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Health Education (Exercise & Fitness)

According to the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), health educators are "professionals who design, conduct and evaluate activities that help improve the health of all people."

The health education program at the University of Cincinnati is designed to prepare graduates for a variety of health education job opportunities. Health educators work to improve the health of individuals or communities, depending on their work setting and job responsibilities. For example, health educators working in health departments often are concerned with the health of the community they serve and may develop programs to impact people living in the community. Health educators working in business/industry may be working one-on-one with individuals to help them modify and improve their diet, increase their physical activity, reduce their stress levels, stop smoking, etc.

The seven basic responsibilities of health educators include:

  • assessing individual and community needs for health education
  • planning health education strategies, interventions and programs
  • implementing health education strategies, interventions and programs
  • conducting evaluation and research related to health education
  • administering health education strategies, interventions and programs
  • serving as a health education resource person
  • communicating and advocating for health and health education

Each of these responsibilities is further broken down into competencies and sub-competencies as identified by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national certification exam to become certified health education specialists (CHES).

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Quick Info

Program Code

18BS-HEDU-E

Real-World Learning Components

Required internship(s)

Duration

4 years

Admission Criteria

Selective

Location

Main Campus
ACT
21.0 - 25.0
SAT
970 - 1110

Department

Health Promotion and Education
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services

Contact

Cincinnati,OH  45221
CECH Student Services Center
Email: cechssc@uc.edu
Phone: 513-556-2336

Student Success Factors

Health educators must be good communicators and like working with people. They need to be able to comfortably speak to individuals and groups and must have excellent writing skills. Further, those majoring in health promotion are usually committed to their own health and are excited about helping others improve theirs. Creativity is a real plus for health educators, as it often takes creative thinking to motivate and help individuals or communities to change health behaviors.

Both the behavioral and biological sciences form the foundation for health education. Course work is required in such areas as psychology, sociology, human growth and development, human anatomy and physiology, statistics and speech/communications.

Career Possibilities

Graduates of the health education program can work in a variety of settings including corporate fitness centers, commercial fitness centers, hospitals, YMCAs and recreation departments.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

Students completing the undergraduate health education exercise and fitness program in the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) earn a bachelor of science in health education. Majoring in health education requires a total of 120 undergraduate semester hours. Students must complete a prescribed curriculum which includes general education requirements, core classes for all health education majors, and courses in exercise and fitness.

All students complete a full-time (12 credit hour) internship as part of their program. This entails working a total of 400 hours at an approved internship site during the semester. All course work must be completed prior to enrolling in the internship unless permission is obtained from the internship coordinator. A 2.0 university GPA is required for internship.

Successful completion of the degree prepares students to receive the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential after passing the national exam. Students completing this program could also complete exercise specific certifications offered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), American Council on Exercise (ACE), and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Minor Details

There is no minor offered in health education - exercise and fitness.

Curriculum

These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Fall 2014

Predominant Program

    Fall (Year 1)
    • ENGL1001, English Composition, EC, 3
    • HPE1020, Principles and Foundations of Health Promotion and Education, 3
    • HPE1012, Nutrition and Health, NS, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student may select from HPE 2003, HPE 2008, HPE 2026, PSYC 1001 or SOC 1001, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an HFL Elective, 1
    • HPE1001, Personal Health, SE, 3
    Spring (Year 1)
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select a Exercise and Fitness Elective, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student may select from HPE 2003, HPE 2008, HPE 2026, PSYC 1001 or SOC 1001, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student may select HPE 1005, HPE 1006, HPE 2000, HPE2001 or HPE2004, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an HFL Elective, 1
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select 4 hours of Free Electives, 4
    • HPE1002, Introduction to Public/Community Health, SE, 3
    Summer (Year 1)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 2)
    • HPE1010, Historical Perspectives in Health, HP, 3
    • HPE2071, Applied Statistics for Human Services I, QR, 3
    • HPE2080, Applied Human Anatomy for Exercise and Health Professionals, 3
    • HPE3001, Health Across the Lifespan I: Adolescent and Child, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will choose a Free Elective, 3
    Spring (Year 2)
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an HFL Elective, 1
    • ENGL2089, Intermediate Composition, EC, 3
    • HPE2072, Applied Statistics for Human Services II, QR, 3
    • HPE4010, Epidemiology of Human Disease, 3
    • HPE3002, Health Across the Lifespan II: Adult and Aging, 3
    Summer (Year 2)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 3)
    • HPE3071, Health Education Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation I, 3
    • HPE3031, Exercise Physiology, 3
    • HPE3032, Exercise Physiology Lab, 1
    • HPE2002, Minority and Vulnerable Population Health, DC, SS, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an Exercise and Fitness Elective, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select a Free Elective, 3
    Spring (Year 3)
    • HPE3072, Health Education Program Planning, Implentation and Evaluation II, 3
    • HPE3033, Exercise Leadership Practicum, 1 - 2
    • HPE6030, Kinesiology, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an HFL Elective, 1
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an Exercise and Fitness Elective, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an Exercise and Fitness Elective, 3
    Summer (Year 3)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 4)
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an Exercise and Fitness Elective, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an Exercise and Fitness Elective, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select a Free Elective, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select a Free Elective, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select a Free Elective, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Student will select an HFL Elective, 1
    Spring (Year 4)
    • HPE5091, Internship: Health Education, 4 - 12
    Summer (Year 4)
    • N/A

