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Academics > Online Graduate Programs > Master of Arts in Health Promotion

What is health promotion? 

According to the World Health Organization, “Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behavior towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions.” 

The goal of health promotion is to empower individuals to make informed, healthy choices, in healthy environments.  Activities in health promotion can include educating individuals about health behavior, working to change environments to make physical activity more accessible, or shaping policy that promotes healthy lifestyles.  

Career Opportunities 

Health promotion is a growing field.  Graduates from our program can find employment in Schools, Community or Public Health Centers, Worksite Wellness, Hospitals or Insurance companies, and many more.  Careers in health promotion have a faster than average projected job growth according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Program Highlights

Our program is 100% online with a social and behavioral health emphasis.  We have flexible practicum options.  The Master of Arts in Health Promotion at Concord University will prepare you for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam. 

The MA in Health Promotion at Concord University has also received national recognition.  It was ranked fifth by Best Schools on their list of Best Online Master’s in Health Education Programs of 2019.   It was also recognized as “Most Flexible” and listed in the 20 Best Online Health Education Degree Programs by Online Masters.   

 
Program Specifics

Health Promotion
The Master of Arts (MA) in Health Promotion is a 33 credit hour online program that will prepare highly trained health educators to meet the health needs of our society in a variety of work settings, including community and public health agencies, worksite health promotion programs, schools, and other health organizations. This program is designed for professionals who want to enhance their skills in promoting health strategies that will lead to improved disease prevention. The MA in Health Promotion Program is appropriate for those with undergraduate degrees in a variety of areas including health education, health promotion, public health, sociology, psychology, allied health fields, and environmental health studies. Potential students must be proficient in computer literacy and writing skills, be a self-directed learner, possess leadership skills, enjoy working with people, and have a passion for health for themselves and others.

The program emphasizes primary prevention and the empowerment of communities to address their own health and social needs in ways that can improve the health status of the greater community and reduce health care costs. Students are introduced to the unique opportunity they have as health professionals to effect individuals’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to health issues, and are trained in health promotion strategies and interventions to impact individuals and communities. Students who graduate from the program will be prepared and qualified to take the Certified Health Education Specialist examination in order to obtain the CHES credential. The CHES designation is an indication of professional competency and commitment to ongoing professional growth and development (through the CHES CEU process). CHES exam eligibility is based solely on academic qualifications. To be eligible for the CHES examination, an individual must hold a bachelors, masters, or doctorate (from an accredited institution of higher education) in the field of health education and/or health promotion.


 
Format and Curriculum

Online format using Blackboard 

Fall 1:

  • HLTH 500 – Foundations, 3hrs.
  • HLTH 510 – PA, N & Obesity, 3 hrs.

Spring 1:

  • HLTH 520 – Program Planning/Evaluation, 3 hrs.
  • HLTH 540 – Epidemiology in Health, 3 hrs.
  • HLTH 550 – Trends/Issues, 3hrs.

Summer 1:

  • HLTH 530 – Interventions I: School-aged Children, 3 hrs. 
  • HLTH 535 – Interventions II: Specific Populations, 3 hrs.

Fall 2: 

  • HLTH 515 – Advanced Content, 3 hrs.
  • HLTH 525 – Research in the Health Sciences, 3 hrs.

Spring 2:

  • HLTH 560 – Health Practicum, 6 hrs

TOTAL: 33 hrs.

Master of Arts in Health Promotion Graduation Requirements

To graduate, a student must complete the following 33 credit hours:

HLTH 500                              HLTH 510
HLTH 515                              HLTH 520
HLTH 525                              HLTH 530
HLTH 535                              HLTH 540
HLTH 550                              HLTH 560

Graduate candidates must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or better and must have a 3.0 in order to graduate from the MA in Health Promotion Program. Any candidate falling below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. , Candidates who are placed on academic probation for two consecutive semesters will be removed from the graduate program due to academic deficiency. In addition, candidates must earn the minimum grade of “C” to successfully complete a course.

