Because of scientific advances occurring during this century, morbidity and mortality caused by contagious and infectious diseases have declined markedly. Unfortunately, these diseases have been replaced by chronic and degenerative disorders resulting from improper diet, lack of exercise, substance abuse, stress, unintentional injuries, pollution and an expanding array of lifestyle and health behavior problems. With appropriate health education interventions, many of these problems can be prevented or controlled.
The Department of Health Education & Behavior, with a foundation in the social and biological sciences, focuses on health information and theory application. Students learn techniques to promote healthy lifestyle choices in individual and group settings, with special attention given to diversity and culturally appropriate health education methodologies. The undergraduate curriculum also provides an excellent foundation for health education and related graduate programs, as well as professional health programs such as nursing, medical school, physician assistant, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
Professional preparation for the Health Education & Behavior major focuses on...
• Assessing individual and community health education needs
• Developing, planning and implementing effective health education programs
• Evaluating health education program effectiveness
• Coordinating the provision of health education services
• Acting as a resource person in health education
• Communicating health/health education needs, concerns and resources.
Community Health Promotion:
This specialization focuses on illness and disease prevention among special target groups within a particular community, with the ultimate goal of providing practical health information to diverse population groups through the use of behavioral interventions.
This specialization allows students to gain knowledge on a variety of health issues plaguing diverse population groups, while also providing the opportunity for students to complete required pre-requisite coursework for professional health programs. Students enrolled in this specialization plan to attend post-baccalaureate programs for medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES): Students who successfully complete the bachelor’s degree can take the CHES exam — a national voluntary certification recommended by numerous health employers. The CHES designation after a health educator’s name is a highly recognized and valued indication of professional competency and commitment to continued professional development.