CCOG for HE 278 Summer 2024

Course Number:
HE 278
Course Title:
Human Health and the Environment
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines the interconnected relationship between the environment and human health. Explores how the natural, built, and social environments impact human health as well as how humans impact the health of the planet. Analyzes factors that influence human and environmental health including public policies, communities, organizational structures, interpersonal relationships and individual factors. Focuses on environmental justice, advocacy, climate change, toxins, food systems, air pollution, land use, and water issues. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  1. Describe how the natural, built, and social environments impact human health.

  2. Explain how human behaviors impact the health of the planet. 

  3. Use socio-ecological theory to examine factors that influence environmental health.

  4. Explain the interrelationship between social justice and environmental health.

  5. Identify individual, community, and global solutions to environmental health issues.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

Health Studies General Education courses encourage critical thinking about health, systems that influence individual and community health, and strategies that promote individual, community, and environmental health and well-being. Understanding the historical and current considerations regarding the interconnected nature of environment and human health is one of the leading global issues of today. Environmental health is a local and global phenomenon that impacts all across the socioecological model. Ranging from individuals, to societies, to all cultures and nations across the globe, it is important to recognize the cultural, political, social, technological, economic, and health challenges that are present, especially within a social justice lens. This analysis enables individuals to make changes to decrease individual risks while also understanding how to become active citizens who can advocate for larger scale change.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade.

Assessment methods may include the following:

  • Written examinations

  • Written assignments

  • Critical analysis of material

  • Course activities and discussion

  • Presentations and/or projects

  • Participation in class activities

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Environmental justice

  • Environmental health 

  • Climate change

  • Environmental toxins

  • Land use issues

  • Water-related health issues

  • Pollution

  • Air pollution

  • Plastics

  • Consumption and waste

  • Socio-ecological Model

  • Advocacy strategies for change