A(WASH) with Certificates

By: Jacob Clemente – 1st Year – Global Health

When I was first applying to Rollins, one of things that piqued my interest was the Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Emergencies. In collaboration with the CDC, Rollins offers this for students who want to work overseas in emergency and post-emergency settings. Although I ended up not applying to pursue that certificate, it opened my eyes to how I can enrich my academic experience through a certificate program.

That’s how I ended up looking through a list of all the certificates offered through Rollins. Since I was younger, I had always believed in the importance of having access to clean water. Drinking water free of any pathogens or any sort of debris is vital to good health. Being from the Philippines, I have seen first-hand how communities can be affected by water pollution. We have a major river that flows through the metro area full of trash. It negatively affects how people live and work.

Informed by this, I decided to pursue the Certificate in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH). Offered through the Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (CGSW), the certificate prepares students to work in WASH-related sectors.

Certificates allow students to have a more topical education. It provides the chance to zero in on an area of public health and pursue it much deeper than one class could ever provide. My experience has a WASH student has also been greatly beneficial to my life as a Rollins student overall. CGSW constantly sends out openings both for short-term and long-term employment, practicum experiences, and thesis opportunities through its listserv. The Center keeps students abreast of current WASH initiatives and issues through its many seminars and events throughout the semesters.

As a whole, the WASH certificate is fairly flexible. In addition to completing coursework that ranges from Monitoring & Evaluation of Global Public Health Programs to Critical Analysis of Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene Research, the certificate requires the completion of WASH-related practicum and thesis/capstone. The coursework requirement is simple: 12 credit hours of WASH-related coursework, with at least one methods-based course and one biology-based course. The rest can be fulfilled through electives.

The faculty in CGSW are also accessible and always willing to help. The faculty members are constantly doing research and work in many sectors across the globe, so it is fairly easy to find someone who shares similar interests.

Choosing to do a certificate has definitely made me feel like I am making the most of my time here at Rollins. It has given me the ability to pursue something more specifically-aligned to my interests without having to find all of this information on my own. With nine certificates being offered, I am sure you will also find something that suits your needs!