Students in health education bachelor's programs learn to promote health through planning, implementation, maintenance, and evaluation of health programs for individuals and communities. Earning a health education degree online provides the skills to succeed in the multifaceted field of health education and to sit for the certified health education specialist exam. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for health educators to grow 13% through 2024, faster than the national average, making now the perfect time to earn a health education degree online.
What are the best health education programs of 2020? Here are our top 5:
|1||Arizona State University-Skysong||Scottsdale, AZ|
|2||University of North Carolina at Greensboro||Greensboro, NC|
|3||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester, NH|
|4||University of Louisiana at Lafayette||Lafayette, LA|
|5||Mississippi University for Women||Columbus, MS|
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAMS?
Arizona State University-Skysong
|Scottsdale, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
ASU enjoys a nationwide reputation for innovation excellence. The college's prestige extends to the school's online bachelor of science in health education and health promotion, offered through the ASU system's Skysong campus.
Students in this 120-credit program normally take 39 classes divided across 7.5-week terms. Core courses focus heavily on certified health education specialist (CHES) proficiencies, as specified by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. CHES competencies deal with whole-body health, including its physical, psychological, and emotional components.
Over the course of the program, learners develop professional expertise with a variety of specific health topics, including preventative interventions, sexual and emotional health education, nutrition, and exercise. Degree-seekers also learn how to leverage social media and marketing tools as messaging platforms. These topics qualify graduates for immediate employment in various healthcare, community, education, and institutional settings.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
|Greensboro, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
UNC offers an entirely online bachelor of science in public health with a community health concentration. The university prioritizes two main objectives: arming students with thorough knowledge of public health principles and practices and conforming to the learning guidelines set by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).
Specific skills and proficiencies learners develop include injury and disease prevention; the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices; and professional abilities to conceive, refine, and apply community-oriented health action plans. Graduates of this renowned 122-credit program enjoy immediate eligibility for NCHEC-backed certified health education specialist credentialing.
UNC Greensboro consistently earns high scores from multiple major college rankings agencies, receiving accolades for its general quality, affordability, military friendliness, and the socioeconomic mobility of its graduates. The university holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester, NH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
At SNHU, students in the online bachelor of science in community health education program engage with evidence-based approaches to public health education. Coursework emphasizes the importance of statistics, epidemiology, program analysis, and community health and safety guidelines. The college also encourages students to cultivate their own unique professional identities in their future careers as advocates of community-wide health literacy.
SNHU's program boasts excellent affordability, optimal convenience and flexibility, and transfer-friendly policies. SNHU students pay the lowest-tuition rates in the state, and asynchronous course delivery models facilitate self-scheduled learning. Degree-seekers with relevant college coursework can transfer in up to 90 credits, which represents three-quarters of overall degree requirements.
SNHU's program also features components that help equip students with valuable but often-overlooked writing and communication skills. Coursework culminates in a comprehensive community health capstone course, in which students prepare an original paper that demonstrates their acquisition and synthesis of essential concepts, theories, and professional practices.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
|Lafayette, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
UL Lafayette's bachelor of science in kinesiology features a concentration in health promotion and wellness, arming students with versatile community-centered disease and injury prevention skills. Coursework focuses on data- and analysis-based approaches to community health, including proven techniques for identifying and addressing the care needs of specific populations and demographic groups.
Learners emerge ready for careers as Certified Health Education Specialists. Default learning plans conform to standard four-year structures built around 16-week semesters, but students can choose to accelerate their learning.
The entirely online program offers budget-conscious students various benefits. Flat-rate tuition fees remain highly affordable, with out-of-state degree-seekers qualifying for low in-state rates. Online learners also can participate in experiential learning opportunities at clinical and community-based settings throughout Louisiana or in their local areas.
Mississippi University for Women
|Columbus, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
Chartered in 1884, MUW began its illustrious history as the first state-supported higher education institution for female students in the United States. The college has welcomed learners of all genders since 1982 and holds full regional accreditation along with specialized endorsements for its nursing, teacher education, and family relations programs.
Online students enjoy access to one of the state's top public health education programs, which leads to a bachelor of science or bachelor of applied science designation. This entirely internet-based degree path embraces current federal, state, and local health agency guidelines, with course content undergoing regular revisions to ensure relevance and accuracy.
The bachelor of science path welcomes first-year students without previous college coursework along with transfer students with existing associate of arts or associate of science degrees. Incoming learners with associate of applied science degrees in public health and nursing fields qualify for admission to the bachelor of applied science track.
What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's in Health Education?
While program requirements vary by school, several courses are commonly offered in health education programs. Curricula typically involve planning, promotion, maintenance, improvement, and evaluation of community health. Below are sample classes common to most health education undergraduate programs.
