Courses & Programs

Foundations of Health (Career)

The Associate Degree in Foundations of Health Career is designed for students interested in a health-related career, whose focus is on direct-entry into the workforce.

Rebecca Osborn Lewis

Chair, Foundations of Health

Health Sciences

Marieb 217

413.552.2426 (Tel)


What will you learn?

Students begin by taking HTH 101- Introduction to Health Careers, along with general education requirements. Students will work closely with their advisor to place into appropriate courses guided by their strengths and personal career goals. Students who desire fast entry into the workforce have the option to complete a certificate in Community Health Worker, Direct Care Worker, Medical Billing & Coding, or Medical Assisting as part of this degree. The co-requisites for selective programs in health are embedded in this major. Selective programs include associate degrees in Nursing, Radiologic Technology, and Veterinary Technician,  and the certificate in Practical Nursing. Each of these programs requires a separate application process along with attendance at the appropriate information session. Student wishing to transfer to a four-year institution should not complete this option, but should complete the FOH Transfer Option. 

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

Upon graduating from this program, students will possess a foundational skill set for entering a health career including the ability to:

  • Effectively utilize medical terminology both in English and in Spanish.
  • Understand the intersection of psychological and sociological components of human development and aging as they relate to healthcare practice.
  • Possess an understanding of the physiological makeup of the human body (nutritionally and biologically).
  • Obtain a basic understanding of the healthcare system including current policies, events, and considerations related to entering a health career.
  • Apply concepts of cultural and social diversity as they relate to working in healthcare.

What will you do?

Continue your education or go directly into the workforce! Foundations of Health offers a pathway to numerous careers in healthcare, including but not limited to:

  • Community Health Worker
  • Direct Care Worker
  • Medical Billing & Coding
  • Medical Assisting
  • Nursing (LPN and RN)
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Veterinary Technology
60-73 total credits

26-27 credits General Education Requirements + 30-38 credits Program Requirements

Depending on selection, a limited number of courses may be completed online.


General Education Requirements

26-27 CREDITS
This course is the first half of the college composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, beginning research skills, and the writing process. Students will read, analyze, and cite a range of nonfiction texts. Students will produce several formal essays totaling approximately 3000 words. Prerequisite: Appropriate scores on English placement tests or C- or higher in ENG 095.
This course is the second half of the first-year composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, academic writing, research, and the writing process. Students will locate and evaluate both primary and secondary sources, and will gain skill in summarizing and synthesizing source material while employing MLA documentation. Texts will include a range of nonfiction (articles, essays, scholarly sources) and literary works. Students will produce at least 3000 words of formal written work, including a documented essay of at least 1250 words. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a grade of C-or higher.
Introduction to the study and principles of behavior. Topics include general principles of scientific investigation; physiological bases of behavior including sensation, perception, learning, emotion, and motivation; development; individual differences; attitudes; and group dynamics. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.
