Vital Signs: Public Health and Social Policy

Fall 2014 quarter

Taught by

academic and creative writing, U.S. literature, research methods in the humanities

Our work will introduce course participants to selected aspects of public and population health, with a specific focus on the interaction of social factors and human health. Through reading and discussion, we will consider one or more health disparities, ties to wealth/income inequalities, and associated social justice and public policy concerns. Development and application of effective reading and thinking skills will be a major course emphasis. Planned written assignments include short weekly discussion papers to be shared with other participants. As the quarter progresses, this writing will build into a 6-10 page exploratory project on a topic of each student’s choice, based in course readings. Credit will be awarded in Public Health: Social Policy.


This course may be taken alone. It is informally linked to Community Resilience: An Introduction to Public Policy , another four-credit course also taught on Saturdays by the same faculty. Students enrolled in both courses may choose to complete separate final projects on different topics, or to combine their projects into a single 12-15 page exploratory paper on a topic related to public policy and health, accompanied by a short presentation of their work in Community Resilience: An Introduction to Public Policy .

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

Health-related fields including public health, community organizing, non-profit/associational sector, government, human services, sociology

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Weekend

Advertised schedule: Saturdays, 1:30 - 5 pm

Final Schedule and Room Assignment


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Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

More information about online learning.

Registration Information

Credits: 4 (Fall)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Students may register for this course after their time ticket opens during regular registration.

Course Reference Number

(4 credits): 10275

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