Public Health

Associate of Public Health Degree

The Associate of Public Health (APH) teaches the first four responsibility areas of health education: assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs, to improve the health of our communities.

The associate of public health provides the initial coursework to prepare students for a career in public health. Public health is an exciting area of practice which takes a population-based focus to health. Individuals in this field interpret community data to determine health needs and intervention priorities. 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, yet who also like to take the broader view of how to promote the health of communities and groups of citizens.

The associate degree program fully articulates with the bachelor of public health program offered at NMSU-Las Cruces campus in the Department of  Public Health Science, which also offers the master of public health at the graduate level. The courses in this associate of public health curriculum at DACC will meet the majority of NMSU’s General Education degree requirements and are designed to give students a full overview of public health and community health education. There are no special admissions criteria for this program, but prospective majors should arrange an initial degree advising session with a public health faculty member in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Division. The faculty member will also be able to advise students regarding choices for elective courses.

Community Health Worker Certificate - Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attend this program can be found on the following

The sixteen-credit Community Health Worker (CHW) certificate is embedded within the DACC Associate of Public Health.The Community Health Worker certificate will train students to have a basic understanding of key public health issues like maternal and child health, chronic disease and environmental health.  The program includes competencies such as: effective communication, interpersonal skills, health coaching, service coordination, capacity building, advocacy, community health outreach, and community knowledge and assessment.  

NOTE: The Associate Degree in Public Health and the Community Health Worker Certificate may be obtained entirely online.

Visit the public health program website here. 

CHSS 101. Overview of Health and Community Services

3 Credits (3)

Health and community service professions with emphasis on public health, community health education, and environmental/occupational health.

CHSS 299. Service Learning Experience in Human and Community Services

1-4 Credits (1-4)

Exploration of contemporary social, civic, economic and ethical problems that require student participation in collaborative efforts within the community. Requires 30 clock hours of community based service for each credit: 3 credits for the Associate of Public Health only, 4 credits for the Associate of Public Health and Community Health Worker Certificate. Contact instructor for approval. May be repeated up to 4 credits. Consent of Instructor required.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): PHLS 150G, CHSS 101, and PHLS 295. Prerequisite(s): PHLS 275. Restricted to Community Colleges campuses only.

PHLS 150G. Personal Health and Wellness

3 Credits (3)

A holistic and multi-disciplinary approach towards promoting positive lifestyles. Special emphasis is placed on major problems that have greatest significance to personal and community health. Topics to include nutrition, stress management, fitness, aging, sexuality, drug education, and others.

PHLS 275. Foundations of Health Education

3 Credits (3)

Role and responsibility of the health educator with emphasis on small group dynamics, oral and written communication skills, building community coalitions and an introduction to grant writing. Taught with PHLS 375. Cannot receive credit for both PHLS 275 and PHLS 375. May be repeated up to 3 credits.

Prerequisite(s): PHLS 150G, or consent of instructor.

PHLS 295. Essentials of Public Health

3 Credits (3)

The course will focus on principles and major areas if public health, including ecological and total personal concept of health care system, epidemiological approaches to disease prevention and control . Consent of Instructor required.


Name: Becky Corran, Department Chair

Office Location: DACC East Mesa Campus, DAAR 100D

Phone: (575) 528-7033


Name: Amy Collins, Professor

Office Location: DACC Espina Campus, DASH 99

Phone: (575) 528-7068