Population Health

September 5, 2018

First-year Interest Groups add concept of population health to core curriculum

Image of downtown Seattle at nightThe Population Health Initiative has partnered with the University of Washington’s First Year Programs to introduce the concept of population health to the approximately 3,000 incoming freshmen and transfer students who join a First-year Interest Group (FIG).

FIGs are peer-guided clusters of courses that small groups of students take together during their first quarter at the UW. All FIG students register for a two-credit course that encourages critical thinking, research and community engagement.

As part of this course, students engage in the Seattle Communities and Research (CoRe) project, which is an exploration of Seattle neighborhoods over several weeks during the fall. The neighborhood exploration promotes collaboration and community building outside of the classroom. In addition, CoRE introduces the concepts of academic research and source evaluation to students through exercises designed by the UW Libraries staff as they work on a research topic directly related to the community.

In teaming with the CoRe project, the Population Health Initiative will offer students a population health lens through which they can analyze the various aspects of a neighborhood that contribute to resident’s overall health and well-being. These include neighborhood characteristics such as demographics, local history, built environment, local economies, culture and healthcare, with students using their assessments of these characteristics to develop a picture of the population health of a local community. The neighborhood exploration and associated research project will also offer students an introduction to the rich array of library resources that can support population health research.

Students will complete their neighborhood explorations during the first three weeks of autumn quarter and will submit their final projects by the end of the quarter.