A scientific examination of human social phenomena. Major topics include interaction, statuses and roles, groups, social institutions, culture, socialization, social control, conforming and deviant behavior, collective behavior, social inequality, demography, social change, urbanism, industrialism and globalization.Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
A college-level course including more advanced topics in algebra, functions, graphs, and problem solving. Prerequisite: MTH 095 or MTH 099 with a grade of C- or better; or completion Module 18 in the self-paced MTH 02X sequence, or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination.
Graphical description of data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability and probability distributions, central limit theorem, estimation of parameters, testing hypotheses, regression and correlation, analysis of variance, and other topics in statistical inference. Prerequisite: MTH 085 or MTH 099 with a grade of C- or better; or SM12, or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination.
This course provides a rigorous introduction to the living processes within cells by exploring the chemical and molecular basis of life. Emphasis is placed on basic chemistry, cell structure, and the important types of biochemical reactions, which occur during growth, development, maintenance, and reproduction in cells. Particular detail is given to biochemical processes in human cells. Laboratory exercises supplement the lecture emphasizing the scientific method and inquiry based learning. 3 class hours and 3 laboratory hoursPrerequisite: ENG 101 Eligible and MTH 095 Eligible or Permission of Instructor.Note: This course is designed to prepare students for further study in biological science and health-allied programs. Credit cannot be received for more than one of these, except by permission of department chair: BIO 103, BIO 107.
A general introduction to the human body stressing health vs. disease. In addition to an overview of the structure and function of various cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems, many social and ethical issues will be addressed. Each organ system will be examined with an emphasis on the integration of all of the systems. Laboratory exercises supplement the lecture, offering a hands-on approach and some experimentation. The lab includes dissection of (or observation of) preserved animal specimens. NOTE: This course does not satisfy the requirement of programs requiring a full year of anatomy and physiology.
A detailed study of the structure and function of the human body. Physical and chemical principles, as they apply to the comprehensive treatment of human physiology, form an integral part of the course. Content includes general introductory material, tissues, integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. A majors course designed for nursing, physical education, radiologic technology and other allied-health majors. Some dissection of preserved animal specimen material is included. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BIO 107 taken within 7 years or a passing score on the challenge exam.
A study of human development with emphasis on the broad physical, maturational, and behavioral changes occurring throughout the life span and the factors and conditions that influence these changes. Prerequisite: PSY 110
A sociological examination of the nature, causes and consequences of, and potential solutions for, social problems. Attention will be focused on problems of deviant behavior, structural problems, problems of inequality, institutional problems, and global survival problems. Prerequisite: SOC 110
The relationships among different racial and ethnic groups and the dominant culture in the United States from a socio-historical perspective. Particular attention will be given to such concepts as dominant-minority group relations, racism, discrimination, ethnicity, immigration, assimilation, and pluralism. Some of the groups analyzed are African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans. Prerequisite: SOC 110

