Ways to Learn

  • Online

Quick Facts

  • 2 Years Full-Time
  • 3 Years Part-Time
  • 59 Units
  • Evening Option

Campus Location

  • Online

Overview

The Master of Arts in Health Education at John F. Kennedy University guides students on an in-depth exploration of health that goes far beyond the disease/cure paradigm currently prevailing in Western medicine. Following an evidence-based approach, students examine the various links among the physical, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental, and systemic aspects of health, investigating the ways in which our individual and communal life experiences are influenced not only by physical factors such as nutrition, exercise, and the environment, but also by thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and relationships.

 

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Highlights

  • Emphasis on client interaction goes beyond the science-only approach of other programs
  • Applied learning component ensures all students gain practical, on-the-job experience while serving the local community
  • Optional specialization in Holistic Nutrition

With a strong focus on experiential learning and an emphasis on multicultural understanding, the program prepares aspiring health educators and holistic nutritionists to work with a wide range of clients across a variety of practice settings. Graduates possess the skills and knowledge necessary to chart their own career in health education, whether it be with a traditional healthcare employer such as a hospital or clinic, with a niche non-profit organization, or as a solo entrepreneur. From day one, our accomplished faculty of scholar-practitioners is dedicated not only to providing our students with the tools they need to guide their clients successfully to increased health and well-being, but to embody the values of holism and wellbeing themselves.

PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES
Graduates of the MA in Holistic Health Education degree will, at a level appropriate to a master’s degree, be able to:

  • Demonstrate skills and abilities for the field of holistic health education.
  • Apply specialized knowledge in the field of holistic health education, including holistic perspectives on health, health education, and health coaching.
  • Apply relevant ethical principles or frameworks to guide both professional conduct and relationships with individuals, communities, and other professionals.
  • Cultivate an awareness of a multicultural and diverse community to inform all aspects of the health educator role and to promote health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.
  • Demonstrate commitment to service to the community.

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Why JFKU

An Integrative Approach to Health

The JFK University MA in Health Education program takes an integrative approach to health that addresses not only the body but also the mind, spirit, community, and environment. Working from an ecological perspective that recognizes the individual’s connection to others and the environment, our trained health educators assist clients in coming to a holistic understanding of health and wellbeing.

Holistic Nutrition Specialization

One of the most popular aspects of our MA in Health Education program is the Holistic Nutrition Specialization. Focusing on food as a healing modality, this specialization meets and exceeds the requirements established by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) and is a NANP recommended program. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Board Exam in Holistic Nutrition.

Applied Learning

Prior to completing the program, all students are required to participate in an applied learning component in which they take their knowledge and abilities from the classroom into the community. Under faculty supervision, students fulfill their applied learning component by providing wellness coaching, nutritional consultation, and other health education services.

Graduate Certificate in Holistic Health Coaching

Individuals and organizations alike increasingly are turning to the evidence-based field of holistic health coaching to address a glaring need in our current healthcare system. This 14-unit certificate program geared toward preparing students to serve as health and wellness coaches can be embedded directly into the MA in Holistic Health Education program.

Available Specialization

Holistic Nutrition

The MA degree can be completed in 7 quarters if students start in the fall quarter. However, students pursuing the Holistic Nutrition Specialization and/or the Graduate Certificate in Holistic Health Coaching will need at least one additional quarter to complete the required electives.

Curriculum

The MA in Health Education requires completion of 59 quarter units comprised of the courses outlined below. Each student must also take:

  • HHE 5615, Practicum in Health and Healing, (5) units

Holistic Nutrition Specialization

Most of the courses required for the Holistic Nutrition Specialization are part of the curriculum for the Master’s program, leaving only four (4) units beyond the degree requirements required to fulfill the requirements of the Holistic Nutrition specialization.

