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DACC Associate of Public Health student Erin Small working on a harm reduction program.

What can you expect from a career in Public Health?

The Public Health Program provides the initial course work to prepare students for a career in public health. Public health is a population-based focus to health, with a focus on education, evaluation and policy. Individuals in this field interpret community data to determine health assets and needs develop interventions.

Public health professionals contribute to a number of community health initiatives. In addition to needs assessment, they work with community leaders to plan, implement, and evaluate community health education interventions such as smoking cessation, chronic and infectious disease awareness campaigns, vaccination programs, and family planning and prenatal care initiatives. This program is ideal for those who like to work with the public, with a broader view of health promotion in diverse communities. 


Public health professionals often work for local, state, or federal public health departments, federal entities such as the NIH, CDC, and branches of the armed forces. Private industrial companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and research institutions may also hire public health specialists to ensure health and safety standards. Nonprofit health agencies, such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the Alzheimer’s Association often employ public health professionals to run programs and assume administrative roles.

Currently in New Mexico, graduates can acquire positions as community health workers, disease prevention specialists, health educators and program coordinators with a variety of agencies.


In 2017, DACC was recognized as a national leader in community college Public Health programs with the Riegelman Award.  The Riegelman Awards for Excellence in Public Health Education in Community Colleges are presented to colleges that demonstrate excellence in planning or enhancing associate degree or certificate programs in Public Health and Health Navigation education.