Health Promotion, BS
Faculty Department of Health and Human Performance
Paul T. Cutrufello, Ph.D., LAT, ATC, CSCS, Department Chair and Program Director of Kinesiology
Debra L. Fetherman, Ph.D., MCHES®, ACSM EP-C, Program Director of Health Promotion
Hope Baylow, D.A.
Emily Gerstle, Ph.D.
Joan A. Cebrick Grossman, Ph.D., M.S., RDN
Michael Landrum, Ph.D.
Andrew C. Venezia, Ph.D.
Health promotion professionals are vital to our nation’s health. Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. Health promoters are professionals who are dedicated to promoting individual, group, and population-based health through developing behavior change strategies which influence educational, political, environmental, regulatory, or organizational factors. 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 promotion professionals 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 promoters 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.
Health promoters specialize in the use of behavior change and communication strategies to promote individual and community health. They also assess individual and population health needs as well as design, implement and evaluate the impact of health interventions on individuals and communities. Health educators/promoters advocate for and implement changes in health policies, procedures and services. They also may work as a health and wellness coach to assist clients in establishing and reaching their health and wellness goals.
The Health Promotion (HPRO) major is rooted in the Jesuit liberal arts tradition. Curricula includes a unique blend of behavioral, social, and multidisciplinary courses. 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, Spanish and Communications). Electives can also be used in preparation for graduate health professional programs in Public Health, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Speech Therapy, Social Work, Nutrition, and Physician Assistant.
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 Health Promotion 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 entry-level health promotion professionals. Some entry-level positions may require or prefer to hire those who hold certifications in the field. The Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) designation is offered by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing. Students may qualify to take the CHES® certification exam after earning their degree in health promotion. Students may also qualify for other certifications through Wellcoaches® such as the Certified Health and Wellness Coach and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and National Physical Activity Society (NPAS) specialty credential as a Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist.
Courses for Health Promotion are listed under the prefixes HPRO. For more information on these and all courses offered, visit our Course Descriptions page.