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Collection Number: 50005

Collection Title: Department of Public Health Education at North Carolina Central University Records, 1939-1986

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the James E. Shepard Memorial Library at North Carolina Central University. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web.


Portions of this collection have been digitized as part of "Content, Context, and Capacity: A Collaborative Large-Scale Digitization Project on the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina." The project was made possible by funding from the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space
Abstract The graduate program in Public Health Education at North Carolina College for Negroes (North Carolina College for Negroes (1925-1946), then North Carolina College at Durham (1947-1968), and later North Carolina Central University (1969- )) was developed in 1945 by the founder of the College, James E. Shepard, with the assistance of M.J. Rosenau, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina. The establishment of the program came out of a concern for disparities in health status between black and white Americans. The collection contains correspondence with state and national public health education coordinators, departments, and professional agencies concerning North Carolina Central University's Public Health Education Department development and advancement, enrollment, fellowships, and curricula development; newspaper clippings documenting the formation, activities, obstacles, and accomplishments of the Department and its collaboration with University of North Carolina and the Duke University Medical School; programs and reports related to conferences and meetings held at the school covering topics such as child health and teaching associations; and curriculum reports, budgets, publicity, and schedules related to management and structure of the Public Health Education Department.
Creator North Carolina Central University. Dept. of Public Health Education.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No image in this collection may be reproduced without the permission and consent of North Carolina Central University.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Department of Public Health Education at North Carolina Central University Records, 1939-1986. University Archives, Records and History Center in the James E. Shepard Memorial Library, North Carolina Central University.
Acquisitions Information
These materials were transferred to the University Archives from the office of the Chancellor of North Carolina Central University.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina Central University assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

Health education emerged as a profession in the 1940s, and a concern for disparities in health status between black and white Americans led to the creation of the Health Education Program at North Carolina College For Negroes (North Carolina College for Negroes (1925-1946), then North Carolina College at Durham (1947-1968), and later North Carolina Central University (1969- )) in 1945. An undergraduate program was established shortly thereafter in 1948. The graduate program was developed by the founder of the College, James E. Shepard, with the assistance of Milton J. Rosenau, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, a program that had been established in 1940.

The initial curriculum was modeled after that of the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, and UNC professors agreed to teach the same courses at the College that they taught at their own institution. Lucy S. Morgan, a UNC professor who helped develop the program at the College and taught many of the early classes, served as the first chair of the Department of Public Health at the College. The first class had ten students: Georgia Barbee, Sankie Floyd, Beulah Rowland Hill, Erma Ellingston, Isbel Lee, Oscar Jackson, Annie Mae Kenion, Thelma Morris, Velma Turnage Joyner, and Mabel Walker. Classes were held in the basement of the Administration Building due to lack of available space.

The graduate program in Public Health Education at the College promoted interracial cooperation in the Jim Crow South. A journal club established for health education students at both the College and UNC met alternately at the Durham and Chapel Hill campuses despite harassment from other white students. Black and white students were assigned to the same field training centers at local health departments and in the community and students worked together on a variety of community health projects.

Despite similar training, students from the all-white program at UNC and the all-black program at North Carolina College for Negroes did not fair equally well upon graduation. In 1958, a national organization for health educators conducted a survey confirming reports that a large proportion of graduates from the masters program at the College were unable to secure employment as public health educators. Only 28% of the 82 graduates completing the survey were employed in public health, with another 12% teaching health education or a related subject. The most common reason given by respondents as to why they were not working in the field was "race." The difficulty that graduates were having finding employment in health education contributed to enrollment problems, and the graduate program at the College was discontinued in 1960, the same year that the School of Public Health at UNC admitted its first black students. Over the course of 15 years, the Public Health Education Program at the College had produced 104 masters-level health educators.

The undergraduate curriculum in health education continued beyond 1960. It offered a curriculum with concentrations in school health education and community health education, and, from 1951 to 1984, 395 baccalaureate degrees in Public Health Education were conferred. The Department was part of the College of Arts and Sciences until 2007, when it joined the newly established College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Source: North Carolina Central University: A History of Units and Programs from 1910 to 2010. Celebrating 100 Years of Truth and Service. Published by North Carolina Central University, 2010. Pages 167-169.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence with state and national public health education coordinators, departments, and professional agencies concerning North Carolina Central University's Public Health Education Department development and advancement, enrollment, fellowships, and curricula development; newspaper clippings documenting the formation, activities, obstacles, and accomplishments of the Department and its collaboration with University of North Carolina and the Duke University Medical School; programs and reports related to conferences and meetings held at the school covering topics such as child health and teaching associations; and curriculum reports, budgets, publicity, and schedules related to management and structure of the Public Health Education Department.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1945-1948.

