Advancing Public Health with Hands-on Learning
June 23, 2011
By Stephanie Thara
From biomedicine and nursing to dietetics and health fitness, the California State University provides students the hands-on training needed to save lives. The CSU confers 44 percent of the bachelor's degrees and 37 percent of all the master's degrees earned by California’s graduates in health-or medical-related fields. Furthermore, the CSU awards 97 percent of the state’s bachelor’s degrees in dietetics/nutrition, as well as 84 percent in health/physical fitness, 60 percent in nursing, 47 percent in psychology and 34 percent in biology.
The CSU takes pride in offering students opportunities that allow them to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it in a real-world setting. Initiatives, such as the Bridges to Stem Cell Research Awards, provide a comprehensive slate of lab and lecture courses, research-intensive internships, professional mentoring, career guidance, and community service opportunities. Similarly, the CSU has established several Professional Science Master's programs, which place students directly into active labs and worksites to learn science skills fundamental to the health care industry.
The following campuses have notable programs that let students expand on knowledge gained in the classroom:
- The Minority Biomedical Research Program at CSU Dominguez Hills offers students the opportunity to be integrated as research assistants in active research laboratories at the university, the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
- The CSU Northridge Language, Speech and Hearing Center has provided diagnostic and therapeutic services to children and adults with communication disorders since 1960. Today, the center averages 12,000 patient visits annually, training Northridge students to become professional speech/language or hearing specialists.
- San Diego State and San José State have received a combined total of nearly $10 million in U.S. Department of Labor grants for education, training and placement services in partnership with the health care and biotechnology industries.
- In San Diego, the Biotechnology Readiness, Immersion, Certification and Degrees for Gainful Employment (BRIDGE) project’s certificate and degree training focuses on fields of high need, including laboratory sciences/technology, regulatory affairs, quality assurance/control, computational sciences, medical physics and informatics.
- At San José, training prepares participants for licensure and certification as medical laboratory technicians, clinical laboratory specialists, cytogeneticists and clinical genetic molecular biologist scientists.