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The Emergency Preparedness specialization is designed to help you be personally and professionally prepared to respond to a disaster. From mitigating risks to recovering from a catastrophe, health education and promotion plays an integral role in responding to emergency situations. Study critical issues in emergency management; strategies for assessing, preparing for and preventing disasters; and lessons in how to help others deal with disaster, crisis and trauma.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
Note on Certification
The MS in Health Education and Promotion has been designed to reflect the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Educators outlined by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and to prepare students to sit for the national Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) exams. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to national certification exams; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification exams for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification. For more information about the CHES and MCHES exams, students should visit http://www.nchec.org.
In this course, students cover the origins and evolution of the concept of health, including some of the important health problems that face the world today and emerging concerns for the future. Learners in this foundational course are introduced to key events in history as well as some of the health systems and issues that a modern health practitioner may encounter. Strategies for success as a graduate-level scholar and a health practitioner are integrated in a way that provides meaningful context to learners. Students discuss key concepts with peers, and the course culminates with a reflection paper designed to help learners evaluate where they fit in and how to progress as a scholar and a practitioner. Students explore careers in various public health and health education settings and experience a virtual health department to learn about various functions and personnel.
What does it mean to be a health educator in the 21st century? Students in this foundation course explore the field of health education: historical milestones, current issues, and future opportunities and challenges. They examine settings for practice, professional competencies, interprofessional collaborations, credentialing, professional organizations, use of technology, and ethical issues pertaining to health education. Students will also analyze current issues in the field by reviewing scholarly publications and research pertaining to health education practice. Course assignments also include an introduction to commonly used health education theories and models, and students will have the opportunity to develop a philosophy statement for health education practice in the new millennium.(Prerequisite/Corequisite: HLTH 6XXX - The Evolution of Health—foundations course.)
It is important for health educators and other health professionals to understand the unique characteristics and health needs of a community in order to provide effective and relevant health education and services. This course will introduce the student to the principles and processes of needs assessment and community capacity-building as a first step in the program planning process. Students will learn about individual, small-group, and community-based assessments as well as quantitative and qualitative approaches. Students will directly apply what they are reading and discussing in class to their own communities by conducting an assessment unique to their community. Other topics covered include: use of primary and secondary data; exploration of instruments to collect community data; interpretation and analysis of data, and prioritization of health education needs. Community mapping tools and other technology used in the assessment process will also be explored.
In this course, students will identify and discuss social and ecological perspectives of public health including individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, societal, and public policy factors. Students will explore the socioecological model (SEM) and other theoretical frameworks to prevent morbidity and reduce mortality from major causes of disease. The range of topics are primarily centered on the U.S.; however, recognizing the growing need to understand how disease impacts the global community, international settings will also be explored to deepen the understanding of public health perspectives. Students will apply these frameworks and other theories presented in the course to address current public health problems and reduce health disparities. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the SEM through researching and describing a specific health issue in their community, discussing contributing factors, and proposing an appropriate intervention. They will also share ideas and perspectives and provide feedback to peers through discussion forums.
The focus of this course is on the competencies required of the public health professional in planning for the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of community health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. Attention is given to needs assessment, logic models, and collaboration with stakeholders. Strategic approaches to planning, implementation, and evaluation with particular attention to study design and sampling are addressed. Health behavior theories are considered in the development of health promotion programs, the application of evaluation findings, and prioritization of community concerns and resources.
Effective communication plays a vital role in the diffusion of a health behavior or innovation. This course is designed to introduce the health educator to a wide range of health communication strategies. Assignments will allow students to apply and evaluate the use of health education delivery methods for various populations and practice settings (i.e., community, clinical, work site, global, schools, etc.). Principles and theories of health communication and behavior change will be applied to a variety of health education case studies. Students will also demonstrate how to design and communicate culturally tailored health information to an audience of their choice. They will also explore the use of emerging technologies and social media in delivering and promoting health education. (Prerequisites: HLTH 6XXX - The Evolution of Health (foundations course), HLTH 6XXX - Exploring Health Education in the 21st Century, HLTH 6XXX - Assessing Community Needs for Health Education.)
