The goal of the health education field is to promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health through the educational process in a wide variety of settings. Professional health educators are prepared to address 10 basic content areas:
• Community health
• Family life, growth, and development
• Personal health
• Mental and emotional health
• Prevention and control of disease and disorders
• Safety and accident prevention
• Environmental health
• Consumer health
• Substance use and abuse
Health educators are active in the development and delivery of educational services in schools, clinical and corporate settings, and in community service organizations. Activities of a health educator may involve teaching, counseling, consulting, and communication using all types of media.
Applicants for this degree must hold a baccalaureate degree in the biological sciences with a concentration in the sciences, health education, physical education, or nursing. Coursework in human anatomy, physiology, and psychology are necessary prerequisites for all content coursework.
In addition to the major, three additional concentrations are available:
- K–12 Certification (leading to endorsement for New Hampshire certificationas a K–12 Health Education Teacher)
- Health Promotion
- Eating Disorders
The core education courses are offered year-round, and the required health education courses are offered primarily as weekend and hybrid courses. A limited number of courses will be offered during the fall terms. Content classes are offered on a rotating basis. This schedule allows students to complete their degree in two or three years on a part-time basis. Full-time students may be able to complete the requirements in less time. Students in the K–12 Certification concentration may be required to take additional coursework at the undergraduate level to meet certification standards and should plan to meet with their advisor. All students should meet with the health education program coordinator to review their transcripts and develop a program of study.
Courses in the Health Education program prepare students to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) examination offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Successful achievement of this certification assures employers that the individual has met the national standards for health education professionals.