Year 1 - Fall
Units
HHE 5701 Introduction to Holistic Health Education
0
A required, no cost, no credit course for all students entering the MA-HHE program, this class prepares students to get the most out of their courses and what they need to do to complete the program. Students will also have an opportunity to consider their values, goals, and objectives at the commencement of their graduate studies.
HHE 5702 Town Hall Meetings
0
Town Hall meetings are held twice a year. Students must attend all town hall meetings while enrolled in the program. Topics discussed will include current issues and developments in the field of health education; program changes and announcements; and student internships and projects. It will also be a forum for students to ask questions and give feedback on the program and to discuss pertinent issues, concerns, and topics.
HHE 5703 Cohort Meetings
0
Students will meet online with an Advisor and their cohorts a minimum of once per quarter while they are enrolled in the program. Students will be assigned to cohorts based on their format and approximate pace of study.
HHE 5710 Foundations of Holistic Health Education
3
This course overviews the field of health education and prepares students for study and practice in their chosen field. We discuss the role of the health educator and various professional and ethical considerations inherent in that role. We look into various holistic theories as tools for analyzing and understanding health and health education. We begin to identify issues and questions of importance to the field and to us personally and professionally, such as health education for the “whole person;” shifting from a disease-focused to a health-focused health paradigm; cultural competency, and spirituality and health.
HHE 5713 Written Communication for Health Education
2
This course is also designed to provide students entering the MA in Holistic Health Education program with a review of the critical thinking and fundamental writing skills that will serve as a foundation for producing graduate-level written work. In addition, students will learn and practice different types of writing that health educators encounter in the field and how to write for different audiences.
HHE 5716 Foundations of Holistic Nutrition
4
This course goes beyond basic nutrition and lays the foundation for using food as medicine focusing on supporting healthy cellular, organ and system function. Reviewing anatomy and physiology through the lens of functional medicine, we also examine the role of macronutrients and micronutrients in health and illness. As a result of the course students will be able to communicate the scientific reason for their nutritional recommendations.
Year 1 - Winter
Units
HHE 5870 Colloquium in Holistic Health Education
1
The Colloquia represent our residency requirement, offered three times a year, often held over a single weekend. Students from both the online and hybrid formats attend together, with program faculty welcome to attend as well. Topics covered will include those of general interest to all, such as professional identity or spirituality and health, as well as cutting edge issues as they arise. Each Colloquium is 1 unit each. Students are required to attend a minimum of five Colloquia in order to graduate.
HHE 5730 Fundamentals of Coaching
2
In this course, students discover what is needed to develop an effective and trusted coaching relationship that creates meaningful and sustainable change for clients. They learn how to coach from an integral perspective that engages the complexity and potential of the whole person -- mind, body, heart, and spirit. Aligned with the ICF competencies for professional coaches, Fundamentals of Coaching will teach students how to establish the coaching relationship, co-create trust and intimacy, and develop the core coaching skill of deep dialogue. It will also introduce the stages of the coaching process, including how to integrally assess the needs of the client, creating meaningful and clear coaching goals, integral design, and maintaining coaching momentum and accountability. This course will be taught in a dynamic, practice-based approach.
HHE 5732 Health Education Research Basics
2
This course introduces students to research concepts and practices that will support success in their graduate studies in holistic health education. The emphasis will be on developing critical thinking skills and gaining familiarity with academic publications. Key areas of discussion will include how to use the library’s databases to conduct effective literature searches, how to evaluate the quality of a journal and the quality of an article, an efficient strategy for reading articles, the different types of articles, and how to interpret research article results.
HHE 5734 Integrative Health
3
This course provides a foundation in Integrative Health, exploring the development of Western Medicine and alternative and complementary medicine. We examine historical perspectives that influence the current state of healthcare, explore the scientific basis of integrative approaches, and address the challenges of integrative health care. Students evaluate multiple approaches for addressing degenerative diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes examining the relationships among behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that enhance or compromise health.
HHE 5737 Nutrition for Wellness Throughout the Lifecycle A
2
This course introduces the foods, ways of eating and nutritional therapies that help to bring about and maintain the most vibrant health throughout the lifecycle, highlighting pediatric health and geriatric health nutrition. Special dietary needs of children and elders are a focus of this course. Nutritional recommendations for physical and mental vibrancy in the pediatric and elder years are identified through a holistic approach for preventing illness and maintaining wellness. Prerequisite: HHE 5716
