The Program in Health Education at Teachers College has had a long history in preparing health education specialists. Health education is a professional field that has expanded rapidly, primarily because of national policy that has emphasized health promotion and disease prevention. Its goal is to facilitate voluntary health-related behavioral and social change through the application of principles of behavioral and social sciences.
As such, health education is concerned with motivating and enabling individuals and groups to assume responsibility for their health by learning and adopting behaviors and supporting social policies that can promote and maintain health.
The program at Teachers College is grounded in the belief that community-level structures and organizations play a key role in determining the health of the people. It offers courses in which students learn to analyze and understand and thus become able to influence community structures that either enhance or undercut health-promoting individual behaviors.
In addition to Health Education courses, students are encouraged to pursue interdiscipli-nary study and research throughout Teachers College, as well as other divisions of and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The Center for Health Promotion at Teachers College, which involves students and faculty, provides opportunities to take part in ongoing research projects in health promotion and disease prevention.
Students also may participate in research being conducted in the Research Division at the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Department of Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, or with the Diabetes Research and the of Medicine. All have multi-institutional collaborative efforts involving faculty from the Program in Health Education at Teachers College.
The program prepares graduates who will assume positions of leadership and service as professional health educators in a variety of practice, research, and policy-making settings. Graduates of the program take positions as leaders in health promotion and disease prevention programs of voluntary health agencies, hospitals and other health care organizations, universities, business and industry, and health-related governmental agencies in the and in other countries.