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On-Line Course: Immigrant Health Issues PA 5451 -- FALL SEMESTER 2011

Immigrant Health Issues
PA 5451 -- FALL, 2011

An on-line course for graduate students interested in Public Policy, Education, Public Health, Nursing, Social Work and related fields. The course may be taken for 3 or 4 graduate credits (4 credits with a final project; 3 credits without final project). Course credits qualify for human rights and population concentrations at Humphrey Institute, the Graduate School Minors in Population and in Human Rights, and as electives for the MPH and Global Health Health Disparities and Interdisciplinary concentrations at the School of Public Health.

The demography of American communities is changing dramatically, but many of our institutions have not kept pace with the needs of new African, Asian, Eastern European, and Latino residents. Policy makers, health care and social service providers who are used to working with European-origin families and some Latino residents are suddenly seeing refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Laos, Bosnia, Cambodia, and the Sudan. In order to meet the needs of these new residents, it is imperative for to understand the context and motives for immigration, as well as the characteristics and belief systems of their clients. Note: I define "health" broadly to include issues of access to care and poverty, and public attitudes toward immigrants and refugees..

Professor Katherine Fennelly, Ph.D.
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
E-mail: fenne007@umn.edu

Audience: Graduate students in public affairs, public health, medicine, nursing, social work, public affairs, education, or the social sciences

Course Goals:
Students taking this course will gain an understanding of the characteristics of immigrants and their families in the United States, major health needs, principles of cultural competence in service provision, and tools for effective advocacy.

Community Work The key to becoming "culturally competent" is to go into the community to meet and learn from the residents you hope to serve. Community visits, observations, and interviews are an essential (and fun!) component of the course and the credit requirements.
Course Objectives

• Acquire research skills to access demographic, health and background information on immigrants in the U.S.

• Understand the major characteristics and health needs of new immigrants

• Design "culturally competent" health programs

• Learn to advocate for needed changes to promote immigrant health

• Interact with other professionals and policymakers

Course Schedule

Unit 1 - Research skills to access demographic, health and background information

Unit 2 - Characteristics and health needs of new immigrants

Unit 3 - Culturally competent care

Unit 4 - Advocacy

Course Format

• Online delivery. No in-person meeting times required.

• 14 weeks (fall semester)

Registration Questions?

Contact: Stacey Grimes

Course Content/Requirements Questions?
Contact: Katherine Fennelly fenne007@umn.edu

Enrollment is limited. You may register up to two weeks before the course begins, if space is still available.

"This course is up to date, and very relevant. I know without a doubt I will use many of the things I've learned in my future practice, and furthermore, I now have a resource to go to when these situations arise."

"Although Immigrant Health Issues it is an online class, it has provided wonderful opportunities for community work and interaction with other students, the instructor, and the T.A. This makes the course especially valuable for working professionals

Frequently Asked Questions
What's an 'on-line' course?

Immigrant Health Issues is a distance education, on-line course offered by the University of Minnesota. That means that students can enroll from anywhere in the United States, and take the class from their home or office computers. There is a class web site to which students have access once they register. On the web site is a wealth of information on immigrant and refugee health issues, and links to other materials on the topics covered in the class. Course texts are available from the U of M Bookstore. In addition to the texts students purchase dvds with segments on each of the course 'modules'. These materials will be available in the U of M bookstore a few weeks before the beginning of the class. The dvd segments include taped interviews with immigrants and refugees, and with experts in the field. Community visits to sites in your geographic area are an integral part of the course, and an opportunity to learn to become culturally competent.

There are no required meetings since students may reside anywhere in the United States. The schedule of course assignments follows the academic semester of the University of Minnesota.

Do we all need to be on the computers at the same time?

Students complete assignments, community visits and reading on the days and times that suit them best, but all weekly assignments are due on the same day so that students may read and comment upon their classmates' postings on the course web site. Additional interaction with the instructor and with other students occurs through the web site email system. There are times during the semester when we ask students to schedule on-line chats with a few classmates. It's important to note that assignments are due weekly, and that we all follow the same semester schedule for the course (in other words, it's not a course in which you work at your own pace), but some students do their postings on the web at 11 a.m., while others may do it at 11 p.m. (or at any time during the day or night).

What are the course requirements for 3-credit or 4-credit registration?

Because we are not meeting in person, our interactions are on the course web site. Each week there are brief quizzes on the reading, and assignments which involve posting something on the web site. These "postings" on the course forum are our class discussions. In addition, students do web-based research, and make visits to interact with immigrants and refugees. These reading and research assignments can also be used to work on the final project (only for students taking the course for 4 credits; 3-credit students do not write a final project)

Katherine Fennelly
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota
301 19th Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
tel: 612-625-6685

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