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United Tribes offers new program
14 August 2007

BISMARCK (UTN) To assist in meeting the nation's shortage of health professionals, United Tribes Technical College is moving forward with a major, new program offering. Beginning this fall, UTTC is offering a new career and technical education program in the field of Community Health.

      The new program builds on the success of the college's ten year Injury Prevention program. It integrates the former curriculum and expands the program into the wider field of Community Health.

      "We're making the transition now," said Phil Baird, vice president of Career and Technical Education. "The new program will provide the knowledge and skill sets needed for graduates to serve in the Community Health field."

      Students who pursue the new degree at UTTC will be prepared to enter careers in community health. The program will provide the academic foundation and preparation to develop skills needed to change high-risk behaviors and social patterns in a variety of settings, both on and off the reservation.

      "The ultimate goal is to train future leaders who can be advocates for healthy behaviors and social conditions," said Baird.

      Coursework in the UTTC degree will include a wide range of health topics including, environmental science, injury prevention, gerontology, medical terminology, multicultural health, nutrition, and personal and consumer health.

      Upon completion, students will be prepared to enter the field or pursue a bachelor's degree in a health-related field. To assist students in transferring to a four-year college or university, UTTC is in the process of exploring articulation agreements with similar programs of study at Minnesota's Bemidji State University and other institutions that offer bachelor degrees in community health.

      Graduates who enter the job market will have the skill to be employed in such positions as community health educator, project specialist, community health representative, and after school facilitator in community health service programs, schools, private and public health agencies, and community health centers.

      Those who pursue careers in the health industry can expect to be rewarded with ample job opportunities. According to the U. S. Department of Labor, approximately 3.6 million new jobs will be created in the field by the year 2014. The health care industry will grow more rapidly than any other in the country.

      For graduates with an associate degree, the average entry-level salary ranges from $18,000 to $28,000 per year. As a student pursues further education higher incomes follow. Those with a bachelor's degree can expect an average entry-level salary from $25,000 to $32,000. With a master's degree the range increases from $30,000 to $40,000. A master's degree in public health combined with a few years of experience can command salaries exceeding $50,000.

      For more information about the United Tribes Community Health Program please contact: Michelle Schoenwald 701-255-3285 x 1258, mschoenwald@uttc.edu; or Larry Carlson x 1350, lcarlson@uttc.edu.


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