This program of study focuses on health promotion and disease prevention through community educational services, and it prepares individuals to develop training and implement curriculum focused on better health and educational outcomes.
Graduates of this program can seek employment with health and education agencies involved in community-based training and prevention related to HIV/STI/AIDS, obesity, dating violence and bullying, communicable diseases, tobacco, drugs and alcohol, sexual
health and/or pregnancy prevention. Students can specialize in several emphasis areas, including Communications, Aging populations, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Human Service, Child Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.
Among the courses you'll take in this track: School and Community Health, Contemporary Health Issues, Child Health Concepts, and Health Education and Promotion at the Workplace.
Graduates will be eligible to sit for the NCHEC's Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. This track does not lead to K-12 teacher certification. Requirements for the Community Health Education track include the university's Liberal Studies
requirements, the departmental core courses, and the Community Health Education required courses. Students must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.7 and a “C” or better in all of the required core courses within this track.
Health educators teach people about the availability of healthcare services. Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities.
Health educators typically do the following:
The duties of health educators, who are sometimes called health education specialists, vary with their work settings. Most work in health care facilities, colleges, public health departments, nonprofits, and private businesses.
In health care facilities , health educators may work one-on-one with patients and their families. They teach patients about their diagnoses and about any necessary treatments or procedures. They may be called patient navigators because they help
consumers find out about their health insurance options and direct people to outside resources, such as support groups and home health agencies. They lead hospital efforts in community health improvement. Health educators in health care facilities
also help organize health screenings, such as blood pressure checks, and health classes on topics such as installing a car seat correctly. They also create programs to train medical staff to interact better with patients. For example, they may teach
doctors how to explain complicated procedures to patients in simple language.
In colleges , health educators create programs and materials on topics that affect young adults, such as smoking and alcohol use. They may train students to be peer educators and supervise the students' delivery of health information in person or
through social media. Health educators also advocate for campus wide policies to promote health.
In public health departments , health educators administer public health campaigns on topics such as emergency preparedness, immunizations, proper nutrition or stress management. They develop materials to be used by other public health officials.
During emergencies, they may provide safety information to the public and the media. Some health educators work with other professionals to create public policies that support healthy behaviors and environments. They may also oversee grants and grant-funded
programs to improve the health of the public. Some participate in statewide and local committees dealing with topics such as aging.
In nonprofits (including community health organizations), health educators create programs and materials about health issues for the community that their organization serves. They help organizations obtain funding and other resources. Many nonprofits
focus on a particular disease or audience, so health educators in these organizations limit programs to that specific topic or audience. For example, a health educator may design a program to teach people with diabetes how to better manage their condition
or a program for teen mothers on how to care for their newborns. In addition, health educators may educate policymakers about ways to improve public health and work on securing grant funding for programs to promote health and disease awareness.
In private businesses , health educators identify common health problems among employees and create programs to improve health. They work with management to develop incentives for employees to adopt healthy behaviors, such as losing weight or controlling
cholesterol. Health educators recommend changes to the workplace, such as creating smoke-free areas, to improve employee health.
The industries that employed the most health educators in 2012 were as follows:
Employment of health educators is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be driven by efforts to improve health outcomes and to reduce healthcare costs by teaching people about healthy
habits and behaviors and utilization of available health care services. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program.
For descriptions of individual courses, please see the
As outlined in Liberal Studies section with the following specifications: Total credits: 44
English Composition: 6 cr, ENGL 101, ENGL 202
Mathematics : 6 cr, MATH 101, MATH 217
Humanities: 9 cr, HIST 196, 197, or 198; ENGL 121, 210, or FNLG 121; PHIL 101, 120, 221, 222, 223, RLST 100, 110, 250 or 290
Fine Arts (choose one): 3 cr, ARHI 101, MUHI 101, THTR 101, THTR 102
Natural Science: 8 cr, BIOL 104-106, CHEM 101-102
Social Science: 9 cr, PSYC 101, SOC 151, Global and Multicultural Awareness
Health and Wellness: 3 cr, KHSS 143, FDNT 143, or NURS 143
Liberal Studies Elective : 3 cr, Fulfilled by MATH 217
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