Doctor of Health Education or D.H.Ed. programs are available 100% online. They sharpen students’ leadership, research, and teaching skills needed to take on advanced professional responsibilities in the area of health instruction. As they are taught to be proficient in collecting and interpreting data on public health, D.H.Ed. students are equipped to educate the public on pressing health matters and improve their behavior toward health in general.

You most likely have heard of the quote, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While this statement rings true, there’s more meaning to it than what it says. As a health specialist who has received advanced training on research and instruction, Doctor of Health Education sheds light on the many research-based truths about optimizing the condition of their body. A D.H.Ed. also emphasizes the public’s obligation to maintain fitness, wellness, and overall health.

What does a health educator do?

A health educator is a medical professional who teaches health-related subjects in a range of environments. Upon earning a Ph.D., health educators may instruct in academic, clinical, and organizational settings. They share their knowledge and experience on healthcare to promote lifestyles that contribute to optimum health.

Health educators reach out to and work with community workers to collect data relevant to health issues. Following intensive study and research, they use all the information to evaluate the health concerns and develop ways to address them.

Preventive medicine is a critical category of health instruction that health educators advocate. They explain to people the components of a balanced and healthy diet. They also encourage individuals to exercise, as well as warn them against adverse behavioral patterns like smoking. Health education programs also include mental health topics such as physiological treatments.

Aside from matters that directly affect individual health, health educators also ready individuals to make the right choices on a social perspective. Sex education, for one, is a vital component of their health instruction. Health educators also encourage knowledge of basic protocols in cases of emergency, such as administering initial response or assistance to life-threatening situations because of health conditions and knowing the hotlines to call for help.

By promoting health literacy, health educators help improve medical doctor-patient dynamics as it relates to addressing health problems.

What sort of accreditation should I look for in a school?

For now, no single authority specifically accredits D.H.Ed. programs in the United States. Most often, a credible school is accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and its regional accreditation committees.

In similar degrees like the Doctor of Public Health (DPH), the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is also the recognized accrediting body.

How do I earn my D.H.Ed. degree?

For those who wish to pursue the D.H.Ed. degree, you must have at least a Master’s degree in Health Education or a related field. Some universities also require that your Master’s degree in Public Health must be earned either in the United States or Canada.

The D.H.Ed program is designed for practicing clinicians, healthcare educators, leaders, and directors who want to take their craft a notch higher. Online D.H.Ed. curricula allow for a flexible schedule enabling students to get a post-graduate education while advancing in a career.

Instead of a dissertation, D.H.Ed. graduate students are required to complete a comprehensive Doctoral Research Project (DRP). The DRP is a written document in publishable quality in peer-reviewed journals. Students work with their advisers to ensure the completion of the work.

A D.H.Ed. a student may specialize in these areas: Public nutrition, Health education administration, School health, Minority health, Epidemiology, Behavioral theory, Multivariate statistics, Health services planning, and Health Policy.

What type of degree do I need to pursue research or educate others in Health Education?

Aside from the D.H.Ed., a Ph.D. degree holder in Health Education or congruent disciplines may teach in D.H.Ed. Graduate schools. The dissertation and DRPs of students and professors are notable contributions to the discipline.

How do I earn a transitional or bridge D.H.Ed. degree?

Although very uncommon, the D.H.Ed. degree is offered online. You can fill out the forms on your home. Then, when you get accepted by the institution, you can finish the program without even stepping a foot on campus.

What kind of career and salary can I expect with my D.H.Ed. degree?

Health educators typically work in communities and coordinate with health workers and researchers. Recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate health educators earn an annual median salary of $45,360 with a bachelor’s degree. Once you have a D.H.Ed., you are expected to hold greater responsibilities and leadership positions. You will earn roughly $94,500 per year. BLS estimates a 21% rise of demand for health educators by the year 2020 as the country emphasizes more on education and preventive healthcare.

Do I need a license to be a health educator?

Yes, you need to pass the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) after earning your bachelor’s or master’s degree in health education. This 3-hour exam requires you to answer 165 questions.

The CHES exam is sponsored by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) which is accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies and International Accreditation Service (IAS).

What schools offer D.H.Ed. degrees?

As of 2018, only A.T. Still University (ATSU) College of Graduate Health Studies in Kirksville, Missouri specifically offers the D.H.Ed. degree. This program is 100% online and requires 55 credit hours for completion.

D.H.Ed. is quite a rare degree. If you seek advanced credentials in health education, you might be interested in similar degrees. The “Doctor of Public Health (DPH)” is offered by many universities across the country like the  City University of New York (CUNY); the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in Chicago, Illinois; and the Claremont Graduate University (CGU) in Claremont, California.

With evolving healthcare services and technologies, in-depth research and effective instruction are crucial. Doctor of Health Education degree graduates, trained and equipped as they are in this field, are vital contributors.