This is the syllabus used in conjunction with educational content offered by JHSPH. As a result, some of the information and/or materials listed here may not be relevant to or available for an OCW user's self-directed study.


Course Description

This course examines the relationship between children's health and their K-12 school experience.  The eight components of the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) coordinated school health program model is the organizing framework. Topics include history and development of school health, relationship of in-school interventions to students' health, health care access and academic outcomes, school health policy and politics, and the impact of school context on research methodology and findings.

The course uses a combination of lecture, discussion, and school site visits to help students apply the fundamental concepts of school health to multiple public health and education system issues.  Students connect course material to current events through discussion of newspaper articles.

Course Objectives

The goal of this course is to introduce course participants to the pre-K through 12th grade school experience with respect to its role in the healthy physical and psychological development of children and youth.  We use the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) coordinated school health model as the organizing structure to examine current policies, research, and interventions to promote health and prevent disease in the school setting.

By the end of the course, students are able to:

  1. Understand the relationship between schools and their mission, and the history, policies, and interventions to promote health and prevent disease in schools;
  2. Describe the structure and function of coordinated school health programs and the social, health, and academic benefits of these programs to schools, families, and communities;
  3. Analyze how each coordinated school health program component contributes to the social, health, and academic outcomes of students, schools, families, and communities using a combination of current literature and in-school observations; and
  4. Apply the principles of coordinated school health to a specific public health problem to develop a set of policy and program recommendations for school health programs to address this problem.


Course Requirements

Class meets twice per week for 1.5 hours.  In general, the first 5 minutes will be devoted to discussion of newspaper articles, 45 to 50 minutes will be a lecture or panel presentation on the day's topic.  The remaining class time will be devoted to a discussion of the day's topic, incorporating the readings and news articles.

Two class sessions will be devoted to school site visits.  Visits will be done in groups of 2-4 students and used for the basis of the site visit and presentations and integrated into the final paper. 

One session will be devoted to student presentations on the site visits.

Grading Scale

This course is offered for grade only.  All assignments will receive written feedback along with the grade.

There are 100 points available.