Professor Sue J. Goldie welcomed the Harvard Chan School’s incoming graduate cohorts with an on-line orientation – Foundations for Public Health (FPH). This newly-developed course provided a thorough introduction to the field of public health and topics that students will examine as they advance through their education at Harvard Chan. The new course revises a previous orientation week course developed and taught with former Harvard Chan School Dean Julio Frenk, and builds on his vision for a common public health foundation for all incoming graduate-level students. Professor Goldie established a core set of learning objectives, taking into account public health education accreditation criteria, to generate foundational curriculum content and craft the final teaching materials.
The video-based course comprised four modules: building a foundation for population health, health conditions and epidemiological trends, equity and social determinants of health, and responses from the health and non-health sector. It provided a conceptual foundation for critically thinking about public health, presented in “plain English words” to introduce students to the basics of key topics and complex concepts. The course was part of a complete orientation including a full day in-person case-study session. Students viewed the on-line component on their own, at their own pace, with the opportunity to review portions or segments of particular interest to their field of study. Additionally, with the help of the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator (GHELI) staff, Professor Goldie provided the students with a website that they could use as a “resource portal” for the entire year.
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