Centenary University Introduces New Degree in Public Health
Program will prepare students to enter a dynamic field that is critical to the ongoing pandemic response and to the overall promotion of health and wellness
Hackettstown, N.J., April 26, 2021—Centenary University has launched a new Bachelor of Science in Public Health, the latest in a series of health science degrees introduced by the University to address a growing demand for healthcare professionals in northwestern New Jersey, as well as throughout the state and nation. Centenary’s public health program is currently enrolling students for the fall semester.
The new public health program was developed through Centenary’s partnership with the Lower Cost Models for Independent Colleges Consortium (LCMC). Through this collaboration, the curriculum for Centenary’s public health degree has been informed by leading world experts in the field, including Dr. Ajay Rangaraj, a technical officer at the World Health Organization, and Dr. Russell “Skip” Barbour, faculty and associate research scientist at Yale School of Public Health.
Centenary’s new public health degree will prepare students to work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including roles such as community health educator, epidemiologist, occupational health and safety practitioner, and environmental health technician. The healthcare field is expanding rapidly, charting 18 percent job growth over the past 10 years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened the focus on the critical need for well-trained individuals in the field, according to Dr. Craig Fuller, who will direct Centenary’s new public health program. An assistant professor of health sciences at Centenary, Dr. Fuller noted that today’s healthcare practitioners have been confronted with a variety of issues, including vaccine hesitancy and inequities in healthcare: “Over the past year, we’ve witnessed firsthand the devastating impact these and other issues are having on the fight against COVID-19. Now, more than ever, we need well-trained professionals with strong analytical skills who can think critically and react with empathy to the emerging healthcare needs faced by our nation and the world.”
Graduates of Centenary’s public health program will be prepared for employment in a wide variety of settings, from community clinics and public health organizations, to government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations. In addition to issues raised by the pandemic, the program will cover topics including healthcare accessibility, vaccination hesitancy, substance abuse, and foodborne illnesses.
Centenary University has strategically added new academic programs in the health sciences over the past three years in response to a growing need in the marketplace for trained professionals in these fields. In addition to public health, the University’s offerings now include bachelor’s degrees in health science, exercise science, and medical laboratory science. A key component of Centenary’s science programs is experiential learning. Internships are required during junior and senior years so students can apply the knowledge and techniques learned in coursework—such as knowledge of public health systems, research methods, and data analysis—in real world settings. Dr. Fuller has formed partnerships with regional hospitals, healthcare organizations, and clinical sites that provide hands-on learning experience for Centenary University students.
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in Parsippany, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.