The Masters of Arts in Community Health program focus is placed on applying academic studies to real life experience.  The program goals are as follows:

  1. To provide students with a rigorous education that enables them to attain knowledge, skills, abilities and values in the core disciplines of community health education so that they can address the health and wellness needs of communities.
  2. To involve students in interdisciplinary scholarly activities using qualitative and quantitative methods to foster critical reflection on the development of community health education programs, as well as competency in key areas of assessment of community health needs, program evaluation and resource development.
  3. To provide meaningful opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate with local, regional, state, national and international organizations on projects and activities that improves the health and well-being of diverse populations.

To provide meaningful opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate with local, regional, state, national and international organizations on projects and activities that improves the health and well-being of diverse populations.

Purpose 1


Purpose 2


Purpose 3


NCHEC Competencies* Area I (1.1 -1.7.5), Area II (2.1-2.5.2), Area IV (4.1), Area VI (6.1) Area II (2.1-2.5.2), Area III (3.1-3.48), Area IV (4.1-), Area V (5.1-5.6) Area VI (6.1-6.35), Area VII (7.1) s Area III (3.4), Area IV (4.1 – 4.7.4), Area V (5.1 – 5.6), Area VI (6.1-6.35), Area VII (7.1)
Values & Ethics Introduction to Community Health Education (3) Health Education Philosophy and Ethics (3) Health Advocacy and Community Outreach (3)
Self & Others Social and Cultural Aspects of Health Education (3) Foundations of Teaching for Community Health Education (3) Social Epidemiology (3)
Systems Health Care Policy and Service Delivery (3) Research Methods and Technology in Health Education (3) Organization and Administration of Health Education Programs (3)
Skills Biostatistics Literacy and Technology (3) Health and Wellness Communication (3) Program Evaluation (3)
Field Work 1 1 1
Credits 15 15 15
Area I: Assess Needs, Resources and Capacity for Health Education/Promotion
Area II: Plan Health Education/Promotion
Area III: Implement Health Education/Promotion
Area IV: Conduct Evaluation and Research Related to Health Education/Promotion
Area V: Administer and Manage Health Education/Promotion
Area VI: Serve as a Health Education/Promotion Resource Person
Area VII. Communicate, Promote, and Advocate for Health, Health Education/Promotion, and the Profession

