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Campus Compact > Syllabi > By an Ehrlich Award Recipient or Finalist > Principles of Health Education


Principles of Health Education

School: California State University, San Bernardino
Professor: Richard M. Eberst, Ph.D., CHES, FASHA

Director, Community-University Partnerships
Professor and Chair of Health Science
TO – 43 (909) 880-5345 or (909) 880-5339 Fax (909) 880-7793
reberst {at} csusb(.)edu


CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this course is to examine the philosophical, ethical and theoretical foundations of the professional practice of health education in school, community, work site and hospital settings, as well as in health promotion consultant activities. Students will be expected to develop their own philosophical, ethical and theoretical approach(s) to the field after becoming familiar with the literature related to the discipline. This course also requires a minimum of five hours each week (total of 50 hours a quarter) of an active service-learning experience. The course does not fulfill the state health education requirement. Prerequisite: HSCI 120 or consent of the instructor.


COURSE GOAL: To provide a state-of-the-art, conceptual framework for health education majors who seek careers in health education and to provide other health science and health-related majors, who will be using health education practices, to gain clear, succinct principles regarding the fields of health education, health promotion, and disease prevention. All students will gain a greater understanding of the theories, elements, practices and principles that contribute to the need for and the successful implementation of a wide range of health education activities. Students will critically examine these issues through a variety of academic experiences including academic service in the community, personal reflections on that experience, and by more fully identifying their own attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviors with respect to these issues. In addition, the implications and the critical importance of their service-learning experiences, as they apply to total health status and the field of health education, will be examined.


At the conclusion of the course the student will be able to:

1.        distinguish between several philosophical approaches to the professional practice of health education.

2.        synthesize "state of the art" advances into their professional practice of health education.

3.        employ the concept of holistic health into their definition of human health status.

4.        convert current professional standards and ethics into their practice of professional health education.

5.        integrate all of the dimensions of health into a holistic approach to their health education practice.

6.        identify the most important goals and objectives of professional health education.

7.        analyze at least six theoretical approaches to the professional practice of health education.

8.        recognize the generic aspects of school, community, health care, corporate and work site health education.

9.        explore the status of professional health education practices of several, specific health-related agencies.

10.       integrate past health experiences into the development of a clear conceptualization of professional health education.

11.       integrate the "year 2010 Health Objectives For The Nation" in to their personal philosophy and actual practice of health education.

12.       arrive at a personal meaning of the concept of health and be able to clearly explain this definition to others.

13.       differentiate between the notions of disease prevention, health promotion, health education and wellness enhancement.

14.       appreciate a sense of professional identity for health educators and be able to explain this to other professionals and consumers.

15.       identify the complexity of professional opportunities available to health education specialists.

16.       identify and discuss the major issues confronting health education in the next 20 years.

17.       identify and describe the seven areas of responsibility of all entry level health educator.

18.       effectively advocate for health education activities and programs.

19.       integrate effective health education practices into their individual health science careers.




1.         Assigned Readings Materials :

A.       Read each of the chapters as assigned in PRINCIPLES OF HEALTH EDUCATION AND HEALTH PROMOTION , (3rd edition), 2002, J. Thomas Butler, Morton Publishing Company, Englewood, Colorado. See the course outline for specific reading assignments).

B.         Read all of the materials in FOUNDATIONS OF HEALTH EDUCATION , R. M. Eberst, Editor, Coyote Press, San Bernardino: 2002-03 (available in the Coyote Bookstore). Bring the book to class everyday and complete all assignments prior to class meetings.

C.         Read the two assigned articles in FOUNDATIONS OF HEALTH EDUCATION (2002-03) as listed on the course outline.

Note : All students are expected to read the assigned chapters and articles prior to coming to class and should be ready to analyze and discuss the reading during the class discussion periods.


2.         Mission of Health Education : Each student is to develop a written, personal philosophical statement regarding the long-range mission of health education (maximum of 2 pages, typed double-spaced). The Mission Statement is to contain all of the following issues:

A.          MISSION STATEMENT: A description of the student's philosophy as to the long-term, specific mission of health education. (e.g., complete the statement, "The mission of health education is to…"). This statement should describe the student's philosophy as to the global, long-range purpose(s) of all health education activities. Explain the major and most significant health aim(s) which will be achieved when comprehensive health education activities are effective.

B.          HEALTH EDUCATIONAL APPROACHES: A description of the general educational approaches to be used to insure that this mission is fulfilled ; Discuss the general educational approaches which should be employed to reach this mission? Explain what specific educational actions actually need to be accomplished to implement the mission.

