham students and workers with advanced credentials are in demand across the United States. Students at Earlham who are interested in public health often major in neuroscience, biology, biochemistry and pscyhology. But public health workers also have degrees in politics, economics, peace and global studies and statistics, Deibel says.
“We tend to draw and attract students who have a strong interest in health but also want to make a larger impact on the world,” he says. “While one way to do that is through one-on-one healthcare, one other way is by shaping and promoting public policy.”
The MPH is a 45-credit program that combines coursework with internships on the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis campus, across the U.S. and abroad. Full-time students can earn the degree in two years.
To prepare students, Earlham’s Indiana Pathways Grant is supporting two paid undergraduate internships with the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and two internships with the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. Additional support and career mentorship is available through Earlham’s Integrated Program in Health Sciences.
“This pathway takes a lot of the stress out of the application process,” says SoeYu Naing ’16. “I think this partnership is really meaningful and will be a great fit for any student who has a desire to make some positive impact on the health of the community, nation and world.”
Naing already is making a difference in the Richmond community as a convener of Earlham’s Public Health Club, which offers students the opportunity to discuss and express concerns for pressing health issues. Naing also organizes the Club’s campus blood drives, which has received the Life Saving Ambassadors plaque from the Richmond Community Blood Center for meeting its goals the last five years.
Dr. Carole Kacius, the associate dean of education and training for the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, says Earlham’s students make strong candidates for admission into the MPH program.
“The values that Earlham students have are similar to the values of successful public health professionals,” Kacius says. “Earlham’s students are interested in research and humanitarian service, exhibit strong leadership skills, and are socially concerned and globally engaged.
“Public health professionals are in demand and we are committed to meeting that need in Indiana,” she says. “We often have students who are hired before they graduate.”