The program of study leading to the degree of Master of Arts (M.A.) in Health Education is a 32 credit program of study designed for those who wish to develop the skills necessary to plan and implement health education programs for a variety of populations and in a range of practice settings. Successful completion of the program provides students with comprehensive understanding of the theory and practice of health education and health promotion. Students develop the critical thinking skills that are necessary to apply the principles of behavioral and social sciences that are the foundation of health education and health promotion to program development and implementation.
The program of study enables students to prepare for professional practice as a health education specialist in community, hospital, higher education, government agency, or other workplace settings. The M.A. degree may serve as an entry-level professional credential for a career in health education, or may serve to prepare qualified students to go on for more advanced professional study in health education or other health-related fields.
Completion of the degree program currently makes graduates eligible to qualify for certification as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. The credit hours available through this degree program may also be utilized to make one eligible to sit for the examination for the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)—also available through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.
The M.A. degree in Health Education requires satisfactory completion of a program of study that includes a minimum of 32 points of course work. No transfer credit is granted for work completed at other institutions. Major courses (21 points) provide a firm foundation in Health Education. There are also 6 points of courses addressing Broad and Basic Areas of Professional Practice; the purpose is to broaden the student’s background in education. These courses must be taken outside of the Program in Health Education, Department of Health and Behavior Studies. One course is taken within the domain of Research, Scholarship and Inquiry for 3 points; the selected course may cover research methods, evaluation, measurement, or statistics. There is also a Capstone Project for Research, Scholarship and Inquiry (2 points); the goal is to provide the opportunity for students to work closely with their advisor and to integrate what they have learned through a final culminating Capstone Project. The Capstone Project for Research, Scholarship and Inquiry may involve any of the following: completion of a major research paper; development of a curriculum potentially implemented and evaluated in a school or other setting; participation in a practice setting via an internship where students work with a population specific to that setting (e.g. schools and children, hospitals and chronically ill adults, community-based organization and community members, or workplaces and well adults interested in prevention or health promotion). Students’ research, scholarship and inquiry may include engagement in any aspect of program planning, development, implementation, and evaluation.
The Required Course Progression
1. MAJOR (21 Points)
a. Required Core Courses (18 Points)HBSS4100 Behavioral and Social Science Foundations of Health Education 3
HBSS4102 Principles of Epidemiology in Health Promotion
HBSS4118 Principles of Health-Related Behavioral & Social Change:
Initiation to Maintenance 3
HBSS5110 Determinants of Health Behavior 3
HBSS5111 Planning Health Education Programs 3
HBSS5112 Social Marketing and Health Communications 3
b. Elective Courses (3 points)
(Select 1 course for 3 points from among the options listed below. There is variability with regard to the courses actually being offered within an academic year.)
HBSS4001 Health Provider Communications and Health Promotion 3
HBSS4110 Health Promotion for Children and Adolescents
HBSS4111 Addictions and Dependencies
HBSS4112 Social Policy and Prevention
HBSS4113 Human Sexuality Education
HBSS4114 Competency with Multicultural Populations: Research & Practice 3
HBSS4115 Health Promotion for Aging Adults
HBSS4116 Health Education for Teachers
HBSS4117 AIDS Education
HBSS4120 Topics in Health Education (See the Topic covered) 3
HBSS4121 Death Education
HBSS4122 Women's Health
HBSS4123 Violence and Its Prevention
HBSS4130 Alcohol and Health
HBSS4140 Developing Workplace Health Promotion Programs
HBSS4141 Health and Illness in Cross-Cultural Perspective
HBSS5113 Community Health Analysis
HBSS5116 Social Relations, Emotions and Health
HBSS5408 Practicum in Individual Health Advisement
HBSS5410 Practicum in Health Education
HBSS5800 Health Disparities Research Conference
HBSS6100 Program Evaluation
HBSS6145 Health Psychology
HBSS6500 Grant Writing
2. BROAD AND BASIC AREAS OF PROFESSIONAL SCHOLARSHIP AND
PRACTICE (6 Points)
a. Nature of Education, Persons, and Learning Processes (Required 3 Points) Students should take one course approved by their advisor in learning theory, human development, or counseling pertaining to a population group of interest, such as the child, adolescent, adult, or older adult.
b. Communications, Computing and Instructional Technology and Media (Required 3 Points) Students should take one course approved by their advisor in communications, computing or instructional technology and media.
Computing, and Technology in Education; or Computing in Education; or Instructional Technology and Media)
c. Note on Options: Depending upon an individual student’s needs, the student’s advisor may approve a course selection from another Department.
3. RESEARCH, SCHOLARSHIP AND INQUIRY (3 points)
a. One required course in research methods, evaluation, measurement, or statistics.
HBSS 5040 Research Methods in Health and Behavior Studies I
4. CAPSTONE PROJECT FOR RESEARCH, SCHOLARSHIP AND INQUIRY (2 points)
a. One required course for 2 points that permits close supervision by the student’s advisor of the Capstone Project for Research, Scholarship and Inquiry.
HBSS 4901 Research and Independent Study in Health Education
(up to 4 points is possible)
HBSS 5410 Practicum in Health Education
(up to 6 points is possible)
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT DISTANCE LEARNING AND HYBRID COURSES: Numerous courses are “hybrid” courses. This means they are being offered both online and in-person, permitting distance learning and accommodating the schedules of busy professionals, as well as severe weather, and absences related to illness, etc…; in other words, students have the option of attending in-person or watching a lecture-capture video of the class session and posting assignments online. Also, a majority of courses are also offered online, including as summer course options. This makes the degree program a particularly attractive option, especially for students who ordinarily would have to community long distances to class, or wish to matriculate in the degree program while living at a distance for the majority of the period they are pursuing the degree.