Public health professionals use the results of research in many ways, including in the development of programs and interventions designed to enhance the health of communities as well as to demonstrate the efficacy of programs to stakeholders who provide funding. In this course, students will engage in an examination of the research that informs public health programs, policy, and practice. Specific topics to be covered include study designs, sampling, identification of variables, methods of data collection and analysis, key concepts in measurement (including reliability and validity), program evaluation, and research ethics. As a major assignment in this course, students will engage in an integrative literature review and begin to develop what may become their capstone project.
Students gain a foundational understanding of the administrative, managerial, and organizational practices of public health and healthcare delivery systems. Students examine theories of leadership as well as the professional attributes, skills, styles, and strategies required to advance public health goals. They engage in a variety of contextual and practical assignments focused on management theories, policy processes, systems thinking, strategic planning and partnerships, quality and performance improvement, leadership, and organizational behavior. Students also consider the impact of global trends on public health practice, policy, and systems.
The Capstone course is intended to be taken last in the M.S. in Health Education and Promotion program. It provides students with an opportunity to synthesize knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program by completing a Capstone project focused on social change. The M.S. in Health Education and Promotion Capstone project is designed to empower students with the skills necessary to secure external grant funding through grant proposal writing. Students will integrate theoretical and practical knowledge as well as scientific research to prepare a grant proposal for funding a health education program which addresses a pressing health need in their community. Emphasis is placed on grant sources and resources, the grant proposal process, grant management, and sustainability. (Prerequisites: All courses in the M.S. in Health Education and Promotion Core.)
Students in this course examine the theories and concepts underpinning contemporary emergency management and how to understand the phenomena of natural and human-caused disasters. Students examine the historical context of emergency management, the general process of risk assessment, the emergency management cycle, communications within emergency management and crisis planning, and the general policy and legal framework surrounding the process of emergency management in the United States with a focus on the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Case studies of major catastrophes are used to explore contemporary and practical hazard management. Students can complete the FEMA Emergency Management Institute courses IS-100.b - Introduction to Incident Command System and either IS-800.b - National Response Framework: An Introduction or IS700.a - National Incident Management System as part of this course. Nationally recognized certificates are awarded for successful completion of FEMA courses.
Risk assessment and mitigation are key components to effective all-hazards emergency management. In this course, students focus on the methods and techniques required to assess a community’s risk and what measures are needed to protect human life and capital assets. Students can learn ways to evaluate the social vulnerability and identify special needs of populations who may be at greater risk during an emergency or disaster. Students then explore methods to reduce risk and build capacity through preparedness and mitigation techniques. In addition, as part of this course, students complete the FEMA Emergency Management Institute course IS-393.a: Introduction to Hazard Mitigation.
Issues in disaster response are concerned with meeting basic and humanitarian needs of disaster-affected populations. Issues include evacuation, relocation, and tactical and strategic decisions in the immediate aftermath of an emergency episode. Recovery begins once the immediate threat of the emergency wanes and the focus shifts to restoring disaster-affected areas. Students will learn about important federal policies related to disaster response and recovery, including the National Response Framework (NRF), and will gain an understanding of how local, state, and federal policies mesh in response and recovery efforts. Students will complete the FEMA Emergency Management Institute course IS208.a State Disaster Management as part of this course.
Students on this course are provided with an overview of terrorism—local, national, and international—and the need to develop a systemic approach for emergency preparedness. Topics include terrorism and public health, bioterrorism, biosecurity, cyberterrorism, risk assessment, implications for public health, and components of a systemic preparedness infrastructure. Students participate in online discussions and begin the development and/or analysis of a terrorism preparedness infrastructure.
Students define natural and human-made disasters, such as war, violence, genocide, and terrorist activities, and review how they impact the psychology of individuals and groups. Topics include theories of trauma; actions and behaviors following a disaster; stress, coping, and adjustment difficulties; psychological disorders (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder); and available resources to deal with the trauma. The emphasis is on the importance and development of culturally appropriate service delivery programs and interventions for individuals affected and traumatized by disaster(s).
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