Degree program for working with LGBT health
June 21, 2018 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Help me choose one of two degree programs that will allow me to work in an explicitly LGBT-related field. (I know this is broad, many constrictions inside)

At 28, I might finally be in the position to go back to school to get a bachelor's degree. I work at a major healthcare corporation that offers tuition assistance. I'll be taking as many classes at the community college before moving on to university. That does mean, however, that my courses have to meet certain criteria. (I have already contacted the tuition assistance dept.) The courses have to be "related to current or future jobs within $Company, or electives required for completion of an appropriate academic program." This is where I need your help.

I would love to have my own non-profit who educates educators, clergy, professionals, etc on LGBT issues and how to effectively work with LGBT children. Of course pipe dreams are pipe dreams and nonprofit work is a beast. But the important part is that I want to get a degree that will help me fight to make the lives of LGBT folks easier. I would like to stay away from roles that are directly in politics, or in clinical healthcare.

I've done some research and there are 2 programs that, while not directly related, could land me in a field to do good work (especially with the current climate and where we're headed with lgbt rights).

A BS in Environmental Health
A BSHS in Public health
(the school offers a minor in community health, which I will aim for).

Which path would you take? All advice is appreciated
posted by FirstMateKate to Education (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The requirements for environmental health seem pretty geared toward industry (lots of chemistry, occupational health, toxicology). The requirements for the public health degree have some stuff on health administration as well as ethics, community health, global health (which, while not explicitly LGBT, does tend to focus on things like health equity and vulnerable populations in a way that translates over). I think either would work ok for what you want to do, but the public health degree sounds like it matches more of your interests overall.
posted by basalganglia at 4:00 PM on June 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It sounds to me like you are more interested in social science than natural science. I think that Public Health would let you take more classes you are interested than Environmental Health, and the courses in marketing, administration, and finance might be more useful if you want to run a non-profit.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:29 PM on June 21, 2018

Best answer: Yeah, public health is the way to go. While your program may not offer LGBT specific coursework, my guess would be that you can focus your studies that direction by choosing topics for papers and projects in your area of interest. While my program was a graduate degree, there were many interested in non-profit health promotion or health education.
posted by bluloo at 4:44 PM on June 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Public health. MPHs do the kind of work you describe.
posted by latkes at 7:32 PM on June 21, 2018

Absolutely public health. It might be really helpful to look at the work of health communication professionals or people working in inclusion and diversity roles (in HR or in healthcare).
posted by sweltering at 8:13 PM on June 21, 2018

Best answer: I'm on the run and can only throw this link at your question but this may be something to look into in the future?
posted by ezust at 6:05 AM on June 22, 2018

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