Program Requirements

30-38 CREDITS
An introductory, hands-on course designed to provide an overview of microcomputer hardware and software currently available and to provide hands-on exposure to internet, e-mail, operating system, word processing spreadsheets, database and graphics applications. Students will not receive credit for CSI 111 and BUS 115. Keyboarding skills preferred, but not required.
An introduction to the terminology of medicine and health care, based on the study of medical word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Terminology is presented according to physiologic systems. In addition to basic medical terminology, the course introduces medical abbreviations and some common pharmacological terms.
An introduction to the science of nutrition as it applies to everyday life. Students will learn how to apply the logic of science to their own nutritional concerns. Topics include the six major nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. The course also will examine energy balance, weight control, the digestive process, nutrition fads, supplements, fiber, and disease as it relates to nutrition and fitness. A dietary computer application is used throughout the semester to track personal dietary, energy, and fitness. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.
An introduction to the field of gerontology and a review of important concepts and principles in fields related to gerontology. Perspectives on social gerontology are included, as well as the inter-relationship between the biological, psychological, and social factors influencing the aging process.
This course is for students who are exploring health careers and majors. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate and reflect on their own skills, interests and values to determine how they might shape their educational and career paths. The course will help clarify student understanding of specific careers in the field of health. The course will also provide a basic introduction of the U.S. Healthcare system, including opportunities and challenges in this system. The objective of this course is to help students decide if a career in the health field is a good fit for them and learn the educational requirements of specific health career degrees.
Introduces the major drug classes, their indications, mechanisms of action, and potential for drug-drug or drug-food interactions. Also, introduces fundamental terminology that is essential to understanding the basics of drug therapy. Other basic drug therapy concerns, including age, weight, organ function and body homeostasis will be included. Prescription interpretation, implementing Latin abbreviations used in prescription writing and filling, as well as illustrating the role and contribution of the pharmacy profession within the field of medicine. A basic mathematical aptitude is expected in the application of some topics. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101Note: Students cannot receive credit for both HTH 130 and MEA 150.
Introduces the major drug classes, their indications, mechanisms of action, and potential for drug-drug or drug-food interactions as well as the fundamental terminology that is essential to understanding the basics of drug therapy. Other basic drug therapy concerns, including age, weight, organ function and body homeostasis will be included. Prescription interpretation, implementing Latin abbreviations used in prescription writing and filling, as well as illustrating the role and contribution of the pharmacy profession within the field of medicine. A basic mathematical aptitude is expected in the application of some topics.Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101Note: Students cannot receive credit for both HTH 130 and MEA 150.
HTH 210 is an initial program for the medical profession that focuses on the development of values and principles that will be utilized in any and all areas of the medical field. Students will develop their own career path, by building on the knowledge that the patient/client/resident is a unique individual to be cared for with dignity, respect, and with full knowledge of the ethical and legal aspects of care. Students will become proficient in basic nursing assistant tasks through lecture, small group activities, practice, media, and hands-on-experience. Students will be tested for the Massachusetts Nurse Assistant Certification (state licensing exam) upon successful completion of the course. A positive CORI/SORI, Drug Test, or failure to complete immunization requirements will result in an inability to successfully complete this course. Prerequisite or Corequisites: GRT 110; Successful CORI/SORI Background check, Negative Drug Screen, and proof of immunizations required prior to course enrollment/registration. Mandatory student orientation prior to start of course. Permission of Health Services required. Additional Course Fees: CNA Licensure Exam; Drug Testing, and Malpractice Insurance (All fees subject to change.) Non Course Fees: Cori/Sori background check (out of state) and CPR
Spanish for Health Related Careers I is an elementary level course designed for people currently employed in the medical field or for those students planning a career in a health related field. This course would be beneficial for anyone in the field of medicine, nursing, pharmacology, radiographic technology, physical therapy or dentistry as well as those working as receptionists or office managers in a medical facility. Note: Students with Spanish oral fluency should talk to an advisor or the course instructor to seek other placement options, such as SPA 112 or SPA 203.Prerequisite: One year of high school Spanish or one semester of college Spanish, taken within the last three years.


Please note: Some courses may appear in both the Foundations of Health degree and certificate programs; these courses need only be taken once.

Heritage Spanish speakers do not need SPA 111 or SPA 112, but are required to Take SPA 203 (Spanish for Heritage speakers). This course prepares heritage speakers for use of Spanish in a professional setting.

Medical Assistant - Students who have completed BIO 111 or BIO 217 and BIO 218 with a grade of C or better, within the last 7 years do not need to Take MEA 109-A&P for Medical Assistants. MEA 150-Intro to Drug Therapy will be waived as students will complete HTH 130, a FOH degree program requirement.

Medical Billing & Coding- Students who have completed BIO 111-Human Biology or BIO 217 and BIO 218-Human Anatomy and Physiology 1&2, with a grade of C or better within the last 7 years do not need to take HIM 107-Human A&P and Disease Processes for Medical Billing.

The following four certificate programs can be completed as part of the FOH Career Option: Community Health Worker, Direct Care Worker, Medical Assisting, and Medical Bililng & Coding. Some of these certificates require course waivers (e.g. Medical Assisting has comparable courses to HTH 130 and BIO 217 and 218 so these courses will be waived in place of MEA Coursework). Additional certificates may be completed in conjunction with this degree as determined by Department Chair.The number of General Electives required for this major will vary depending on which Certificate program the student chooses to complete under Program Requirements.

