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CWU partners with Edmonds College to streamline public health degree

ELLENSBURG, Wash.Central Washington University has established an articulation agreement with Edmonds College (EC) designed to streamline the transfer process between the Pre-Nursing associate’s degree at EC and the Public Health bachelor’s degree at CWU. The initiative gained traction in response to growing demand in the public health field, according to CWU Executive Director of Extended Learning Lauren Hibbs.

“With an increased focus on community health outcomes, health care programs have become very, popular,” she said, noting that Edmonds College recently opened a state-of-the-art health-sciences facility that has encouraged even more community members to pursue their two-year degrees.

“This partnership formed for students who are on the pre-public health pathway to allow them to have a seamless transfer experience to CWU’s online public health program,” Hibbs added. “Once finished, students are prepared for employment in both the public and private sector.”

EC has partnered with Central for decades and hosts the CWU-Lynnwood university center. The long-term relationship between the two institutions played a key role in the formation of the agreement, as constant communication between the two institutions was necessary to ensure the degree requirements lined up.

The Pre-Nursing to Public Health transfer agreement—which goes into effect this fall—will ensure students can complete all of the requirements for the pre-nursing specialization before tackling the Public Health bachelor’s degree. Dr. Melody Madlem, a CWU Public Health professor and the transfer agreement program director, says this broad approach will produce more well-prepared public health professionals.

“To me, the best-trained nurse is one who also understands public health theory, and the best-trained public health professional is one who understands the role of health and health care,” Madlem said. “I think that starting your public health and pre-nursing degree at a community college means added value, as a broader perspective is vital to such an interdisciplinary field.”

In addition to ensuring a seamless transition to Central, the agreement offers students who might not otherwise have been able to attend CWU the opportunity to earn a public health degree in-person or online from a state university on flexible, student-oriented terms.

Providing added value to the degrees, the public health industry is prevalent in the Edmonds area, which could prove to be the push students need to catapult them into an in-demand, high-paying field.

“I always tell people that what you can’t do in public health is a shorter list than what you can do,” Madlem said. “Public health influences every aspect of our lives, and as we all realized during Covid, it has taken on an even more visible role.”

Source Content: Central Washington University

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