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College of Science and Health
Health Education and Promotion

What is Health Education?

Improving health and preventing disease is a critical concern for every community and has never been more timely. Our Health Education and Promotion (HLED) major is for those who desire to become health education specialists who are trained to help others become healthier. According to the professional association for health education specialists (the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing or NCHEC), health education specialists “work with individuals, families, and communities, as well as public and private organizations to create, implement, oversee, and analyze programs and strategies that promote health and well-being” ( Through education and engagement, the major fosters the ability to develop sustainable health solutions and health equity to advocate for and strengthen the health of diverse communities as well as acting as reputable health resources.

Our major provides a unique focus on nutrition. Health education as a profession is concerned with educating the public to shift from unhealthy to healthy behaviors to improve their health and quality of life. A focus on nutrition means that students gain a valuable dietary point of view that is fundamental to developing preventative programs for disease risk reduction.

This Health Education and Promotion major was designed by practitioners and educators in public health, community health and nutrition and aligned with the national competencies for health education specialists established by NCHEC. This means students graduating with this major not only gain evidence-based knowledge and practical skills to prepare them for a vocation in health education, but also gain eligibility to take the credentialing examination offered through NCHEC in order to become credentialed as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

Why Major in Health Education and Promotion at Benedictine University?

  • Benedictine University is a highly ranked university.
  • This program is aligned with national health education competencies.
  • This program provides a unique focus on nutrition for disease risk reduction.
  • This major at BenU emphasizes application of knowledge. Students are equipped to be expertly informed and encouraged to apply their knowledge. Health education courses use multiple methods of interaction and assessment, including educational lesson plans, written and oral presentations, group activities, review of research and evidence-based discussions. 
  • Benedictine University is the only private university in Illinois offering a major in Health Education and Promotion.
  • You will reap the benefits of smaller class sizes by seizing opportunities for greater engagement with faculty in the classroom, more active learning and networking with peers and future colleagues.

Program Mission

The mission of the undergraduate Health Education and Promotion major program is to provide and promote a high-quality education for preparation of competent future health educators and leaders. Preparation includes development of evidence-based comprehensive knowledge and applications to assess community resources and needs, and to plan, implement and evaluate health programs within diverse populations. Through education and engagement, this major fosters the development of sustainable health solutions and health equity to advocate and strengthen the health of local and global communities.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the major in Health Education and Promotion, the student will successfully:

  1. Assess, plan, design, implement, administer, and evaluate health education and promotion programs.
  2. Demonstrate evaluation and use of scientific information and research for evidence-informed practice.
  3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the beliefs, values, and behaviors for professional practice.
  5. Demonstrate critical-thinking skills.

In our intimate classrooms, you’ll experience:

  • Engaging Interactions: Immerse yourself in lively discussions and collaborate with faculty experts. Their personalized attention ensures your voice is heard and questions are actively encouraged, fostering a deeper understanding of the field.
  • Active Learning: Go beyond passive learning and actively participate in hands-on activities, projects, and group work. This dynamic approach allows you to apply knowledge, develop practical skills, and build confidence in your abilities.
  • Meaningful Connections: Network with your peers – future colleagues who share your passion for health education. These connections pave the way for lifelong friendships and professional collaborations, supporting you throughout your journey.

Sample Curriculum Plan 2024-2025

Here is an example of some courses you may take in the Health Education and Promotion program:

  • Community Health and Nutrition Programs
  • Health Education Planning
  • Management of Health Initiatives
  • Nutritional Science
  • Health Coaching

Health Education and Promotion courses (HLED)

Courses include: NUTR

Lisle undergraduate course descriptions

Mesa undergraduate course descriptions

Students pursuing this major will need to complete general electives to fulfill the University requirement for 120 credit hours toward graduation. A student earning a major in Health Education and Promotion can also complete a major in Nutrition and Dietetics (Lisle only) or Nutrition and Allied Health (Mesa only) programs. Or, students are encouraged to pursue a minor, such as a minor in Nutrition and Food Sciences. Examples of other complementary minors include Personal Fitness (Lisle), Strength and Conditioning (Lisle), Sports Management (Lisle), Communications, Entrepreneurship, Management and Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Spanish.

Become a Certified Health Education Specialist: Your Path to Making a Difference

The Health Education and Promotion major prepares you to pursue the prestigious Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential. This nationally recognized certification, awarded by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), validates your expertise and unlocks a world of rewarding career opportunities.

CHES professionals are agents of change. They empower individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors and improve their overall well-being. Through program development, implementation, evaluation, and effective communication, they play a vital role in promoting health, reducing disease risk, and creating positive change.

Benedictine University’s Health Education and Promotion program equips you with the essential skills and knowledge to excel as a CHES. You’ll gain comprehensive understanding and practical experience in:

• Assessing community health needs and resources
• Developing and implementing effective health education programs
• Evaluating program impact and refining strategies for improvement
• Coordinating and providing health education services
• Communicating health information effectively to diverse audiences
• Collaborating with stakeholders to create sustainable health initiatives

Our unique focus on nutrition for risk reduction sets us apart. You’ll gain valuable knowledge about the crucial interplay between nutrition and health, empowering you to guide individuals towards healthier dietary choices for disease prevention and overall well-being.

By pursuing the CHES certification through our program, you’ll not only acquire valuable credentials but also gain the confidence and skills to make a lasting impact on the lives of others. Choose Benedictine University’s Health Education and Promotion program and embark on a journey of professional growth, personal fulfillment, and impactful change in the field of health education.

What is the outlook for Health Educators?

There is a strong job outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, “projected employment for health educators is expected to increase at the rate of 7 percent by 2032, at a rate faster than the national average for all occupations in the U.S. The BLS attributes this growth to efforts to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs through health and nutrition education. The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI region is the 8th highest region for employment of health educators in the country.”

What careers are available with a degree in Health Education and Promotion?

Health educators focus on teaching people and the public how to get and stay well. Health educators work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Community and public health agencies
  • Health care and medical institutions
  • School (K-12) and college/universities health services
  • Military
  • Companies or corporations with worksite wellness facilities

Students are encouraged to visit the NCHEC website to view job descriptions and learn more about professional certification.

Master’s Degree Jumpstart: Undergrads Can Take Select Graduate Courses

With planning and permission, Health Education and Promotion majors can take select 5000-level graduate courses to partially fulfill requirements for the Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness or Master of Public Health programs. This “4+1” option allows qualified seniors with a 3.0 GPA to take 1 graduate Nutrition course or 3 graduate Public Health courses as electives. Completing these courses does not guarantee graduate program admission, which requires a separate application. Students interested in the 4+1 option with the Public Health degree should contact the relevant department chair.

Health Education and Promoton, BA – Lisle | Mesa

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) – Lisle | Mesa




Hristina Tasevski, RDN, LDN

B.S. ’18, Nutrition

Clinical Outpatient Dietitian at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

“I would describe the BenU nutrition program as intellectually rich and stimulating. I joined the program because it is one of the strongest in the state of Illinois. BenU’s degree in dietetics provided me with the foundation that helped me match to my dietetic internship at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital; embark on my career as a clinical outpatient dietitian at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center; and start making a difference in people’s lives.”

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Campus Locations

Lisle Campus
5700 College Rd.
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 829-6000

Mesa Campus
225 E. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
(602) 888-5500

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