Note : These are not teaching techniques, but the actual theoretical educational approaches you believe need to be used to reach your mission. Many of these approaches will be discussed in the class.

C.          LIMITATIONS: A description of the general limitations health education faces. Discuss what are the most important barriers which limit the field from reaching its mission. These could be such things as cultural, economic, fiscal, political, philosophical, etc.


3.         Service-Learning Experience : Each student must volunteer (can be paid) for at least five hours a week (50 hours total) in an agency that provides some professional health education service to the regional community. The level of student involvement must be directly related to at least one specific objectives of this course AND the mission, goals, and objectives of the agency. See the list of potential Service-Learning agencies in the HSCI office or you can contact the Office of Community-University Partnerships.


4.          Oral Service-Learning Reports : Oral Reflection Reports must contain all of the following:

A.         Description of the agency; General Mission, goals, objectives of the agency; Specific Heath Education Mission, goals, and objectives of the agency; Health education services offered, relation of the agency purpose to at least one of the General Objectives (see above) of HSCI 301 (be specific);

B.         Description of your desired outcomes for the service-learning experience specifically related to HSCI 301 and your service at the agency;

C.         Description of your day-to-day health education and other service at the agency;

D.         Description of the three most important things you learned from the experience and, for each, your personal reflections as to how the learning specifically related to the General Objectives of HSCI 301. For these reflections you can related your reflections to any or all of the six health dimensions: Mental, emotional, social, spiritual, physical, or vocational

D.          Your over-all summary reactions to the entire experience.

F.           Your recommendations for future students who will be engaging in service­learning experiences in this agency.

G.          A 5 x 8 index card summarizing your comments for A and C is to be submitted at the time of the oral report for future students to use to learn about potential service-learning sites.


5.         Written Service-Learning Reflection Report : Written Reflection Papers must contain all of the following:

A.         Description of the agency; Mission, goals, objectives, services offered, relation of the agency purpose to the behavioral objectives of HSCI 301;

B.         Description of your desired outcomes related to the General Objectives for HSCI 301 and your service at the agency;

C.          Description of your day-to-day service at the agency;

D.         Description of the ten most important things you learned and, for each, your reactions as to how this learning specifically relate to the General Objectives of HSCI 301;

E.          Description of the high point of your experience in the agency;

F.          Description of the low point of your experience in the agency;

G.         Description of the three most important things you learned from the experience and, for each, your personal reflections as to how the learning specifically related to the General Objectives of HSCI 301. For these reflections you can related your reflections to any or all of the six health dimensions: Mental, emotional, social, spiritual, physical, or vocational.

H.         Discussion of your advice for future students who may engage in service-learning at this agency.

I.          Your over-all summary reflections and reactions to the entire experience


6.          Quizzes : There will be four (4) unannounced quizzes covering the textbook readings, the articles, the class discussions, and the handout book. The quizzes will be "objective" in nature and each quiz will be worth ten (10) points.


7. Class Participation and Discussion of the Readings :




REQUIREMENTS                           POINTS                      

Mission of Health Education                 10

Service-Learning Oral Report               20

Service-Learning Written Report           20

Quizzes                                                40

Class participation/attendance               10

                     Total                             100

A                  93-100Pts.
A-                90-92    
B+                87-89
B                  83-86    
B-                 80-82
C+                77-79
C                  73-76
D+                67-69
D                  63-66
D-                 60-62
F        less than 60

The grade symbols used at the University are as follows:

A          Excellent     4.0
A-                             3.7
B+                            3.3
B          Good           3.0
B-                             2.7
C+                            2.3
C          Satisfactory  2.0
C-                             1.7
D+                            1.3
D          Passing        1.0
D-                             0.7
F           Failing         0.0



QUIZ AND ASSIGNMENT POLICY : Students are expected to take quizzes and submit assignments on the assigned dates unless other arrangements have been made with the instructor prior to the due date.


ATTENDANCE POLICY : Students are expected to attend and participate in every class meeting during the quarter. However, if it is necessary to miss a class, students are responsible for making up all information, concepts, etc., missed because of the absence. Students mission more than five (5) classes may be asked to drop the class. Students arriving late to class are often a distraction to both the instructor and other students, therefore, make every effort to be in class on time.

There will be experiential learning situations (e.g. group activities) in this course; therefore, it will be to your advantage to attend all classes as these experiences are impossible to make-up.


EXTRA WORK POLICY : No extra credit work will be allowed. Students should make every effort to submit their very best work on the due date.


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I learned to expect more from higher education. Higher education institutions need to prepare young people to become active citizens, not just successful professionals."

-Summer Stowe-Johnson, Oklahoma State University, Campus Compact student leader