How Long Does Health Education School Take?

Health educators are professionals who work in various health settings who are tasked with teaching people about various topics related to health. They determine the problems that are being faced by the community and develop programs to help solve these issues.

Health educators typically hold a bachelor’s degree in health education. A bachelor of science degree in health education equips students with the knowledge they need to head communities and come up with programs that will address their health concerns. These programs typically take four years to complete for fulltime students.

At the University of Central Arkansas, for example, their Bachelor of Science in Health Education includes such topics as health education methods and materials, theoretical bases of health education and community health problems. Students are also taught about epidemiological research and program planning and evaluation, among others.

For individuals who want flexibility in the health education program they enroll in, attending a school that offers the degree through distance education using the power of the Internet is one option. The advantage of an online course is that it provides the opportunity to balance work, family and studies while giving students the opportunity to complete the program at their own pace. At Ashford University, for example, their Bachelor of Arts in Health Education (Online) is designed to be completed in 208 weeks. Some of the topics included in their program are health care ethics and medical law, health communications and cultural diversity in health and illness. They also cover special populations. Excelsior College, on the other hand, offers the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (Health Education emphasis). It is also a four-year course that prepares students to systematically approach issues in health care and that of the needs of the community as well as teaching them to review the various issues confronting health care delivery systems.

For those who are intent on enhancing their knowledge about health education, obtaining a master’s degree in the field is the next logical step. This course can be completed in about 18 months. At the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in Health Education and Health Communication is a course for those who want a “specialized formal academic training” in these areas. The coursework requirements can be fulfilled in a year. The program also requires students to have at least six months of experience in the field which will be an avenue for them to put what they have learned in the classroom to actual practice—with supervision, of course.

If you’re already working and have to juggle the responsibilities you have at home and in the office, you can opt to study at your own pace by taking your master’s degree classes online. Kaplan University, for example, offers the Master of Science in Health Education through an online program that is designed to be completed in 18 months. Master’s degree programs are for those who are aiming for positions of more responsibility in the community or healthcare facility they work in.

Career Spotlight: Health Educator

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