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

The health education program at the University of Cincinnati is one of the premier programs in the country. The University of Cincinnati has 12 full-time faculty serving students in the program. UC’s faculty members are well known in the profession and are recognized leaders at the local, state and national levels. For example, UC’s faculty have served as presidents of national associations, served on boards of directors of national associations, participated in accreditation visits and site reviews of other health education programs, served on numerous professional committees, acted as editors of national journals and continue to receive some of the highest student evaluations for their teaching and mentoring in the college.

UC faculty regularly present papers at professional meetings, publish in professional journals and write textbooks that are used throughout the profession. As a result of their involvement, UC faculty members are well connected with other health educators in the profession, which helps students effectively network, enter graduate school and obtain employment in the field.

Opportunities for internships are outstanding in the Greater Cincinnati area. Our students have interned with Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Company, GE Aircraft Engines, local health departments, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Red Cross, UC Athletics, the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, and many other outstanding companies and agencies. Another advantage to studying at UC is the fact that the health education program is offered at the bachelor's, master’s and doctoral levels. This provides students with the opportunity to obtain advanced degrees and to interact with graduate-level health education students.

Students that complete this degree program also have the opportunity to obtain additional national certification which include:

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)

The Certified Health Education Specialist examination is a competency-based tool used to measure possession, application and interpretation of knowledge in the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists.  Consisting of 165 multiple-choice questions the CHES examination is offered in paper-and-pencil format that you can take through UC testing services.  There is a 90-Day Eligibility Option offered to students scheduled to graduate within 90 days of an exam date, please speak with an Academic Advisor regarding this opportunity.

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

For future professionals interested in train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance by conducting sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs, provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.  CPR and AED Certification required to take the CSCS exam. Individuals enrolled as seniors at colleges or universities are eligible to sit for the CSCS examination.  Please review this website for details http://www.nsca.com/CSCS_Certification_2.

Personal Training Certifications

Special Programs

Eta Sigma Gamma
ESG is a national student health education honorary organization with a chapter (Gamma Eta) at UC. The mission of the honorary is to promote the discipline of health education by elevating the standards, ideals, competence and ethics of professionally prepared men and women in health education.

CECH Tribunal
The purpose of the CECH Tribunal is to ensure that the interests of CECH students are voiced and to provide student representation on behalf of all undergraduate students in CECH. Also, the tribunal organizes programs and social events for students of the college.

Student Ambassador ProgramThe Student Ambassador program represents CECH at the University of Cincinnati by assisting with the recruitment and retention of students in the college. CECH Student Ambassadors provide a valuable service by representing the student perspective of university life to prospective and new students. Ambassadors also represent the college at numerous collegiate functions, professional events and key promotional events. Being selected as a CECH Student Ambassador is an honor that reflects academic rigor and a commitment to the fields of education, health promotion and education, and criminal justice.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to this program is generally available for students transferring to the University of Cincinnati if they were admissible directly from high school and have a 2.0 cumulative GPA (all prior institutions combined).

Students who were NOT admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA (all prior institutions combined)

Changing Majors Within UC

Admission to this program is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges of the University of Cincinnati if they were admissible directly from high school and have a 2.0 cumulative GPA (UC and any prior institutions combined).

Students who were NOT admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA (UC and any prior institutions combined)

Current UC students wishing to transfer into the program should contact the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services at 513-556-2336.

International Student Requirements

International students should contact the University of Cincinnati's Office of Admissions for details. 513-556-1100.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, a student must:

  • Complete all required course work and program requirements.
  • Obtain a grade of C- or better for all health education exercise and fitness courses.
  • Obtain at least a 2.0 university grade point average.
  • Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Meet the college's residency requirement of 30 semester credit hours.
  • File formal application for the degree by the posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester

Freshmen:

  • Early Action Deadline: Dec. 1*
  • Rolling Deadline: March 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: May 1

* Your application must be complete by this date in order to be considered for scholarships and the Honors Program.

Transfers:

  • Application Deadline: July 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: Aug. 1

Spring Semester

Freshmen and Transfers: 

  • Application Deadline: Nov. 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: Dec. 1

Summer Semester

Freshmen and Transfers: 

  • Application Deadline: March 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: April 1

Accreditation

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.