Public Health (B.S.) in Public Health Promotion - NIU - College of Health & Human Sciences

Public Health

Public Health (B.S.) in Public Health Promotion

h1n1Serving primarily as community educators, health promotion professionals work to promote health and prevent disease by positively influencing the behavior of individuals as well as their living and working conditions. Health promotion professionals begin their work by collecting and analyzing data to identify community needs. They then design, implement, monitor, and evaluate programs to meet those needs.

To accomplish their work, health promotion professionals need good communication skills and specialized training in techniques that encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments.

Programs to prevent cancer, violence, substance abuse or heart disease or to promote healthy lifestyles through physical exercise and proper nutrition are typically designed by health promotion professionals. As healthcare costs continue to rise, policy makers will increasingly turn to the preventive approaches of health promotion professionals.

The curriculum for Health Promotion pairs the Public Health curriculum with a menu of courses from areas such as health education and communication studies. 

Job Settings

  • County Health Departments
  • Consumer advocacy organizations
  • International organizations
  • Wellness programs
  • Health service delivery organizations
  • Voluntary Healthcare Organizations (e.g., American Cancer Society)
  • Federal and State and Local Health Agencies 
  • Hospitals
  • Disease Management Firms
  • Consulting Firms 

Sample Job Titles

  • Consumer Information Director 
  • Health Educator 
  • Health Education Consultant
  • Nutrition and Fitness Consultant
  • Director, Marketing and Education
  • Patient Service Representative
  • Social Services Coordinator
  • Health Education Specialist, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • STD/HIV Case Worker
  • Outpatient Intake Coordinator
  • Assistant Director of Public Relations
  • Community Outreach Coordinator 

Key Issues

  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Injury prevention
  • Maternal and child health
  • Chronic disease
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Violence prevention

Job Trends

  • The AIDS epidemic with its related complex medical, legal, economic and social issues is expected to substantially increase the need for qualified health educators throughout the world.
  • There is growing demand for culturally diverse outreach workers who can speak a second language and are trained in behavioral and community-based intervention technologies to both educate and empower populations at risk to improve and enhance their health status.
  • Greater emphasis on integrating health promotion and disease prevention in capitated health plans (managed care) is rapidly increasing in primary care settings as well as in community-based outreach programs.
  • Educators trained in maternal and child health, nutrition, sanitation, industrial hygiene, population control and prevention of disease will increasingly find career opportunities in developing countries. 

Internships and Job Opportunities

The Public Health Program is affiliated with over 120 health care agencies in the Northern Illinois Region which offer Internships to students.  These same sites also frequently employ our alums.