Arrangement: chronological

This series contains correspondence with state and national public health education coordinators, departments, and professional agencies, and others concerning, program development and advancement, enrollment, fellowships, and curricula development. Correspondence throughout is chiefly between James E. Shepard and health education agencies including the United States Public Health Service, North Carolina State College Student Health Association, and the State Department of Public Health. A large number of letters exchanged with the Department of Public Health at the University of North Carolina pertain to the institution of the Public Health Program at North Carolina College for Negroes.

Folder 1

General correspondence, 1945 #50005, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1945-1948." Folder 1

Folder 2-3

Folder 2

Folder 3

General correspondence, 1946 #50005, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1945-1948." Folder 2-3

Folder 4

General correspondence, 1948 #50005, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1945-1948." Folder 4

Folder 5

University of North Carolina Chapel Hil, 1940-1946 #50005, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1945-1948." Folder 5

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Newspaper Clippings, 1970-1975.

Arrangement: chronological

Included in this series are clippings documenting the formation, activities, obstacles, and accomplishments of the Public Health Education Department and its collaborations with the University of North Carolina and the Duke University Medical School. Newspaper clippings represent a variety of state periodicals reporting a broad range of topics relevant to the Department’s endeavors including conference attendance, career sessions, community health involvement, and racial barriers in the medical profession.

Folder 6

Newspaper clippings, 1970-1971 #50005, Series: "2. Newspaper Clippings, 1970-1975. " Folder 6

Folder 7

Newspaper clippings, 1972-1975 #50005, Series: "2. Newspaper Clippings, 1970-1975. " Folder 7

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Conferences and Meetings, 1939-1986.

Arrangement: chronological

This series contains programs and reports related to conferences and meetings held at the College and attended by public health education students and faculty. Topics covered in conference materials include child health, college health, and teaching associations. Prominent among the materials is a 1940 report by Walter J. Hughes on a conference on child welfare and health education conducted by the School Coordinating Services in cooperation with the North Carolina College for Negroes.

Folder 8

Conference programs, 1939-1944 #50005, Series: "3. Conferences and Meetings, 1939-1986. " Folder 8

Folder 9

Conference programs, 1945-1946 #50005, Series: "3. Conferences and Meetings, 1939-1986. " Folder 9

Folder 10

Conference programs, 1947-1986 #50005, Series: "3. Conferences and Meetings, 1939-1986. " Folder 10

Folder 11

Report on Conference and Child Welfare and Health Education, 7 June, 17 July 1940 #50005, Series: "3. Conferences and Meetings, 1939-1986. " Folder 11

Folder 12

Regional Health Careers Conference program, 14-15 April 1941 #50005, Series: "3. Conferences and Meetings, 1939-1986. " Folder 12

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Subject Files, 1943-1975.

Arrangement: alphabetical

Subject files contain materials such as curriculum reports, budgets, publicity, and schedules related to management and structure of the Public Health Education Department. Notable contents include press releases documenting the 1948 collaboration with the International Committee for Mental Hygiene at the first International Congress of Mental Health, North Carolina Central University student involvement in community health affairs in 1970, and the College's 1963 Alcohol Institute.

Folder 13

Budgets, 1945-1947 #50005, Series: "4. Subject Files, 1943-1975." Folder 13

Folder 14

Department of Hygiene and Public Health curriculum, 1943-1946 #50005, Series: "4. Subject Files, 1943-1975." Folder 14

Folder 15

First graduating class photograph (photocopy), 1945-1946 #50005, Series: "4. Subject Files, 1943-1975." Folder 15

Folder 16

Health careers, 1972-1974 #50005, Series: "4. Subject Files, 1943-1975." Folder 16

Folder 17

Health educators schedules, 1946 #50005, Series: "4. Subject Files, 1943-1975." Folder 17

Folder 18

Publicity and press releases, 1945-1975 #50005, Series: "4. Subject Files, 1943-1975." Folder 18

Folder 19

Vesper speakers, 1949-1950 #50005, Series: "4. Subject Files, 1943-1975." Folder 19

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Processing Information

Processed by: Andre D. Vann, Shanee Yvette Murrain.

Finding aid authored by: Shanee Yvette Murrain.

Finding aid encoded by: Joyce Chapman, 2012.

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