Medical Assistant & Medical Billing and Coding - Students wishing to apply to a program or certificate requiring selective admission, should work closely with their advisor and should also contact the Health Sciences division office in the Center for Health Education or call 413.552.2467 for additional information based on the pre-requisites listed for the following:

Medical Billing & Coding

  • Eligibility for ENG 101
  • Complete HTH 114 with a C or better

Medical Assisting

  • Eligibility for ENG 101
  • Complete PSY 110 and HTH 114 with a C or better

Nursing (LPN)

  • Complete: BIO 107; BIO 217 & 218; NTR 101; PSY 110; PSY 216;
  • Completion of MTH 095 with C- or better or adequate score on mathematics placement examination
  • Attend Nursing Information Session within one year prior to application.
  • PAX Test 

Nursing (ADN)

  • Complete: ENG 101 & ENG 102, BIO 107; BIO 217 & BIO 218; PSY 110; PSY 216; SOC 110; NTR 101; BIO 229
  • Completion of MTH 095 with a C- or better or adequate score on mathematics placement examination
  • Attend Nursing Information Session within one year prior to application.
  • PAX Test

Radiologic Technology

  • Complete: ENG 101 & ENG 102; BIO 107; BIO 217 & BIO 218; SOC 110; SOC 220 or SOC 214; HTH 114; MTH 104
  • Attend Radiologic Technology Information Session

Veterinary Technology

  • Complete: MTH 095 with a grade of C- or better or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination
  • Eligible for: ENG 101
  • Completion of BIO 107 with a C or better.
Criminal Offense Record Act (CORI), Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI)

Foundations of Health students enrolled in the HTH 210 Field Experience or applying for Selective Programs are required to complete a CORI/SORI background check prior to the end of the Add/Drop period each semester. A positive finding may prevent students from successfully completing the HTH 210 Field Experience course, applying for Selective Programs, or graduating with a Foundations of Health Degree due to clinical site requirements. The College policy can be found in the Student Handbook. Inability to attend orientation for the HTH 210 course and meet requirements for clinical orientation and placement will result in Administrative Withdrawal from HTH 210. There is a SEPARATE CORI/SORI application you must complete online if you have lived outside of the state of Massachusetts in the past 10 years; failure to disclose all relevant information may result in an inability to complete the HTH 210 course. Out of state CORI/SORI fees vary. If you have had legal issues in the past or have any legal aff airs pending, you must contact the Dean of Health Sciences.

Drug Testing

The Work Connection at Holyoke Medical Center has been selected as the Division of Health and Natural Science's exclusive laboratory for student drug testing. Students are required to participate in the drug screening process upon enrollment in the HTH 210- Field Experience course and prior to the end of Add/Drop period each semester. Failure to complete the Drug Testing in this time period will result in an Administrative Withdrawal from the HTH 210-Field Experience Course. A positive finding may prevent students from successfully completing the HTH 210 Field Experience course, applying for Selective Programs, or graduating with a Foundations of Health Degree due to clinical site requirements.

Immunizations

Prior to enrolling in HTH 210 (Field Experience) or applying for Selective Programs students are required to provide proof of immunizations."Vaccines must be documented with month, day and year of administration and on MD offi ce letterhead and/or stamped with facility address and phone number. **If antibody titers are done in lieu of vaccines, documentation of the official copies of laboratory reports must be provided - MD flow sheets are not acceptable. Records for the following requirements must be submitted to the Student Health Services Office in Frost Building Room 105 when you register for the HTH 210-Field Experience course:

  • Measles, Mumps Rubella (MMR) - two doses (28 or more days apart) are required OR Positive (+) titers for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
  • Hepatitis B - three shot series is required OR Positive (+)titer for Hepatitis B.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) - two doses (28 or more days apart) are required OR Positive (+) titer for Varicella.
  • Pertussis containing vaccine - Tdap (dated 2006 or later). Note: Tetanus Toxoid (TT) or Tetanus Diphtheria (Td) does not suffice.
  • TB (Mantoux) skin test - 2-step* (at least 10 days between test #1 and test #2). **If TB test result is positive, a copy of a recent negative chest X-ray report is required.
  • Current HCC Health Affi liate Physical Form - signed and dated by MD.
  • Annual infl uenza vaccination.

Immunization and health records are due to the Health Services Office by the end of the Add/Drop period each semester. If you have any questions about the immunization process please contact Student Health Services.