Micro-Credential in Strategies for Eliminating Health Inequities

The micro-credential provides a means to develop skills and a knowledge base for addressing health inequities. Developed for the non-profit and for-profit communities and open to anyone who has completed an undergraduate degree (including all UB graduate students), this program consists of two courses and a portfolio-building experience.

The courses will help you to gain content expertise on the origins of health inequities and tools for intervening to eliminate health disparities. The additional portfolio-building experience lets you demonstrate your ability to design a strategy for reducing health disparities such as a program, policy initiative or other intervention. You can complete the micro-credential online in one or two semesters. 

After completing the micro-credential, you will be able to:

  • Analyze how social determinants underlie health inequities.
  • Infer ways in which historical, political and economic forces have contributed to present-day health inequities.
  • Critically analyze the scholarly literature to identify and/or conceptualize program and policy solutions to health inequities.
  • Apply and teach skills for collaborating with community partners that will reduce health inequities.
  • Use formative research to develop an intervention to address health inequities.
  • Understand the ways in which evidence-based programs are created, adapted and implemented by community organizations.

Who is eligible to participate in the micro-credential?

Micro-credential badge.

Applicants who are not currently enrolled in a UB graduate program who have earned a 4-year degree from an accredited college are eligible to join the micro-credential.

UB graduate students who have earned a four-year degree from an accredited college or who have graduate-student status in a combined undergraduate/graduate degree program may earn the micro-credential badge.

How the micro-credential can advance your career

  • Completing the micro-credential can help people in the non-profit sector serve marginalized communities.
  • It can help health care providers and health systems leaders understand the causes of health inequities and identify and implement strategies for eliminating health care inequities as well as leverage resources and soft power to improve social determinants of health.
  • The micro-credential will help professionals become health equity leaders within their organizations.

Requirements

To earn the micro-credential:

  • You can complete either CHB 525 Health Disparities (3 credits) (online) or CHB 524 A Public Health Approach to Understanding and Reducing Sexual Risk Behaviors (3 credits); and complete CHB 523 Introduction to Program Planning and Evaluation (3 credits) (either in person or online).
  • You must earn a B or better in both courses to receive the micro-credential badge.
  • In addition to meeting the course requirements, you will plan a novel strategy for reducing a health inequity and prepare a slide deck for presenting your strategy.

Course Descriptions

CHB 525 Health Disparities

3 Credits, Fall Semester

Health Disparities is designed to give students an in-depth understanding of the social determinants of health and how their ills and benefits are unequally distributed across society. We will cover differences in health status associated with race, ethnicity, immigrant status, education, income, disability, geographic location, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. We will examine the multiple pathways through which these inequities are produced and reinforced, including structural and interpersonal discrimination and stigma. The course will provide historical and theoretical perspectives on health disparities and provide a critical examination of empiric research on explanatory pathways. We will also discuss methods for conducting research and intervening in disadvantaged communities. Students will have an opportunity to engage in work on a health disparities topic of their choosing.

Format: online

CHB 524 A Public Health Approach to Understanding and Reducing Sexual Risk Behaviors

3 Credits, Spring Semester

The course will introduce students to historical trends in the population burden of sexual risk behaviors, the social ecology of these risks, and current controversies in practice and policy. We will also examine surveillance systems and nationally representative samples used to monitor trends in high-risk sexual behaviors and related consequences. Students will critically examine the logic and impact of current domestic standards for sexual health policy and practice through a comparative look at sexual health needs (e.g., contraceptive use, STI prevention and treatment, and HIV-related services) in a range of diverse clinical and social settings with different populations (adolescents, young adults, older adults). Using a variety of teaching methods, students will receive an overview of the dynamics of high-risk sexual activity among individuals, communities, and populations. Topics will include an assessment of current peer-reviewed research and professional guidelines for effective sexual risk reduction; federal and state policies related to sexuality, pregnancy, contraception and HIV/STI prevention; and current curricula at the national and state level for sexuality education.

CHB 523 Introduction to Program Planning and Evaluation

3 Credits, Fall Semester

Prerequisite: None

Models and principles of program planning and evaluation are presented and contrasted. Data gathering techniques, design considerations and implementation strategies are covered. Other topics include systems theory applications, strategic planning methods, proposal development and report writing.

Instructor: Heavey

Format: seated and online

Additional required activity

You will plan a novel strategy for reducing a health inequity and prepare a slide deck for presenting the strategy. This strategy can be a program, policy proposal, systems change process or other initiative. You do not need to present the strategy; however, ideally, you would present it in a community setting.

How do I enroll?

Admissions are ongoing, however you must submit your application by Aug. 24 to start the micro-credential in the Fall semester and by Jan. 15 to start in the Spring semester.

Apply Now

If you are not a current UB student:

Apply to the micro-credential by completing the Community Health and Health Behavior Non-Degree Student application.

When completing the application for the micro-credential, applicants do not need to complete the following: languages, employment history, activities and distinctions, and recommendations. Please submit a 300-word personal statement describing why you are interested in completing the micro-credential. Applicants can upload an unofficial transcript. You will be required to pay a $50 application fee.

If you are currently a UB graduate student:

Please notify the department at sphhp-chhb@buffalo.edu that you would like to complete the micro-credential. UB graduate students may enroll in the micro-credential at any stage in their career, including after they have completed the necessary coursework.

Questions about the program?

Contact undergraduate advisement at sphhp-oasa@buffalo.edu or (716) 829-5000.