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Released February 25, 2004


LONG BEACH -- The University of Southern Mississippi will be expanding its Community Health Sciences (CHS) program to the Gulf Park campus starting this fall. The program will offer an undergraduate (bachelor of science) degree in health promotion.

"There is definitely a market for the health promotion emphasis area of our program on the Coast," said Dr. Jim McGuire, assistant director and undergraduate coordinator of CHS in Hattiesburg. "With the increasing number of health-related facilities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, there is a demand for more health care workers. Potential students, especially those coming out of junior colleges, can now pursue a BS degree in health promotion without driving or moving to Hattiesburg."

Four CHS program core courses will be offered this fall, with four additional courses scheduled for spring 2005. The following year, all remaining CHS required courses will be offered and reflect the program currently existing in Hattiesburg. Because the CHS courses being offered at Gulf Park are junior and senior level courses, students wishing to enter the program must have completed almost two years of college coursework while maintaining a specified grade average before being admitted. After formal admission into the program, students will complete all required CHS courses, electives, and a practicum.

"The program is an excellent opportunity for students who already have numerous college credits, yet are uncertain of a degree to pursue," said McGuire. "The growth for Southern Miss is heading to the Coast and we want to be one of the programs to succeed with expansion."

The health promotion degree requires study in the planning and administration of health programs, community health services, disease causation and prevention, contemporary health issues, national and international health concerns, program evaluation and health educational strategies. Students are then prepared to receive jobs in a wide variety of health settings, including hospitals, health clinics, health departments, private health agencies, industry and government agencies.

Southern Miss has been offering the master of public health (MPH) degree at the Gulf Park campus for many years and accepts students every semester, according to McGuire.

"Expanding our undergraduate health promotion program to the Gulf Park campus is important for all of South Mississippi," said Dr. Amal Khoury, associate professor in CHS at Hattiesburg. "There is a steadily increasing interest in health promotion as a profession and the Mississippi coast has plenty of opportunity for work once students attain the degree."

For more information about the new health promotion degree, or the MPH at the Gulf Park campus, call (228) 865-4517.



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March 4, 2004 12:49 PM