Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: One of the following: ENGL 1A or 1AH or ESLL 26.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VII: Lifelong Learning
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply the public health approach- problem, cause, intervention and implementation to a new public health problem
  • Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of a potential intervention
  • Apply principles for evaluating the quality of a health delivery system to that of a new health delivery system
  • Analyze the determinants of morbidity and mortality in a new situation
  • Analyze the degree of success in implementing essential public health services in a new situation
  • Synthesize the principles and tools of public health as applied to a new public health problem


Introduction to and an overview of public health. It covers: identifying and addressing population health challenges; determinants of health; and an overview of the health system. The basic concepts and terminologies of public health along with the history and accomplishments of public health officials and agencies are reviewed. An overview of the functions of various public health professions and institutions, and an in-depth examination of the core public health disciplines are covered. Key topics include the epidemiology of infectious and chronic disease; prevention and control of diseases in the community including the analysis of the social determinants of health and strategies for eliminating disease, illness and health disparities among various populations; community organizing and health promotion programming; environmental health and safety; global health; and health care policy and management.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Describe the historical development of public health including the most important achievements of public health.
B. Identify different public health disciplines, professions and organizations, and explain how each contributes to the field of public health.
C. Demonstrate the use of basic epidemiological methods, such as the analysis of rates, and the definition of cases, population at risk, risk factors, incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality.
D. Define important foundational concepts in community/public health.
E. Distinguish the difference between personal and public health.
F. Distinguish how public health differs from the traditional Western medicine approach to treating disease and illness.
G. Outline the process of community organizing, building and health promotion programming.
H. Describe the interplay between health determinants, such as environmental conditions, social, behavioral and cultural factors, and biological considerations, and explain the role of each in determining local, national and global health organization and policy.
I. Explain the impact of the environment and communicable diseases on the health of populations.
J. Explain the burden of chronic diseases on morbidity and mortality and approaches to prevention, early detection and control.
K. Describe the basic organization (and payment mechanisms) of health care and public health systems and the contributions of health professionals in the U.S. healthcare system.
L. Analyze current public health issues and describe how they affect societal well-being among specific populations of age, sex, ethnicity, minority, education and socioeconomic status.
M. Identify, assess and utilize credible information resources on community health current issues, such as the internet, social media, media outlets, and libraries.

Course Content

A. Definition of public health
1. Distinction between personal and public health
2. History and accomplishments of public health officials and agencies
3. Core functions of public health professions and institutions
B. Analytical methods of public health
1. Epidemiology: the basic science of public health
2. Principles, methods and limitations
3. Statistics: making sense of uncertainty
4. The role of data in public health
C. The biomedical basis of public health
1. Getting infectious diseases under control
2. New and emerging infectious disease
3. Chronic disease
4. Genetic disease
D. Community organizing and health promotion programming
E. Social and behavioral factors in public health
1. Health inequities among ethnic and minority groups
2. Education and socioeconomic status and health
3. Community concerns: including, but not limited to addiction, obesity, and violence
4. Maternal, infant and child, adolescent, adulthood and elder health
F. Environmental issues in public health
1. Clean air
2. Clean water
3. Garbage
4. Food and drug safety
5. Population control
6. Injury prevention
7. Emergency preparedness
G. Medical care and public health
H. Scenarios and case studies
1. Principles and tools of population health
2. Prevention of disease, disability and death
3. Public health institutions, providers and practitioners

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Computer projection equipment and document camera.
B. For all offerings of the course, students need on-going internet access and access to a computer; access to a printer is optional.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Scenario and case study analysis projects
Written assignments that evaluate understanding of course objectives and content

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Cases and discussion questions
Electronic discussions/chat
Practice activities to gauge understanding of content
Review of comprehension of key concepts
Quiz knowledge of key terms

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Riegelman, Richard. Public Health 101: Improving Community Health. 2019.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Assigned reading from textbook and completion of post at the end of each section of the course.
B. Practice activities to gauge understanding of content.
C. Review comprehension of key concepts.
D. Quiz knowledge of key terms.