Global Health Crises, Pandemics and Policy Challenges: Approaches to Teaching in Community Colleges, April 9-11, 2015, Northern Virginia Community College

The Northern Virginia Community College Institute for Public Service will host a seminar for community college faculty April 9-11, 2015 that will focus on global public health issues. Global Health Crises, Pandemics and Policy Challenges: Approaches to Teaching in Community Colleges is designed to improve the teaching and learning of global health issues in community colleges.   The program will be held over 2 1/2 days at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

Increasingly global society is facing challenges from health pandemics and other risks.   As such, preparing future health care workers, community and business leaders, public officials, public safety personnel, educators, and citizens will be important to effectively fight illnesses and diseases that often spread quickly and defy traditional boundaries.   In many parts of the world, basic health infrastructure is vulnerable, and in many places strategies for combating disease spread are inadequate, including in the United States. Community college populations are the most diverse educational institutions today with students often coming from environments having fragile systems.  In addition, upwards of 50% of “first responders” (i.e., parademics, firefighters, police officers, etc.) in the U.S. are trained in community colleges.   As a result, it  is critical for faculty to be well-positioned to teach about public health issues.

This seminar will focus on policy strategies, community responses, and curriculur approaches that can be applied.  As such, it is designed for faculty from a wide range of disciplines including the social sciences, humanities, allied health, and nursing.  The 2 1/2 day program will include experiential activities and training, policy briefings, and presentations on resources that can be accessed in the classroom.  Speakers are anticipated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization, and the Bloomberg School for Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.   Yale Professor Richard Skolnik, author of Global Health 101, has been invited to participate.

Registration is now open and will continue through March 18, 2015.   The fee for the 2 1/2 day program is $200.00.  A preliminary agenda is found here.  A final agenda will be posted in January.  If you have questions, please contact David J. Smith at

This program follows the successful October 2014 2nd National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar which brought together 36 faculty from 16 colleges in 12 states for 4 days of teaching and learning about global conflict.   The program will be held again October 16-19, 2015.


Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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