Community health education is an interdisciplinary program that trains students to be the front-line leaders on the front-line of public health locally and nationwide. Community Health is population based and focuses on the promotion and protection of health as well the reduction of health disparities thereby improving the quality of life. Students in this program will acquire the tools to be effective educators and advocates through the study of social theories, biological basis of disease and the analysis and implementation of policies and communications strategies that influence the health status of individuals, communities, states and the nation.
The acquired knowledge and skills enable students to apply for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification exam upon graduation. Health Educators need a bachelor’s degree and often employers prefer this credential.
With an aging population, abysmal maternal mortality rates, increased prevalence of many chronic disease compounded by escalating medical costs, there is a demand for community health educators who develop and implement strategies that address the health needs of the public.
An undergraduate major in community health education is excellent preparation for those planning to pursue graduate or professional studies in the public health and/or clinical health professions.
Many of the courses are taught by faculty which houses the major in Community Health Education. Related majors in the department are Biology and Health Sciences, and students in Community Health Education can earn a minor in Health and Society.
The Community Health Education program includes courses from a variety of fields, including biology, psychology and sociology. The required courses are as follows:
An internship is a required component of the Community Health Education degree. Through this experience, students will gain hands-on experience in implementing a community health project. Below are some of the locations that hosted our interns
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in independent research, additional internships and other experiences that emphasize independent work and demonstration of professional skills. Students can complete additional internships beyond the one required for the program, and students can start working with faculty on research projects as early as their first year at MCLA.
Between the small class sizes (our ratio 16:1), carefully crafted curriculum, dedicated faculty and research and internship opportunities, you will be well prepared for a job upon graduation or continued studies at the graduate level.
As a CHE student, you will learn how to design, implement and assess health interventions to improve health, safety and quality of life people in your community. You will acquire the rudimentary statistical and epidemiological skills to assess health pattern and trends, design and evaluate the efficacy of health communication campaigns and promote social justice using social and behavioral framework.
MCLA’s Community Health Education program will prepare you for a variety of roles within the high-growth public health education field, including:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, community health educators are employed at a variety of settings, such as:
*Since May 2015 Massachusetts was one of the top five states for employment of community health workers
The CHE curriculum is aligned to the competencies defined by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing for Health Educator Specialists. This program also aligns with the educational requirements for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) examination, offered through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. While it is not mandatory, becoming CHES certified means that you are professionally competent based on national standard and have also demonstrated a commitment to continued professional development. Recently, there has been an increase in employers requiring or preferring the CHES certification for health education positions. Many positions read CHES preferred.
Yes, Yes and Yes. Community Health Education covers many tenets of Public Health and meets the core competencies outlined by the ASSPH. MCLA’s courses are designed to provide the foundation you will need to pursue a Master of Public health (MPH).