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Introduction to Masters of Health Education Programs
MastersInHealthEducation provides useful tips and guides on Health Education. In short, health educators work to prevent illnesses by educating people on how to stay healthy and take a more active role in their health care. While health educators can get entry-level jobs in the field with only a bachelor’s degree, in order to obtain certain positions (especially in the public health sector), a master’s degree in health education is usually required.
An individual with an MPH, MS, or MHA in health education/promotion will have the required skillset and knowledge to be able to effective encourage healthy lifestyles and educate communities about disease and injury prevention. By obtaining a master’s degree in this field, students are qualified to pursue higher-level jobs, such as positions in research, education, and policy. The following list features schools with online master’s degrees in health education.
MS in Health Communication
|Boston University — The Boston University online Master of Science in Health Communication program is designed to educate the future generation of health communicators through a dynamic curriculum that examines current healthcare issues. The program gives students a world class education in the art of communicating health literacy.
MPH in Health Education
MSN in Nurse Educator
|Kaplan University — The Kaplan University Master's of Public Health provides students the knowledge to succeed in governmental, nonprofit, and private healthcare organizations. Within this MPH program, the Health Education specialty teaches the art of communicating health issues to diverse communities, along with the fundamentals of health policy development and healthcare law.
MBA in Healthcare Mgmt
|Northeastern University — The Healthcare MBA from Northeastern University examines the US healthcare industry in a business context. The program surveys the growth of the industry from its birth as an institutional system to its current form of managed care. Courses analyze the business of healthcare, and include strategic decision making, environmental analysis, strategic formulation, and strategy implementation.
MPH in Health Education
|Benedictine University — The MPH in Education & Promotion program at Benedictine University provides advanced education for individuals engaged in health departments, health maintenance organizations, hospitals, employee assistance programs, voluntary organizations, and social service agencies. Courses include Environmental Health, Health Policy, and Methods of Research in Public Health.
MS in Health Administration
|Capella University — The Capella University MS in Health Administration is an online program that prepares students to excel in healthcare management. Courses include health care management, managed care, policy, law, finance, quality improvement. Students have the option to concentrate in Fire Service Administration, Homeland Security, Public Administration, and Public Health.
|Ohio University — At Ohio University's online Master's of Health Administration program, students can attend a world class institution and earn a degree targeted to their field that will advance their career at a convenient self-defined pace. Career options include hospital administration, systems administration, or clinical administration.
MBA in Healthcare
|George Washington University — The George Washington University MBA in Healthcare prepares the student for a new or continuing career in healthcare management. The two year degree program includes a traditional MBA curriculum infused with healthcare electives including Management of Acute Care Hospitals and Physician Practice Management.
MS in Healthcare Mgmt
|New England College — The New England College MS in Healthcare Management teaches leadership skills to individuals that will shape the future of the healthcare industry. Healthcare leaders instruct students on a wide ranging curriculum, both online and in-class. The program is unique for its focus on the New Hampshire healthcare system.
|Click here to see more Masters in Healthcare degree programs...|
What is Health Education?
Students with an interest in community and public health, as well as illness and disease prevention, can further their education with an advanced degree in health education. Health education is a field of study that incorporates many academic disciplines including education, humanities, and natural and applied health.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, health educators “work to encourage healthy lifestyles and wellness through educating individuals and communities about behaviors that can prevent diseases, injuries, and other health problems.”
What’s unique about the field of health education is its multidisciplinary nature. Students study a variety of topics and have the opportunity to combine social work with science and medicine to develop outreach programs. Health educators assist a number of different populations, both nationally and globally, to prevent health issues. These services are performed through lectures, demonstrations, health screenings, and classes.
Types of Masters of Health Education Degrees
There are different graduate-level degree programs in health education. Each degree offers a more specific curriculum, so students can focus on the specialization that most interests them. Below is a list of degrees students can earn in this field as well as what each entails. They also allow professionals in various fields to obtain a higher-level degree in order to focus on becoming educators or leaders in their health fields.
- MHA in Health Education: A Masters of Healthcare Administration with a specialization in health education prepares graduates for managerial positions in healthcare education. Students learn the how to instruct on an administrative level.
