Health Education

Teach young people about attitudes, motivation, and practices related to health issues and messages.

A faculty member in a blue vest and white shirt is standing at the front of a classroom, and has written Vygotsky, Piaget, and Eriksen on the white board. Four students, with their back turned toward the camera, are listening to the faculty member talk.

Photo credit: Adam Baker

Young people are bombarded with messages concerning their health. Should they smoke? Use alcohol or illegal drugs? Become sexually active? Young women especially are faced with challenges concerning their bodies and diet, young men by invitations to take risks. That’s why health education is a requirement in many K-12 schools.

As a health education major, you'll learn how to teach young people about attitudes, motivation, and practices related to health issues and messages -- and how to guide them through this maze of difficult decisions.

Our Educational Philosophy

Our faculty teach you to use the "discovery learning" model. Rather than simply telling young people what’s right and wrong, you'll learn to encourage them to find their own solutions and to develop their own set of ethics concerning health and wellness.

The discovery learning model is interwoven throughout the courses you will complete. During your four years, you will complete an array of health education core courses, covering topics such as:

  • Introduction to Health & Physical Education

  • Human Nutrition

  • Human Sexuality

  • Disease & Lifestyle

  • Family Health Problems

  • Drug Use and Abuse

These will be augmented by pedagogical and professional education courses, such as:

  • Reading Foundations

  • Child Abuse Seminar & School VIolence Prevention Seminar

  • Harrassment, Bulleying and Discrimination Prevention & Intervention

  • Curriculum & Methods in Health Education 

  • Teaching Strategies in Health Education

In addition to these professional core courses, you will complete courses in anatomy and physiology, psychology, language, and education theory along with liberal arts courses under the Integrative Core Curriculum (general education) that all students at Ithaca College must complete. 

Hands-On Practice

Our program is designed so that you spend time working with young people during each of your four years. These experiences culminate in your senior year, when you will student teach for an entire semester. Half of that time you will spend in an elementary or middle school, the other half in a high school.

The Department has long-standing collaborative relationships with K-12 schools. These partnerships will provide opportunities for you to complete observation hours as well as student teach. These partnerships span schools that are urban, suburban and rural in nature as well as schools that serve high-needs students. These schools include the Ithaca City Schools as well as schools in Candor, Groton, Dryden, Binghamton, Horseheads, Newfield, Trumansburg, Owego, Newark Valley, Montour Falls, Watkins Glen, and Elmira.

Teaching Certification

Our teacher education programs are aligned with New York State standards for teacher education. With a bachelors of science in health education from Ithaca College, you will be qualified to apply for teacher certification and to teach in both public and private schools.

More information about applying for initial teacher certification and New York State teacher certification exams is available on the All-College Teacher Education Committee website.

Our Graduates

Examples of the pathways of our recent graduates include:

  • Health Education Teacher

Questions?

Department Office
Mary Bennett, Administrative Assistant
G56 Hill Center
Ithaca College
953 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850