Community Health Education, BS
Faculty Department of Exercise Science & Sport
Paul T. Cutrufello, Ph.D., LAT, ATC, CSCS, Department Chair and Program Director of Exercise Science
Debra L. Fetherman, Ph.D., MCHES, ACSM EP-C, Program Director of Community Health Education
Joan A. Cebrick Grossman, Ph.D., M.S., RDN
Michael Landrum, Ph.D.
Joseph K. Pellegrino, Ph.D.
Andrew C. Venezia, Ph.D.
Community health educators are vital to our nation’s health. The community health educator is dedicated to promoting individual and population-based health. By focusing on the social determinants of health, health educators consider the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These conditions shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels influence individual and population health. Health educators work in a variety of settings including business/industry, hospitals, clinics, health plans, public health departments at all levels of government, nonprofit and volunteer organizations, schools and universities. Employment for health educators is expected to grow faster than the average for all other occupations through 2018.
Health educators use specific skills and knowledge to complement and support other healthcare providers, policy makers, and other professionals who are devoted to improving human health. Health educators specialize in the use of behavior change strategies to promote individual and community health. They plan, conduct and evaluate health programs. Health educators also focus on designing evidence-based health programs, assess health needs and the impact of programs on individual and community health. Health educators advocate for and implement changes in health policies, procedures and services.
The Community Health Education (CHED) major is rooted in the Jesuit liberal arts tradition. Curricula includes a unique blend of behavioral, social, and multidisciplinary courses which enables students to develop key skills and knowledge that professionally prepare them to be community health educators without the restrictions of a traditional functional/disciplinary major. Students can utilize cognate, general and free electives in a concentrated area to pursue a concentration or minor in an area of interest (i.e., Counseling and Human Services, Health Administration, Human Development, Nutrition, Psychology, and Spanish). Electives can also be used in preparation for graduate health professional programs in Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Nutrition, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant and Public Health.
Students will be educated to embody the spirit of “men and women for others,” and encouraged to address issues of social justice and sustainability. Students will develop creative and interpersonal skills to be adept writers, good listeners and speakers. Emphasis will be placed on building skills to work with diverse populations by learning about cultural differences and health disparities.
Students will be required to complete an internship and community-based learning projects in a variety of settings. Students are required to submit a Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, a Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check, and immunization record. Students whose primary residence is out of state may also be required to submit an FBI background check. Copies of these clearances and immunization records must be maintained to meet internship and community-based learning requirements. Graduating Community Health Education majors must possess a minimum overall grade point average of 2.5 and a grade point average of 2.5 or higher within the major.
Students will earn a bachelor’s degree which is generally a minimum requirement for an entry-level health educator/promoter position. Some states require health educators to be certified health education specialists and others may prefer to hire those who are certified. The Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) designation is offered by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing. Students may qualify to take the certification exam after earning a degree in health education.
A comprehensive list of courses that qualify for electives will be provided to students by their academic advisors. Consult individual departments for specific course descriptions.
The Community Health major is offered under the Department of Exercise Science and Sport for more information visit the Exercise Science and Sport Department .
Courses for Community Health Education are listed under the prefixes NURS, CHED, NUTR, and HADM. For more information on these and all courses offered, visit our Course Descriptions page.