Spring 2018 brings more global health courses to UC students

February 1, 2018

In an increasingly connected world, issues related to migration, population dynamics and disaster management are of growing concern for many disciplines, including global health.

UC students are eager to find solutions. 

To help them get there, three new courses – developed by the UC Global Health Institute (UCGHI) and UC’s Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI) – will be available for spring 2018 registration. The courses address current issues in global health and offer UC undergraduate students opportunities to explore a field that is growing in popularity.

Newly available courses include:

Migration and Health
Provides an introduction to the history, current status, and future of migration and health using the social determinants of health model to foster a multidisciplinary analysis of migrant health disparities.

Global Population, Health and Environment
Using a planetary health framework, this course examines concepts of demography, health, and environmental change from around the world. Engaging in current issues on the effects that our populations have on local and global environments, and the effects that our environments have on human and animal populations fosters cross-cultural and multidisciplinary problem solving.

Climate Change and Disaster Management
Examines the social, economic, environmental and health impacts of anthropogenic climate change through the lens of multiple disciplines, including public health, anthropology, and emergency management and preparedness.

UCGHI’s suite of online courses launched last fall with an Introduction to Global Health course as well as Ethics in Global Health. These courses equip students with the theoretical and practical knowledge they need to forge a career path in global health.

Global health attracts students from all disciplines – from psychology and engineering to economics and computer science – because global health issues are truly interdisciplinary.

“Introducing students to the idea that immigration itself is a social determinant of health is a core component of our course, and we use the online environment to expose students to the wide range of disciplinary approaches involved in understanding and addressing migration related health inequities,” explained Nancy Burke, PhD, MA, Migration and Health course co-creator and professor of public health at UC Merced.

“Having students from different disciplines and campuses come together really speaks to the collaborative nature of global health as a field,” said Woutrina Smith, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Global Population, Health and Environment course co-creator and professor of infectious disease epidemiology at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “Successful projects in the real world require high levels of coordination and cooperation, and that’s exactly what the online format allows us to practice,” she added.

Interested students from all UC campuses can learn more and register via the UC Cross-Campus Enrollment portal.  

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All undergraduates at the University of California now have the opportunity to take classes in global health through a partnership between the UC Global Health Institute (UCGHI), faculty from multiple UC campuses and the university’s Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI).

Over the next year, they will be launching a series of six to ten online global health courses, under the UCGHI umbrella. The first two classes, Introduction to Global Health and Ethics in Global Health, are open for fall enrollment.

Additional courses on population geography, health and the environment; poverty and development; migration and health; and climate change and disaster management are in development and slated for winter or spring 2018 enrollment.

Two faculty members from different campuses are developing each course, working with ILTI experts in online course development. Currently, faculty from eight of the 10 UCs plus faculty from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are developing courses.

“We have had a phenomenal response from UC faculty, who are working very hard to make this educational mission a reality,” said Oladele A. Ogunseitan, PhD, MPH, professor of public health and social ecology at UC Irvine and UCGHI ILTI director.  “They deserve all the credit for its success."

The UCGHI courses will be the first system-wide suite of online courses to be offered by UC.

“We hope eventually to provide courses sufficient for a Global Health minor on each campus,” said Ogunseitan. “This would be especially helpful for students at UC campuses that do not offer global health courses.”

Individual campuses could also determine that UCGHI courses fulfill general education, major or minor requirements. For example, the Introduction to Global Health course may fulfill the International/Global Issues requirement at UC Irvine.

UC students can enroll in the classes through the UC Cross-Campus Enrollment portal. If the student’s campus hosts the course, enrollment is through the campus registrar.

To learn more about the UCGHI global health courses, visit the UCGHI website.