Admission Requirements
For unconditional acceptance into the Master of Arts in Health Promotion applicants must:
  • Hold an undergraduate degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA from a regionally accredited institution
  • Provide official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions (with the exception of Concord University).
  • Provide two (2) general letters of recommendation
  • Complete the Application for Admission, and pay the $30.00 fee.
While applications are accepted year round, we recommend you submit all materials to be enrolled in the fall semester by March 1.  If you plan to begin taking courses in the summer, we recommend submitting your materials by January 1. 
Program Handbook
This handbook provides information about the Master of Arts in Health Promotion at Concord University.  It is intended to act as a supplement to the Concord University Student Handbook, and Concord University Catalog.  If you have any questions about the content in this handbook, please contact the Master of Arts in Health Promotion Program Coordinator or Program Manager.

This program requires thirty-three (33) credit hours for completion. The curriculum is designed with a systematic and sequential focus. After completion of twenty-seven (27) hours of preparatory course work, students enroll in a capstone research based practicum, HLTH 560 – Health Practicum (6 hrs.). Unless provided a special exemption by the Program Coordinator, students must complete ALL course work before enrolling in HLTH 560. To successfully matriculate through HLTH 560, students are required to complete one of the following:

  • Option 1:
    • Develop, implement, and evaluate a community-based intervention project for a specific population. Students will be required to accurately plan, implement in an actual setting, evaluate impact, and subsequently, refine the intervention.
  • Option 2:
    • Based on thorough literature review, develop a research question that will be explored through analysis of primary or secondary data.
  • Option 3:
    • Conduct a systematic review surrounding a health promotion topic of interest. This will include an exhaustive review of the literature and inclusion of relevant articles.


For unconditional acceptance into the Master of Arts in Health Promotion applicants must:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA from a regionally accredited institution,
  • Provide official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions (with the exception of Concord University)
  • Provide two (2) general letters of recommendation
  • Complete the general Application for Admission, and submit the application fee

Once all admission requirements are met, the student will receive a letter of unconditional acceptance to the MA in Health Promotion Program and can then begin coursework.

Applicants who do not meet admission requirements may submit a letter of appeal to the Master of Arts in Health Promotion Coordinator for review. If the appeal is approved, the Coordinator will specify requirements for conditional admission to complete up to nine graduate credits with specific stipulations such as earning a GPA of 3.0 or better in the Master of Arts in Health Promotion.



The MA in Health Promotion consists of 33 hours; including 27 hours of content specific course work and a 6-hour capstone practicum course. Courses should be taken in sequence as indicated below. If this is not possible, students must meet with the Master of Arts in Health Promotion Coordinator to develop an approved plan of study. Unless provided a special exemption by the Program Coordinator, students must complete all coursework before enrolling in HLTH 560.

1st Hall Semester:    
  HLTH 500 Foundations of Health Education & Promotion 3hrs.
  HLTH 510 Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity 3hrs.
1st Spring Semester:    
  HLTH 520 Program Planning and Evaluation 3 hrs.
  HLTH 540 Epidemiology in Health 3hrs.
  HLTH 550 Health Trends and Issues 3hrs.
1st Summer Semester:    
  HLTH 530 Health Interventions for School-Aged Children 3hrs.
  HLTH 535 Health Interventions for Specific Populations 3hrs.
2nd Fall Semester    
  HLTH 515 Advanced Content in Health Promotion 3hrs.
  HLTH 525 Research in the Health Sciences 3hrs.
2nd Spring Semester:    
  HLTH 560 Action Research/Health Practicum 6hrs.
  TOTAL 33hrs.
  HLTH 555 Graduate Seminar (NOT a program graduation requirement)* 1-3hrs.

*When offered, this course could take the place of other required program courses, pending approval by the Program Coordinator.

