New Name for Degree/Certificate Program in School of Health Sciences

January 26, 2022

Hudson Valley Community College has changed the name of one of its academic programs in the School of Health Sciences in hopes of making clearer the career outcomes associated with the program.

What was known as the Community Health Navigation A.A.S. degree and certificate programs will now be known as Community and Public Health. Both programs will continue to be offered, but the degree will change from an associate in applied science (A.A.S.) to an associate in science (A.S.) to reflect a graduate’s ability to transfer on to a bachelor’s degree.

“We decided the name change would align with the kinds of careers that people are more familiar with. Community health navigation is a relatively new concept within the field of community and public health but the skills a student learns in these programs can be applied directly to a career in public health as well as this new field of health navigation,” said Department Chair Patricia Hyland.

Graduates of the Community and Public Health programs serve as a liaison between clients and the healthcare system at large. Acting as facilitators and coaches, they work directly with patients, providers and other healthcare professionals to connect clients with services and provide support for those navigating the healthcare landscape. Many of those who graduate and seek a career work on behalf of health care providers, local governments and non-profits.

And while the program can prepare students for work in the field directly after graduation, it also prepares students for transfer into community and public health bachelor’s degree programs. Transfer agreements exist with four-year programs at the University at Albany, SUNY Potsdam, The College of Saint Rose, Russell Sage College, Maria College and Excelsior College.

When first offered by the college in 2017, the certificate and associate degree programs were the first of their kind in New York State.

The concept of community health navigation represents a new way to approach community health care, with two-fold benefits. For one, it helps individual patients to break down the barriers to care and find their way through the sometimes-daunting healthcare system by providing help with navigating things like insurance, prescriptions, transportation, and follow-up care.

Spots remain for the incoming Fall 2022 class in the Community and Public Health programs. For more information about the program and its career options, contact the Department of Cardiorespiratory and Emergency Medicine at (518) 629-7454.

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