- Epidemiology: This course uses statistical data and interpretation to examine patterns, causes, and distribution of disease outbreaks in specific populations. Topics include methods for managing the health of populations, tools for monitoring and evaluating population health, and factors influencing population health.
- Stress management: This course examines health issues related to stress and provides useful skills for wellness coordinators and community health workers. Topics include physiology of stress, biofeedback, relaxation, prevention, analysis of psychosocial stressors, and stress reduction methods to improve health.
- Clinical informatics: This course introduces biomedical informatics, emphasizing applications in clinical environments. Students learn about decision analysis techniques, searching and organizing text information, clinical decision support systems, and issues in implementation and use. This course prepares students for careers in health information management.
- Nutrition and health: Students examine principles of good nutrition throughout the life cycle. Topics include food composition theory, metabolism, supplementation, energy, fad diets, and preventive health promotion. Coursework also covers cultural and regional influences on dietary habits, nutritional requirements, and physiological development for fitness.
- Health behavior theory: This course introduces theories of health behavior change, with a focus on planning, implementation, and evaluation of health promotion programs. Students learn how to describe the role of social factors in public health problems and how to identify availability, acceptability, and accessibility of health care.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Health Education Degrees
Before pursuing a health education degree online, it's important to verify the accreditation status of potential schools. Through a peer review process, accreditation ensures that schools adhere to high standards of quality and continual improvement. There are three types of accreditation: regional, national, and field-specific. Regional accreditation is the most widely held and respected designation. National accreditation, typically held by technical, vocational, and for-profit schools, is less standardized. Field-specific accreditation for programs in public health is provided by the Council on Education for Public Health, an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Programs which train students for careers as registered dieticians and nutritionists are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Two organizations oversee accreditation standards: the ED and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The ED recognizes accrediting agencies, and the CHEA ensures the academic integrity of agencies awarding national accreditation. To make sure you receive a reputable online health education degree, visit the ED and CHEA websites to find your program of choice in the comprehensive list of accredited programs and schools.
Career Opportunities for Bachelor's in Health Education Graduates
Career pathways for online health education degree-holders typically involve research, assessment, planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of health initiatives. Graduates with supervisory and coordination skills, social and behavioral perceptiveness, and initiative to identify and address health needs will find a variety of employment opportunities in health education. Five of the most common careers for graduates of health education programs are detailed below.
- Dietitians and Nutritionists
These professionals counsel organizations and individuals regarding health promotion and disease management through proper nutrition. They provide dietary plans and meal recommendations to meet nutrient requirements and promote healthy lifestyles. Most dietitians and nutritionists have a bachelor's degree, and many states require licensure.
Epidemiologists are research scientists who study patterns that influence the spread of human communicable diseases and injuries. Through observation and experimentation, they investigate ways to reduce the risk and impact of diseases, and they report their findings to the public health media. A career as an epidemiologist typically requires a master's degree.
- Health Educators
Health educators provide guidance and instruction to help individuals and groups promote wellness and prevent disease. They develop and present institutional health education programs, evaluate participant progress, and support and advise people making behavioral changes. A bachelor's degree is required, and some states require licensure.
- Community Health Workers
These professionals help communities and populations understand health issues. They collect data, identify community needs, discuss health concerns, provide social support, and act as liaisons between the public and the medical personnel. They also implement health promotion programs and conduct outreach and advocacy.
- Wellness Coordinator
Wellness coordinators work in organizational settings to address employee health needs and promote healthy lifestyles through nutrition and exercise. They develop dietary plans, inform staff and clients about important news in wellness promotion, and evaluate health policies. This position typically requires a bachelor's degree.
BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH EDUCATION SALARY
Salaries for health education careers are increasing, with median salaries ranging from $35,179 to $47,897. Professionals with an online health education degree and professional certification as a health educator reap benefits in later career stages, when median earnings reach $71,000. The table below features median salaries for bachelor's degree-holders in health education at various career stages.
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level||Median Salary for Mid-Career||Median Salary for Late-Career|
|JOB Health educator||$43,908||$39,000||$46,000||$54,000|
|Community health worker||$35,179||$32,000||$37,000||$39,000|
|Community health coordinator||$42,962||$40,000||$45,000||$42,000|
|Certified health education specialist||$47,897||$41,000||$51,000||$71,000|
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Health Education Program
The first step toward financing your online health education degree is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can then pursue scholarships and loans based on your qualifications and career interests. For example, students pursuing careers in public health can find scholarships from community organizations and public health associations, particularly if they are willing to work in underserved areas upon graduation.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.