The Community Health field is a multidisciplinary practice concerned with designing, implementing, and evaluating educational strategies, interventions, and programs that enable individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to play active roles in achieving, protecting, and sustaining health.
Graduates in community health have a variety of career options. Health educators work for nonprofit health organizations, public and private hospitals, community and governmental agencies (health departments), and businesses. Other employment options include: working as curriculum/program developers; educational trainers for private health education consulting businesses; program developers and evaluators in community human service programs.
The degree also serves as a springboard to graduate study in areas of community health, public health, and medicine. Several graduates have pursued the registered nurse's degree. Others have been successful in obtaining the MPH degree. For more information on these programs, contact Dr. Billie J. Lindsey, Coordinator of Health Education, CV101, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225- 9067, (360) 650-2545. E-mail: Billie.Lindsey@wwu.edu.
Becoming a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)
Community Health Education is the application of a variety of methods that result in the education and mobilization of community members in actions for resolving health issues and problems which affect the community. These methods include, but are not limited to, group process, mass media, communication, community organization, organization development, strategic planning, skills training, legislation, policymaking and advocacy. (1990 Joint Committee on Health Education Terminology)
Health Educators are professionally trained to use educational strategies and methods to facilitate the development of policies, procedures, interventions, and systems conducive to the health of individuals, groups, and communities. (2000 Joint Committee on Health Education and Promotion Terminology)
The program prepares students to apply for an examination to become a Certified Health Education Specialist, a professional credential based on skills and competencies identified by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.
The degree also serves as a springboard to graduate study in areas of community health, public health, nursing, and medicine.
(Revised, February 2008)