It is recommended that students purchase and become familiar with an APA citation manual. APA formatting and referencing will be required in ALL courses.



a. Advising:    
  The Coordinator of the MA in Health Promotion Program is the acting advisor for all MA in Health Promotion graduate students. If any student wishes to enroll in a course-load that varies from the recommended schedule, prior approval must be obtained by the MA in Health Promotion Program Coordinator.  
b. Add/Drop Classes:    
  To add or drop a class, students can contact the Program Manager by email with the request. If a student is dropping all courses, a formal withdrawal from the university is required; to formally withdraw, the student can contact Academic Success Center at 304-384-6074 or complete the online withdraw form.  
c. Transfer Credit:    
  An approved six hours of transfer credit can be applied to the program of study. All courses must have been taken within the past 5-years and course syllabi are to be provided to the Program Coordinator for review. Complete and submit the transfer of credit form.  
d. Registration:    
  It is strongly recommended that graduate students register for classes no later than two weeks prior to the beginning of each semester. Students can register by contacting the Program Manager.  


a. Readmission:    
 

Students have five years to complete the program from their initial acceptance into the program. If this time has expired, the student must reapply to the program and file a written appeal to the Program Coordinator.

If a student is un-enrolled for one semester, they must resubmit an application and application fee.

 
b. GPA:    
  Graduate students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or better and must have a 3.0 minimum in order to graduate from the MA in Health Promotion Program. Any student falling below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students who are placed on academic probation for two consecutive semesters will be removed from the graduate program due to academic deficiency. In addition, students must earn the minimum grade of “C” to successfully complete a course.  
c. Graduation:    
 

Graduate students must apply for graduation by downloading and submitting a Graduation Application. A graduation fee of $50 must be paid to the business office, and the graduation gown is to be ordered at the Concord University bookstore. Once the business office and bookstore have signed the application for graduation, it is to be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. A graduation audit will then be completed to ensure that all requirements for graduation have been met. Requirements include completion of the 33 hour program with a 3.0 GPA within five years.

Hooding and Commencement: All master’s students will have the option to participate in the hooding ceremony during commencement. The graduating students will be hooded by the Director of Graduate Studies.

 
d. Academic Integrity:    
 

Academic dishonesty is morally unacceptable as well as destructive to the learning and teaching atmosphere. Academic dishonesty includes the giving or receiving of improper help on examinations or assignments, falsifying documents, and plagiarism (the act of stealing and using, as one’s own, the ideas or the expression of the ideas of another). Such dishonesty can lead to a variety of penalties — including but not limited to failure of assignment, failure of course, loss of institutional privileges, or dismissal from the University.

A failing course grade as a result of academic dishonesty will be recorded as an F on the final grade report, and the instructor will inform, in writing, the department chair and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who notifies, in writing, the Registrar’s Office and the student. Any recommendation by the instructor beyond an F in the course must be submitted, in writing, to the student, to the department chair, and to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for transmittal to the Judicial Steering Committee which will then initiate a judicial procedure.

Any failing course grade or dismissal that results solely from academic dishonesty will be identified as such on the student transcript.

 
e. Academic Probation:    
 

If a student falls below the required 3.0 GPA, they will be placed on academic probation during the next semester in which they are enrolled as an active student. If they fail to maintain a 3.0 GPA during the probationary semester, they will be permanently dismissed from the program. Under an extreme case, if a student would make a “D” in a course, the student would continue in the program on probationary basis until the course was completed with a “B” or higher. The student would be expected to take the course the next time it was offered in rotation. A grade of “C” or better is required in ALL graduate courses.

 
f. Disruptive Behavior:    
 

Disruptive behavior in the classroom/online will not be tolerated. If student conduct makes it difficult to continue the class satisfactorily, the instructor may warn the student of this fact. If objectionable conduct continues, the instructor may dismiss the student from the course with written notification of this action to the Director of Graduate Studies, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 
g. Removal from the Program:    
 

Students who are placed on academic probation for two consecutive semesters will be removed from the graduate program due to academic deficiency. The student will be notified in writing and given the opportunity to appeal to the University Graduate Council in writing. The student will meet with the University Appeals Committee and defend why he or she should not be removed from the program. If the appeal is denied, the student will be removed from the program. A hold will be placed on the student’s ability to register for classes.

 
h. Equal Opportunity:    
 

Concord University admits students of any race, color, sex, religion, and national or ethnic origin, and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of its programs and activities, as specified in federal and state laws and regulations.

 


a. Textbooks:    
 

Textbooks can be purchased at the Concord University Bookstore during business hours, or students may order online.

