Family and Community Health
The family and community health program offers a skills-based program that integrates theory and critical thinking to assess and act on the needs of individuals, families, and communities. Students learn to plan, implement and evaluate programming designed to promote health, human development and well-being with families and communities. Students develop skills and techniques necessary for conducting health research with individuals, family and communities, program planning and evaluation, grant writing, and family policy analysis. Students also have the opportunity to prepare for the future pursuit of a doctoral degree in a family and community health related field.
The program provides students with the skills and training necessary to assume leadership positions in the health workforce in the following settings:
Admissions decisions are based on:
Prerequisites include an undergraduate degree in family science, community health, health promotion, or related social science degree and/or course work that typically includes introductory psychology and sociology, anatomy and physiology, statistics, and lifespan human development.
Dr. Suzanne Christopher has worked with community-based health projects for over 20 years. Her research focuses on the application of community-based participatory research approaches with Native Americans in Montana. Potential graduate students with an interest in community-based participatory research, Native American health, and/or community health are encouraged to contact Dr. Christopher.
Dr. Bethany Letiecq teaches undergraduate courses in family law and public policy, family diversity, and relationships and family systems. Her research focuses on the ways in which social policies hinder or facilitate family health and well-being, especially among families “on the margins” of society. Using community-based and participatory action research methods, she has worked with African American fathers rearing preschoolers in high violence neighborhoods, grandparents rearing grandchildren in rural Montana, and women seeking to improve health care delivery on the Crow reservation. Most recently, Dr. Letiecq and her colleague in Sociology, Dr. Leah Schmalzbauer, have partnered with members of the Latino community to identify health disparities and challenges facing Latino migrants incorporating into the Gallatin Valley. The current project aims to promote increased access to local resources and services, to educate the community about the legal and health care rights of immigrants, and to advocate for immigrant-friendly policies in Montana. Future research in this area will examine the mental health, relational quality, and parenting practices of Latino migrants. Graduate students with an interest in family and community health are encouraged to contact Dr. Letiecq to learn more about graduate study in this area.
Dr. Beth Rink teaches courses in human sexuality and research methods. She has 10 years experience implementing community based programs and has published on adolescent sexual health, men¹s reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections and community collaboration. Her research areas include: 1) A contextual analysis of sexual and reproductive health among American Indian men; 2) the individual, familial, social, and environmental determinants of sexually transmitted infections among Greenlanders; 3) Factors influencing Hepatitis C and HIV among injection drugs users living on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation; and 4) an investigation of health disparities on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Dr. Rink’s research includes mixing qualitative and quantitative methods within a community-based participatory research framework. Students working with Dr. Rink have community based participatory research projects related to how intimate relationship characteristics influence American Indian men's use of condoms, how religion influences American Indian men's attitudes towards sex, and what factors influence sexually transmitted infections among a young urban Arctic population in Greenland. Graduate students with an interest in sexual and reproductive health research topics and working with indigenous populations are encouraged to contact Dr. Rink to learn more about graduate study in this area.
Electives (other electives can be approved by the advisor)
Total Program 30-37 Credits