- MSN in Health Education: A Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in health education is a degree designed for registered nurses who wish to acquire additional training and academic credentials. Nurses learn advanced nursing skills as well as sharpen their instructional and assessment techniques.
- MPH in Health Education: A Master of Public Health with a specialization in health education is a degree program for public health professionals who want to be leaders in the education and human service professions.
Each of these programs offers a slightly different focus. An MSN is an important credential for any RN while an MHA and an MPH are designed for students with an interest in administrative and leadership opportunities within the healthcare arena.
Degree Program Overview
Graduate degree programs in health education cover a variety of topics and give students an opportunity to connect previously learned concepts to new learning. Many applicants will already hold a B.S. in education or science. Graduate programs in health education are often grouped under similar titles such as community health education, school health education, public health education, or health promotion.
Health educators can also become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). This is a credential offered by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing, Inc. Some employers look to certification as a way to assess a candidate’s credentials. Students can elect to sit for the exam after completing all degree requirements.
Once accepted into a program, students can expect to complete between 40 and 60 hours of core health and science requirements; an internship may also be required. Graduate programs in health education typically take 18 months to two years to complete, and coursework typically includes the following subjects:
- Ethics and health
- Public policy
- Health sciences
- Behavioral sciences
- Health education
Jobs for Masters of Health Education Degree Holders
Given the wide scope and interdisciplinary nature of this degree, a considerable amount of career options are available to graduates. Nurses, public health professionals, and educators can all benefit from the skills learned in health education programs. In fact, a degree in health education is an enormous asset in today’s healthcare workplace. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bright future for health educators is expected:
- 51 percent of health educators work in healthcare and social assistance, and an additional 23 percent work in government.
- A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for entry-level jobs, but a master’s degree may be required for certain positions or for advancement.
- Faster than average job growth is expected.
With a graduate degree in health education, graduates can find work in the following settings:
- General medical and surgical hospitals
- Colleges, universities, and professional schools
- Local government
- Outpatient care centers
- Individual and family services
Salaries vary depending on the nature and complexity of the job. Health educators can earn up to $90,000 a year if employed by the highest level of the federal government, according to the BLS. Health educators who work for small agencies can earn between $40,000 and $60,000 annually. Salaries are often paid through grants and other outside sources.
Health Educator Job Description
Health educators have many important job duties. They are responsible for individuals, communities, and other healthcare providers with implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs that promote health equity.
Depending on the type of employer and services provided, the typical job duties of an individual working in health education, according to O*net, are as follows:
- Document activities and record information, such as the number of applications completed, presentations conducted, and persons assisted.
- Develop and present health education and promotion programs, such as training workshops, conferences, and school or community presentations.
- Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with agencies and organizations interested in public health care.
- Develop operational plans and policies necessary to achieve health education objectives and services.
- Collaborate with health specialists and civic groups to determine community health needs and the availability of services and to develop goals for meeting needs.
- Maintain databases, mailing lists, telephone networks, and other information to facilitate the functioning of health education programs.
- Supervise professional and technical staff in implementing health programs, objectives, and goals.
- Design and conduct evaluations and diagnostic studies to assess the quality and performance of health education programs.
- Provide program information to the public by preparing and presenting press releases, conducting media campaigns, or maintaining program-related web sites.
Since health educators assume such a wide variety of responsibilities, the list above is only a summary of typical job functions. With an advanced degree in this field, graduates can expect to be even more heavily engaged in making decisions in their specialized fields.
Online Health Educator Degree Programs
For students who need a more a flexible and convenient learning option, online education provides graduate school students the opportunity to obtain an advanced degree without sacrificing career or family. In order to find the right program in health education, it’s important to research schools carefully as not all colleges and universities offer a health education specialization.
Many schools now offer distance learning options for students interested in pursuing their masters in health education. Students can complete all required coursework from their home computer, and internships and other experiential learning opportunities are completed at a local government or private agency.
Additional Resources for Health Educators
There are many Web sites for health educators that provide useful resources in addition to direct services. The list below will help simplify searches and offer insight into the field: