We can cure diseases our ancestors once thought were incurable… but such miracle treatments are anything but cheap. One way people are dealing with increasing premiums and cutting costs is through health education. As the old saying goes, “A penny of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Working closely with individuals and health care companies alike, health educators work to raise awareness about disease and illness prevention while encouraging a healthy lifestyle. If you become well educated about health education, you might be able to save family, friends and clients — not to mention yourself — plenty of pain and money by promoting healthy living habits across the board.
We've created a list of the top ranking online Health Education programs using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) of the National Center for Education Statistics, analyzed with our unique methodology. The five fully accredited schools below offer various concentrations and degree options for those interested in pursuing a career in health education.
Research shows that health education programs lead to students making healthier choices about food and exercise, and they help keep students from participating in risky behaviors. To be effective, health educators must have up-to-date knowledge and strong communication skills in order to convey this information to students. But what courses does a health educator need to take, and what other skills will they find useful during their careers? This section gives a brief overview of both.
Typically, health education programs culminate in bachelor's degrees — the standard degree level required for most health educators. Students in online bachelor's degree programs often explore theories behind, and methods for, health behavior and health education. Courses usually found in online bachelor's degree programs in health education include:
Other courses may deal with subject matter such as diseases and lifestyles, group counseling, organic or inorganic chemistry, community health, exercise physiology, psychology and teaching strategies. Some programs merge health education with physical education, and some students double major in these complementary subjects. Other programs may emphasize health education at particular grade levels (for example, elementary students).
When pursuing some positions, students may find it wise to increase their education by earning a master's or doctoral degree. At this high-end graduate degree level, curriculums tend to be more focused and specialized, preparing students for specific careers such as community or school health educator, public health educator, dietician/ nutritionist, sports management or exercise physiologist. These programs usually include writing a thesis or dissertation; conducting research into specific aspects of health; and interning with health organizations or schools.
Online education for health education is designed to prepare students to share essential health information with certain populations. This means that these programs usually highlight certain skills that are the foundation for future health educators' work, and students should aim to hone these skills as they earn their degrees:
Demand for health educators and community health workers is expected to outpace many other occupations as the nation continues growing trends toward health and wellness. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 13 percent growth in health educator careers from 2014 through 2024 as private, non-profit, government and other organizations hire more health educators in an effort to improve health outcomes for American citizens - and to reduce healthcare costs.
Many people remember their favorite P.E. teachers regardless of how many years have passed since they were in school. The gym serves as the classroom for physical education teachers — and can be a welcome break from classroom drudgery for students.
P.E. teachers usually work in public or private high schools and middle schools, helping students develop an understanding of proper body movement in exercise and sports. It is also common for such teachers to coach one or more sports teams at their schools — since many are experts in the strategies and skills of format sports such as basketball, football, track or baseball — or to have an additional role as a health teacher due to the education they receive to earn their teaching credentials.
Adapted physical education specialists create unique P.E. programs to suit the skill level of special-needs students. It is their duty to help improve the fitness and gross motor skills of these students by instructing and working with them in adapted sports or physical-based games. Typically, they work with students who have intellectual or physical disabilities that prevent them from participating in regular P.E. classes, creating activities where participation trumps winning as the end goal. These instructors not only need to have a deep breadth of knowledge in education and physical training, but also in human behavior and treatment of behavior and physical disorders as well.
As the name implies, health educators help people live healthier lives by changing behaviors and developing strategies that promote increased wellness in individuals, organizations or communities.
Health educators plan and help implement programs designed to increase awareness of personal health and wellness. Oftentimes, they work in residential health care facilities, but many others work in educational institutions and public health departments. These professionals provide guidance to their agencies and institutions about development and delivery of educational programs that increase public health.
The nature of the work in most health educator careers is very social and involves a high level of interaction, as well as supervisory and management skills. Health educators typically earn at least a bachelor's degree in health education or health promotion; however, many positions in the field require candidates to hold at least a master's or doctoral degree.
Physical therapy professors develop and deliver curriculum to train and instruct students in the profession of physical therapy.
Like all professors, people involved in physical therapy professor careers work in a classroom setting and deliver instructional materials either face-to-face, or online for certain courses that don't require hands-on instruction. They are responsible for maintaining grade books, and grading student class work, as well as assignments and papers. They also prepare and administer tests, and some provide high-level research on topics related to physical therapy.
Physical therapy professors also must stay abreast of changes in the field. Many take continuing education courses after completing postsecondary education, which typically culminates in a master's degree, although a doctoral degree may be required for certain teaching positions.