If a student is un-enrolled for one semester, they must resubmit an application and application fee.

 
b. Library Services:    
 

The J. Frank Marsh Library is centrally located between Marsh Hall and the Student Center. The facility has a collection consisting of 170,000+ volumes and provides access to over 5,000 periodicals. The collection is chosen with the University Community in mind; however, members of the public are permitted to use the resources of the library. A library card is required to borrow books.

Sierra software powers the J. Frank Marsh Library automated catalog. Marsh Library is a member of the Mountain Library Network made up of 33 library systems that provide access to more than 1,000,000 items. Wireless internet access is available within the library. Visit CU’s library on the web https://www.concord.edu/About/Important-Offices-Centers/Library-(1).aspx.

The library subscribes to various databases. The current list of databases can be found here. Most databases have an explanatory description on their respective landing pages. For online journal access, log in to the library proxy server enter your MYCU username/password. Generalized guides are available for a concise and simple review for finding articles on the library's home page.

 
c. Tuition/Billing:    
 

Graduate students must apply for graduation by downloading and submitting a Graduation Application. A graduation fee of $50 must be paid to the business office, and the graduation gown is to be ordered at the Concord University bookstore. Once the business office and bookstore have signed the application for graduation, it is to be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. A graduation audit will then be completed to ensure that all requirements for graduation have been met. Requirements include completion of the 33 hour program with a 3.0 GPA within five years.

Payment of tuition is due prior to the first night of class. Students who do not register at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester may not receive a tuition bill. If students have not received a bill, one can be requested by calling the Students Accounts Office of the University Business Office: 304-384-5212. Payment is to be mailed directly to the business office; credit card payments (MasterCard, Visa or Discover) are accepted via telephone or online. Late fees will be assessed if payment is not made by the due date.

Tuition Rates: Tuition rates and fees are subject to change. Current tuition and fees may be found here.

 
d. Financial Aid:    
 

Financial aid and student loans are available for most graduate-level students who carry at least six (6) credit hours during a semester of enrollment at Concord University. Nine (9) credit hours are considered a full-time load at the graduate level. Students must be enrolled in courses that apply directly to their program of study in order to qualify for financial aid. Students are evaluated at the end of every academic term. All students are evaluated on three standards: (1) grade point average (qualitative measure), (2) credit hour completion ratio (quantitative measure), and (3) maximum time frame. To maintain eligibility under SAP, students must meet all three standards. The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) is available on the University’s website. Students who fail to make academic progress during a semester of enrollment may become subject to the Federal Unofficial Withdrawal Policy. This policy may be viewed in detail at the following link: Withdrawal from the University.

For information on financial aid and student loans, visit Financial Aid or call the financial aid office at 304-384-6069 or e-mail: finaid@concord.edu.

 


a. MyCU:    
 

It is imperative that students log in to their “MyCU” account to review information such as their current class schedule, course grades, account, and student loan information. To access “MyCU”, the student must visit the MyCu Self-Service Portal page of the Concord University website and click on New Account Information. Once on the MyCU/IT: New Account Information page select SSN in the drop down box and then enter their Social Security Number and click continue; this is a secure site and no information will be shared. Here the student will find their user name and Concord ID; students will need this information to log in to their “MyCU” email and Blackboard accounts. Students need to log in to their accounts by the first day of classes.

Students having problems logging in should call the IT Help Desk at ext. 5291 or contact cuhelpdesk@concord.edu.

 
b. Blackboard:    
 

The MA in Health Promotion Program uses the Blackboard e-Education platform. The username and password is the same as the MyCU account. Please note the username is ONLY the first part of a student’s email address, i.e. smithp31. If a student does not know his or her password, she or he can visit accounts.concord.edu to reset the password using the security questions selected during enrollment.

