Health educators foster awareness of positive health behaviors and promote behavior change for health promotion and disease risk reduction. This Health Education and Promotion major was designed by practitioners and educators in public health, community health and nutrition to prepare students to meet the competencies of health education specialists. This new major at Benedictine University provides students with the evidence-based knowledge and practice of skills to assess, create, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate programs designed to promote, maintain and improve the health of individuals, groups and communities, as well as impact environments and policies. Students learn to coordinate the provision of health education services and act as resources during field experiences, communicating needs, concerns and resources. Through education and engagement, this major fosters the development of sustainable health solutions and health equity to advocate and strengthen the health of local and global communities. Our major provides a unique focus on nutrition for risk reduction. Graduates of this program will meet the current academic eligibility requirements to take the written exam for Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), offered through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC).
There is a strong job outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, projected employment for health educators is expected to increase at the rate of 16 percent by 2026 (increase of 15,600 jobs), at a rate much faster than the national average for all occupations in the U.S. The BLS attributes this growth to efforts to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs through health and nutrition education. The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights region of Illinois is the fifth highest region for employment of health educators in the country.
Health educators focus on teaching people and the public how to get and stay well. Health educators work in a variety of settings, including:
Students are encouraged to visit the NCHEC website to view job descriptions and learn more about professional certification.
The mission of the undergraduate Health Education and Promotion major program is to provide and promote a high-quality education for preparation of competent future health educators and leaders. Preparation includes development of evidence-based comprehensive knowledge and applications to assess community resources and needs, and to plan, implement and evaluate health programs within diverse populations. Through education and engagement, this major fosters the development of sustainable health solutions and health equity to advocate and strengthen the health of local and global communities.
Upon completion of the major in Health Education and Promotion, the student will successfully:
Students must have a cumulative Benedictine University GPA of 2.8/4.000 to complete specific coursework and graduate with this major.
A Second Degree is available to those who enter the program following completion of bachelor’s degree elsewhere. As a minimum, all courses required for the Health Education and Promotion major must be completed, including cognates, in order to complete a Second Degree in Health Education and Promotion.
The Benedictine University Nutrition Programs will be recognized at the community, state, national, and international level for their leadership in developing optimal teaching and learning. The programs will prepare future Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, health educators, community nutritionists, and nutrition managers to address important food and nutrition issues that impact the quality of life of people.