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CGU Opens New Community and Global Health School

Claremont Graduate University has opened their ninth school, the School of Community and Global Health, which will offer several new degrees: A Master of Public Health (MPH), a dual MBA/MPH, an MS in global health, a Ph.D. in Health Promotion Science, and an accelerated BA/Master’s program for 5C students. This is the first new venture created by the Claremont University Consortium since Keck Graduate Institute opened in 1997.

The school’s focus will be the next generation of public health challenges that generally result from lifestyle choices, like diabetes and diseases related to tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse. The school has already raised $9.9 million in research grants for issues such as the obesity epidemic and the causes and mechanics of addiction.

“Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases—diseases of lifestyle and circumstance—are now the leading causes of illness and death in all regions of the world other than sub-Saharan Africa, and the social and economic determinants in each region are interconnected through the global economy and communication channels,” said C. Anderson Johnson, the dean of SCGH.

Johnson and a team of seven professors currently lead the new school, which had its first classes last month. It plans to integrate 25 professors and 250 graduate students into its community within the next three years.

“This new school will help us fulfill our mission to prepare outstanding leaders for the worldwide community through innovation and excellence in teaching, research, and practice,” said Robert Klitgaard, former president of CGU. “It will help people and communities think of health in the same way we are coming to think of our environment—as something we protect and enhance through individual commitment, community action, and public policy.”

Students from the 5Cs will have the opportunity to take courses, do research, and attain internships through the new school. They will also be able to participate in a novel degree program that offers undergraduates the chance to obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years--an opportunity usually granted only by larger universities. Students may apply for this five-year program immediately, and some Pitzer students have already matriculated into the program. Additionally, Johnson says the school plans to offer a certificate in global health for graduate and undergraduate students majoring in other fields.

This article was originally published in the Feb. 27, 2009, edition of The Student Life.