Online degree programs in health education are relatively easy to find at colleges and universities. Admission into the program can require employment as a health instructor, as well as a bachelor's degree. While the programs are available in fully online formats, students may be required to complete fieldwork experiences or internships at locations that are convenient for them. Hybrid programs with on-campus requirements in the summer are also common.
Master's Degree in Health Education
Degree programs such as a Master of Arts in Education in Health Education, Master of Arts in Health Studies and Master of Science in Health and Physical Education may be offered online. Students enrolled in a master's degree program in health education learn how to create, carry out and appraise health education and promotion programs in school, community and workplace settings.
Information and Requirements
A master's degree in health education consists of 30-46 credit hours, which can usually be completed in approximately two years. Most schools that offer this online degree program require no campus visits, though select schools require some on-campus work that generally takes place during the summer. Some fieldwork is typically required which can be done from the student's current place of employment or at a location convenient to the student. The online materials are delivered via an instructional program such as Blackboard, which students use to watch lectures, obtain and submit assignments and interact with instructors and peers.
List of Common Health Education Courses
The curriculum for the master's degree programs in health education are typically composed of required core courses and a few electives. The Master of Arts in Education also requires some core courses in education. Some credits can also come from field experiences or internships.
Health Education Program Design and Evaluation
This class examines the methods, skills and theoretical concepts inherent in the structuring, implementing and assessing of health education programs and activities. Different systems of evaluation are considered through the use of contemporary scientific research. The health-related issues of diverse populations are emphasized.
Coordinated School Health Education
Health education in the context of the school system is the focus of this class. Current procedures and equipment relevant to health education are studied in depth. Students learn how to operate on the tight budget often necessary in the educational field.
Research Methods in Health Education
Students learn how to conduct and analyze qualitative and quantitative research involving health promotion and education. The scientific method is examined from technical and mechanical viewpoints. The construction and perfection of a functional research proposal is highlighted.
Although a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for entry-level positions in health education, a master's degree provides the tools for advancement to careers such as supervisor or executive director. Some states require certification by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC) for public health positions, which students usually achieve before entering a master's degree program.
The BLS reported that in 2015, there were about 57,570 health educators of all career levels (www.bls.gov). These health educators earned a median yearly salary of $51,960. The BLS also predicted occupational growth of 12%, faster than the average for all occupations, for health educators between the years 2014-2024.
NCHEC requires completion of 75 continuing education credits every five years in order to retain certification status. Online continuing education credits exist in areas such as contraception, substance abuse and youth mentoring. Online doctorate programs in health education are also available.
There are multiple online master's degree programs offered in the field of health education. Students can expect to learn about the development and implementation of health education programs within schools, workplaces and communities, and they gain the managerial skills needed to advance to upper-level positions in the field.