There are many online master's degree programs in healthcare education, and they can lead to numerous career options, including teaching health in the public school system or in diverse settings as a public health worker. Master's degree candidates in healthcare education must hold a bachelor's degree, and some programs require that students be licensed teachers.
In an online master's degree program, students can access courses as their schedules permit, downloading and completing class assignments online. An internship may be required, and a few programs call for on-campus visits. However, most are designed to be entirely online, accommodating the needs of students who work full time.
Master's degree courses in healthcare education focus on teaching methods. Students learn to assess their audience and design curriculum that meets its unique needs. Courses can range from very specific topics like drug abuse or human sexuality to training in management and leadership.
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Healthcare Education Master's Degrees
Whether a student's background is in education, health or another field, an online master's degree program in healthcare education prepares students to create programs that teach the public about health-related issues. Graduates might work in schools, with non-profits or for health organizations. Depending on the program, students may be required to hold a teaching license, and most programs require GRE scores, minimum undergraduate GPA and letters of recommendation.
Information and Requirements
Online healthcare education master's degree programs often require the completion of 35-60 credit hours. These programs are usually designed to allow students to pursue their online degree while working full-time. Some schools require students to attend a session on campus, but many programs allow students to complete their master's degree entirely online.
Students in an online healthcare education master's degree program communicate with their professors and classmates through e-mail, chat tools and message boards. Many schools provide students with access to online research libraries and other materials.
List of Healthcare Education Courses
The courses required in online healthcare education master's degree programs teach students about education principles and common health issues. The courses offered depend on the focus of the program, with some programs emphasizing healthcare education in schools and others more geared toward educating the general public.
Curriculum and Program Planning
A curriculum and program planning course teaches students how to assess their audience, create an educational plan and evaluate their curriculum's effectiveness. Students will discuss the issues surrounding curriculum development and assessment.
Teaching Diverse Audiences
Students learn about teaching to diverse audiences, including people from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, people with different sexual orientations and those with various levels of learning abilities. The course also discusses the laws regulating equality in education.
Students take a drug education course to learn about addiction and abuse issues. The course teaches future healthcare educators how to address drug use in schools and other organizations.
A management course helps healthcare educators understand how to oversee a staff of educators and administrative personnel, work within budgets, raise funds and evaluate their program. Students also learn about motivating staff.
Students learn about current research in the healthcare education field in a research class. The course teaches healthcare educators how to analyze research literature and how to design and conduct their own studies.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that healthcare educator jobs are due to increase by 12% between 2014 and 2024. Experience volunteering and interning could give a job seeker an advantage, and a graduate degree like the online master's degree in healthcare education might be attractive to employers (www.bls.gov). In addition, in 2015, the BLS listed the median annual salary for health educators at $51,960.
Continuing Education Information
The National Commission on Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC) offers a voluntary certification to healthcare educators who possess a bachelor's degree or higher. An exam is required, and continuing education hours are needed to maintain certification. The BLS reports that certification may help job seekers in some industries, but not all employers require it. A doctoral degree in health education might be attractive to those who wish to work as a researcher or teach at the collegiate level.
Individuals who want to become health educators in their schools or communities may wish to pursue an online master's degree in healthcare education. Because many of these programs are designed for professionals, such as licensed teachers, the online classes are flexible in terms of scheduling.