Community and School Health

This program is being discontinued and will not accept new students after Fall 2020. Students who have enrolled in the program prior Fall 2020 will use these standards to complete their degree.

Program Director: Garry Ladd, DHSc, EP-C
Faculty:  Dennis Koch, PhD; Kathy Hassey, MEd, RN, BSN; Bonnie Sunday, MD; Sheryl Warren, MS, RD;  Melva Visher, MA, RHIA. 

Degree: Master of Science


The Online Master’s in Community and School Health program is designed for nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and others with a bachelor’s degree and the appropriate science and health background. The program is ideal for working professionals who need to balance work, family and a continuing education, since it can be completed entirely online.

Graduates of the Master’s in Community & School Health program will:

  • Have excellent knowledge surrounding health. education, health services, nutrition services, and social services, health promotion, and family and community involvement.
  • Be well prepared to participate in the development of policy within the work place, as well as healthcare systems at the community, state or national level.

Upon completion of the Master’s in Community and School Health program, graduates will be prepared for positions in:

  • Nursing /Healthcare Administration.
  • School, Corporate, and Public Health Education and Wellness Programming.
  • Healthcare Management and Leadership.
  • Health Policy Application.


Applications are processed on a rolling basis and are considered as they are received for each of our terms. We recommend submitting all material required for admission at least 30 days prior to the start of the term you wish to begin. Earlier application will ensure the best scheduling options, as some course sections may become unavailable. Terms are eight weeks in length, and students may start in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. The on-line application can be submitted with no application fee.

To qualify for admission, all students must:

  • Complete the graduate admissions application.
  • Submit one (1) official undergraduate transcript showing completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning with a minimum GPA of 2.70.
  • Submit two (2) letters of recommendation.
  • Submit a current resume.
  • Provide a statement of purpose of approximately 500 words explaining your motivation for pursuing the MS in Community and School Health at Canisius College. The statement may be submitted in the essay section of the graduate application.

Transfer credit: Previous graduate level transfer credits will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Program Details

Academic Standing

Students must maintain a GPA of 3.00 to graduate from the program. If the GPA drops below 3.00, the student will be placed on academic probation. If the student does not bring his/her cumulative GPA above 3.00 by the end of the next term, the student may be dismissed from the program. A student may also be academically dismissed from the program by receiving more than 2 grades below B-.


Total credit hours = 33. Each student must complete all of the courses in the curriculum, including a guided elective selected with his or her academic advisor.

ALH 500Health Care Systems3
ALH 501Health Promotion and Disease Prevention3
CSH 520Leadership Initiatives in Community and School Health3
CSH 530State of the Nation's Child3
ALH 5403
CSH 550Health Impacts on Academic Success K-123
CSH 670Health Care and Public Policy3
Guided Elective3
ALH 631Research Methods in Allied Health3
ALH 632Data Analysis and Statistics3
ALH 689Master's Project 13
Total Credits33

Students will receive a grace period of 1 term to complete the thesis without having to register for ALH 700.  However, any student who has not completed their final thesis/project by the end of the grace period will be registered for the 1-credit hour course, ALH 700 for that semester, and then for each subsequent semester until the project/thesis is complete.

Learning Goals & Objectives


Candidates in the CSH program will have the opportunity to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical, and professional knowledge necessary for successful performance in their field.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • 1.1 - Develop and promote programs for health, exercise, physical activity, nutrition, or health services through family, worksite, school, or other community involvement.
  • 1.2 - Understand how communities, school districts, and worksites protect the health, welfare, and safety of its populations through policy, administration, responsibilities, and/or initiatives.


Candidates in the CSH program will have the opportunity to demonstrate professional skills and dispositions necessary for successful performance in their field.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • 2.1 - Collaboratively develop and articulate the understanding of community, school, or worksite health programs responding to health-related interests and needs by building and sustaining productive relationships with community, school, or worksite partners.
  • 2.2 - Demonstrate leadership initiative in community, school, or worksite health programs and policies.

Learning Goal #3 (SERVICE)

Candidates in the CSH program will have the opportunity to demonstrate willingness to use their skills to benefit and serve society.  Within the contexts of their work, candidates promote authentic learning, social and emotional development, and a commitment to social justice in environments that foster respect for diversity and the dignity of all. 

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • 3.1 - Understand and mobilize community resources by promoting an understanding, appreciation, and use of diverse cultural, social, and intellectual resources within the local community, school district, or worksite.
  • 3.2 - Understand how to influence community, school district, or worksite population health-related policy options and political strategies.

Learning Goal #4 (PROFESSIONALISM)

Candidates in the CSH program will have the opportunity to demonstrate self-reflection as a habit of mind, continuously assessing and refining their professional practice as they construct a rich repertoire of research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective performance ensuring that all students and/or clients have optimal opportunities to learn and grow.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • 4.1 - Demonstrate an understanding of research design, including consideration of ethical issues and the appropriate use of statistics as a tool for evaluating data and drawing inferences. 

Learning Goal #5 (LEADERSHIP)

Candidates in the CSH program will have the opportunity to become adept at applying their acquired knowledge in the process of evaluating their own professional performance and decision-making with respect to its impact on students and/or clients, organizations, and the wider community.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • 5.1 - Understand and evaluate potential moral and legal consequences of health-related decision making in communities, school districts, or worksites promoting social justice to ensure that individual needs address all aspects of health throughout the lifespan.
  • 5.2 - Understand, anticipate, and assess emerging trends and initiatives in order to adapt community, school, or worksite-based leadership strategies in an effort to improve the health and well-being of those served.


In addition to the courses listed below, courses for this program with the Allied Health (ALH) prefix can be found on the Professional Studies page

CSH 520 Leadership Initiatives in Community and School Health 3 Credits

This course is designed to expand the student's knowledge of a variety of leadership concepts and explore how these concepts can be integrated into community and school health settings. Students will examine organizational systems and structures, leadership styles, change theory, conflict and power, and coalition building.

Offered: every fall, online only.

CSH 530 State of the Nation's Child 3 Credits

This course is an exploratory course on the national and statewide issues impacting the health of the nation's children with a focus on poverty, child welfare, and youth at risk.

Offered: every fall, online only.

CSH 550 Health Impacts on Academic Success K-12 3 Credits

This course addresses the growing number of health issues unique to the school age child K-12. Topics such as expanding chronic health problems and diseases linked to teen lifestyle choices will be explored and discussed.

Offered: every spring, online only.

CSH 670 Health Care and Public Policy 3 Credits

This course expands the student's knowledge of the U.S. healthcare system and fosters understanding of the process of public policy development. Political policy debates related to school health are discussed.

Offered: every spring, online only.