It is the responsibility of the student to keep up with assignments, assessments, and modules as designated within course instructor’s syllabi. The blackboard platform can be accessed at elearn.concord.edu.

 
c. E-mail:    
 

mail.office365.com

All students are expected to access their MyCU e-mail accounts. E-mail accounts are set up by the computer-center (cuhelpdesk@concord.edu) during the application/acceptance process. E-mail IDs include the last name, first initial of the first name, and date of birth (example: smithp31@mycu.concord.edu). The password is the same as the MyCU account password. If a student has not yet activated their MyCU account, the student will be unable to access their e-mail account. If a password is forgotten or needs to be reset, please visit accounts.concord.edu.

Students having problems logging in should call the IT Help Desk at ext. 5291 or contact cuhelpdest@concord.edu.

Course Descriptions

HLTH 500 - Foundations of Health Education & Health Promotion (3 hrs):
This course is designed to provide the graduate student with an overview of general principles and concepts of health education and promotion applicable to traditional work settings. Theoretical models used to explain why people adopt or fail to adopt health promoting behaviors will also be addressed.

HLTH 510 - Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity (3 hrs):
Obesity is now ranked as one of the most critical public health threats of the 21st Century. Physical activity and nutrition play primary roles in weight management. This course will examine the nature, extent, and consequences of obesity in the US, and how social, environmental, genetic, cultural, and other factors influence its increased prevalence. The direct relationship with physical activity and dietary intake will be examined, and lifestyle changes necessary to reverse the trend identified.

HLTH 515 - Advanced Content in Health Promotion (3 hrs):
A content driven course that will allow the practitioner to better understand the framing of most health related programming. Topical overviews will include; ATOD use, misuse, and abuse, stress management, social interactions, concepts related to holistic health, and human sexuality.

HLTH 520 - Program Planning and Evaluation (3 hrs):
In this course, students will develop knowledge and skills required to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate programs that address public health problems for defined populations in a variety of settings.

HLTH 525 - Research in the Health Sciences (3 hrs):
Prerequisite: HLTH 500
This course introduces a student to the various types of quantitative and qualitative research methodology. Course content will focus on research processes including evaluations of existing research as well as analysis and application of the findings.

HLTH 530 - Health Interventions for School-aged Children (3 hrs):
This course will examine health promotion strategies and programs that are effective with children in the school setting, including before and after school, as well as community-based settings. The critical issue of the involvement of parents, school faculty, and others in the community will be discussed. Selected interventional strategies for various age groups of children will be reviewed and evaluated, and new interventions will be developed for implementation.

HLTH 535 - Health Interventions for Specific Populations (3 hrs):
This course will examine health promotion strategies and program that are effective in changing health behaviors of those representing specific population groups, including older adults, at-risk individuals, and underserved populations (social, economic, and environmental). The course will include the study of social determinants of health equity, environment change, policy impact, and motivational influences. Selected health promotion interventional strategies for these populations will be reviewed and evaluated, and new interventions will be developed for implementation.

HLTH 540 - Epidemiology in Health (3 hrs):
Prerequisite: HLTH 500
Introduction and overview of principals related to epidemiology. To include major study designs, statistical gathering techniques, epidemiology of infectious and chronic diseases, data interpretation, and measures of mortality and morbidity.

HLTH 550 - Health Trends and Issues (3 hrs):
This course will focus on current trends including advocacy strategies, national initiatives, current empirical research, grant writing, and public policy.

HLTH 560 - Health Practicum (6 hrs):
Prerequisite: Successful completion of all Health Promotion qualifying work
This course will focus on utilizing action research to identify a problem or issue within a health related work setting so as to systematically collect, analyze data, defend, and present data for informing decision making and/or policy creation/change. Students will complete a systematic and thorough community health intervention proposal, needs assessment, development, implementation, and evaluation.

HLTH 555 - Graduate Seminar (1-3 hr):***This course is not a graduation requirement
Selected topics in the health education and promotion, including curriculum development, instructional processes, supervision, research, and evaluation. This course may be repeated up to three times and may be substituted for up to 6 hours at the approval of the graduate director.

Faculty & Staff


Dr. Jill Nolan

Program Coordinator and MAHP Professor
jnolan@concord.edu


Dr. David Campbell

Department Chair and MAHP Professor
dcampbell@concord.edu


Erin Conner

Programs Manager
econner@concord.edu

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