Assessing Community Health Needs (CHE 610 PUR, CHE 610 CON, CHE 610 FLD)
In Purpose 1 students are introduced to the field of community health education and study the social, political and economic dimensions of communities and how these contribute to the health needs of their members. Population health needs, behaviors and values are explored as they impact the service delivery system and the utilization of health resources. Each student will develop a community health education assessment proposal to identify and verify the existence of a problem, need, or opportunity for Constructive Action and provide background information about their organization and the community setting in which the project will take place.
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Values & Ethics: Introduction to Community Health Education (CHE 610 VAL)
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the field of Community Health Education. Most work in health care facilities, colleges, public health departments, nonprofits, and private businesses. In this course, students will have the opportunity to explore the history and the context of the field of community health education.
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Self & Others: Social and Cultural Aspects of Health Education (CHE 610 SEL)
This course postulates the belief that any community education endeavor must recognize the important role culture plays in the assessment, program design, and intervention process. Health issues impacting social and cultural groups will be explored, highlighting their perceptions, and philosophies in regard to health care.
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Systems: Health Care Policy and Service Delivery (CHE 610 SYS)
This course provides students with an overview of the U.S. healthcare system including the programs, providers, policies and payment systems. It also addresses key issues in health care services today. It provides a thorough survey of the policies and structures of the U.S. health care system, a historical analysis of the development of the current system, and the organization and administration of health care services today and for the future. Students will examine the health care system in terms of equity, appropriateness and effectiveness of the way health care services are delivered and how we pay for them. This course may be offered in an online format.
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Skills: Biostatistics Literacy and Technology (CHE 610 SKI)
This course that provides an introduction to selected important topics in biostatistical concepts and reasoning. This course represents an introduction to the field and provides a survey of data and data types. In this course students are primarily consumers of data. They will explore publicly available data sources and discuss the implications for community health needs assessment. While there are some computational elements to the course, the emphasis is on interpretation and concepts.
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Designing and Implementing Community Health Education Programs (CHE 620 PUR, CHE 620 CON, CHE 620 FLD)
In Purpose 2, students build upon the identified need of the community and create an action plan to implement the Constructive Action proposal developed in Purpose 1. As students design and implement their projects, they will incorporate knowledge about ethical concerns, teaching strategies, research methods and communication. Feedback from stakeholders, including appropriate agency staff, funding sources, governmental resources and potential consumers, will be included in the development and implementation of the program.
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Values & Ethics: Health Education Philosophy and Ethics (CHE 620 VAL)
Today, with the drastic changes in the communities from demographic composition to information and technology, to aging and habits, the need to focus on community health seems to be more imperative than ever. That includes philosophical understanding of the concept of community, but also of the profession as well as historical, philosophical and ethical perspectives. This course will explore ethical issues in modern health care services that exist in a multicultural society. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the code of ethics for health education professionals, ethical dilemmas and ethical decision-making.
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Self & Others: Foundations of Teaching for Community Health Education (CHE 620 SEL)
Competent community health educators are required to make presentations and conduct workshops based on an assessment of individual and group needs within a community. This requires knowledge of content and the ability to teach a wide range of topics to adults with specific needs. This course lays a foundation by providing an overview of principles of learning, methodology and evidence-based/best practices for effectively teaching at all stages of the life cycle. Students will develop their presentation skills, build effective presentations, and participate in role plays aimed at educating and inspiring community members to make healthy behavioral choices to enhance their quality of life.
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Systems: Research Methods and Technology in Health Education (CHE 620 SYS)
The aim of this course is to examine the planning and conducting of research studies in community health education. Special consideration is given to sampling, validity of studies and types of research designs. Students will gain experience critiquing studies as well as designing and implementing an evaluation plan for their constructive Action Project. Understanding relevant research is a key responsibility of professionals in the field of community health education. This course may be viewed as a research design-based course in applied critical thinking.
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Skills: Health and Wellness Communication (CHE 620 SKI)
Communication is a foundational skill in health and wellness promotion. This includes written and oral communication through culturally sensitive channels to provide populations with adequate, accurate information necessary for maintaining their health and fostering wellness. Modern approaches to the dissemination of information about health include press releases for traditional print media, radio and TV public service announcements, agency handouts and flyers, and the use of internet resources.
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Measuring Outcomes and Evaluation Programs (CHE 630 PUR, CHE 630 CON, CHE 630 FLD)
In Purpose 3, students will report on and evaluate the Constructive Action project that they have implemented and use the data collected to make plans for the future including organizational maintenance structures, expansion, inter-organizational relationships and funding. The opportunity to explore the community and their project will be expanded to understanding the factors that made the project successful and those that might have hindered the progress hoped for. Administrative structures will be discussed as they can be used for facilitating and understanding the process.
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Values & Ethics: Health Advocacy and Community Outreach (CHE 630 VAL)
This course establishes a framework within which advocacy and outreach are understood to be essential to the role of the community health educator in promoting, implementing and sustaining effective health and wellness programs. Advocacy efforts strive to identify gaps in health care, provide needed services, create health equity and remove barrier that prevent access to care. Students will explore opportunities for advocacy and outreach on the local, state and federal levels and will engage in exercises to help them develop the skills needed to become an effective advocate.
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Self & Others: Social Epidemiology (CHE 630 SEL)
This course provides a non-technical overview of social epidemiology and its role in public health theory and practice, with emphasis on the social dimensions of health, illness, and injury. Topics include the history and conceptual basis for epidemiology; the basic tools of epidemiologic analysis, including case definitions and populations, incidence, prevalence, and case-fatality rates; public health surveillance and measures of health status; methodological approaches to inference, association, and causation; and the analysis of harm, benefit, cost, and intervention effectiveness.
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Systems: Organization and Administration of Health Education Programs (CHE 630 SYS)
The number and complexity of health promotion programs continues to grow as professionals, the public, and policymakers embrace prevention and health education as essential elements of the nation’s well-being. While the need is great and growing, there is a need for individuals with the requisite skills for managing these programs. This course in will introduce students to the practice of administration for community health education programs.
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Skills: Program Evaluation (CHE 630 SKI)
This course will cover evaluation that builds on basic research knowledge as a method of assessing community health programs which strengthen clients, communities and the systems that serve them. Different types of program evaluation will be explored, including needs assessment, formative research, process evaluation, monitoring of outputs and outcomes, impact assessment, and cost analysis. This course will focus on the direct application of the analytical skills associated with developing and implementing evaluation designs that are appropriate for assessing community health education.
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