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Bachelor of Arts in Health Education and Promotion

What is Health Education and Promotion?

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).

What is the outlook for Health Educators?

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 13 percent by 2029 (increase of 17,000 jobs), at a rate 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-Elgin, IL-IN-WI region is the 10th highest region for employment of health educators in the country."

What careers are available with a degree in Nutritional Sciences?

Health educators focus on teaching people and the public how to get and stay well. Health educators work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Community and public health agencies 
  • Health care and medical institutions 
  • School (K-12) and college/universities health services
  • Military 
  • Companies or corporations with worksite wellness facilities

Students are encouraged to visit the NCHEC website to view job descriptions and learn more about professional certification.

Why Major in Health Education and Promotion at Benedictine University?

  • Benedictine University is a highly ranked university.
  • This program is aligned with national health education competencies.
  • This program provides a unique focus on nutrition for disease risk reduction.
  • You will have hands-on learning to provide real-life application in topics. Nutrition and health education courses use multiple methods of interaction and assessment, including authentic case studies, presentations, lesson plans, research and discussions. Health Education and Promotion majors have the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience, confidence and a professional network through the field experience.
  • Benedictine University is the only private university in Illinois offering a major in Health Education and Promotion.
  • You will reap the benefits of smaller class sizes by seizing opportunities for greater engagement with faculty in the classroom, more active learning and networking with peers and future colleagues.

Program Mission

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.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the major in Health Education and Promotion, the student will successfully:

  1. Provide health education programs.
  2. Demonstrate application of research for evidence-informed practice.
  3. Demonstrate effective communication skills.
  4. Demonstrate professional practice skills.

Sample Curriculum Plan

First Year (Freshman)
Fall Term
  • WRIT 1101 Writing Colloquium (3) 
  • SPCH 1110 Basic Speech (3) 
  • MATH Basic Math Skills (3) 
  • CHEM 1101 Intro to Chemistry (3) (QPS option) 
  • PSYC 1100 Intro to Psychology (3)
Spring Term
  • WRIT 1102 Research Writing (3) 
  • NUTR 2241 Nutrition Through the Life Cycle (3) 
  • Artistic/Creative (QCA) (3) 
  • Religions/Theological (QRT) (3) 
  • Elective/Minor (3)
Second Year (Sophomore)
Fall Term
  • HLED 3271 Health Education Planning (3)  
  • Political/Global/Economic (QPE) (3)
  • IDS Catholic & Benedictine Intellectual Trad (3)
  • Elective/Minor (6)
Spring Term
  • NUTR 2364 Food Systems and Policy (3) 
  • HLED 2280 Community Health Programs (3) 
  • HLED 3357 Health Communications (3) 
  • Life Science (QLS) (3)
  • Elective/Minor (3)
Third Year (Junior)
Fall Term
  • HLED 3363 Management of Health Initiatives (3) 
  • HLED 4394 Health Research Methods and Program Evaluation (3) 
  • PHIL (suggest Ethics) (3) 
  • Elective/Minor (6)
Spring Term
  • HLED 4360 Dimensions of Wellness (3) 
  • Literary/Rhetorical (QLR) (3) 
  • Historical (QHT) (3) 
  • Elective/Minor (6)
Fourth Year (Senior)
Fall Term
  • PSYC 2250 Statistics (3)  
  • HLED 4381 Social and Beh Aspects of PH (MPH 601) (3) 
  • Electives/Minor (9)
Spring Term
  • HLED 4366 Health Education Field Experience (3) 
  • IDS Human Dignity or Common Good (3) 
  • Electives/Minor (9)


Major Specific Notes

Students must have a cumulative Benedictine University GPA of 2.8/4.000 to complete specific coursework and graduate with this major.

Second Degree Program

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.

Vision (Nutrition Department)

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.

Department of Nutrition
Benedictine University

Catherine Arnold, MS, EdD, RD.
Department Chair


Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 224
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6595