Year 1 - Spring
Units
HHE 5870 Colloquium in Holistic Health Education
1
The Colloquia represent our residency requirement, offered three times a year, often held over a single weekend. Students from both the online and hybrid formats attend together, with program faculty welcome to attend as well. Topics covered will include those of general interest to all, such as professional identity or spirituality and health, as well as cutting edge issues as they arise. Each Colloquium is 1 unit each. Students are required to attend a minimum of five Colloquia in order to graduate.
HHE 5750 Coaching Practicum A
1
Students continue to build and deepen their coaching skills through practice and review the coaching competencies. Other key topics include coaching agreements, use of intake questionnaires, self-care for coaches, and considerations for setting up a coaching practice. Prerequisite: HHE 5730
HHE 5753 Research in Health Education
2
This course continues the work begun in HHE 5732 Health Education Research Basics, going deeper with cultivating skills to become sophisticated consumers of health and health education research. Whether working in private practice or as part of an organization, the health educator needs to be prepared to find, understand, and evaluate public health or medical articles written by experts in the field. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be surveyed.
HHE 5756 Multiculturalism & Cultural Competency
2
We discuss our individual, ethical, and professional responsibilities to engage with the challenges of cultural oppression, bias, privilege, and stigma. We examine key issues at the intersection of culture and health, including the social determinants of health and health equity. Students identify the role of the health educator in the formation and evaluation of health policy and embody the role of health activist and advocate. We explore key models of cultural competency in health education, including cultural humility, structural competence, and participatory and community-based approaches. Also covered: the social ecological model of health promotion; community building and community organizing; and Health in All Policies (HiAP).
HHE 5759 Nutrition for Wellness throughout the Lifecycle B
2
This course introduces continues with the coursework from Nutrition for Wellness throughout the Lifecycle A (HHE 5759) highlighting geriatric health and holistic sports nutrition. Special dietary needs of elders and athletes are a focus of this course. Nutritional recommendations for physical and mental vibrancy in the elder years are identified through a holistic approach for preventing illness and maintaining wellness. The nutritional needs of the athlete will also be examined through the lens of holistic nutrition and specific nutritional recommendations for athletes are discussed. Prerequisite: HHE 5737
Year 1 - Summer
Units
HHE 5870 Colloquium in Holistic Health Education
1
The Colloquia represent our residency requirement, offered three times a year, often held over a single weekend. Students from both the online and hybrid formats attend together, with program faculty welcome to attend as well. Topics covered will include those of general interest to all, such as professional identity or spirituality and health, as well as cutting edge issues as they arise. Each Colloquium is 1 unit each. Students are required to attend a minimum of five Colloquia in order to graduate.
HHE 5770 Health, Environment, and Sustainability
2
In this course, we examine the connection between the health of the environment and the health of the individual and community. We look at the origins of humanity’s disconnection from nature and the resulting modern worldview, through which we understand ourselves as separate individuals, “free” but helpless in the face of increasing environmental destruction. We evaluate the consequences of this worldview on our physical, psychological, social, and spiritual health. We then explore possibilities for re-connecting to each other and to the natural world as part of a homecoming that will allow us to re-imagine our relationship to nature and begin to create a sustainable future.
HHE 5772 Challenge of Change
3
This course is designed for future educators, including teachers, trainers, coaches, and others who facilitate learning. We will explore how students can forge their identity as educators from the wisdom of their own lived experience. Topics will include: whole person learning, creating space for learning, adult learning models, learning taxonomies, content organization, presentation skills, experiential activities, learning aids, and learning module lesson plans. Opportunities for in-depth practice will enable students to discover and develop their own style of teaching.
HHE 5774 Professional Development
1
Students will prepare for their internships and for work after graduation. Students will be encouraged to cultivate key skills such as informational interviewing and “selling” their ideas through oral and written communication. Students will learn how to identify and obtain an internship as a model for obtaining work throughout their careers.
HHE 5777 Complementary and Alternative Modalities
2
A general survey of holistic health practices and issues, with a focus on the variety of alternative and complementary modalities that are present in integrative health care settings. Students will complete an assessment of the values and attitudes which underpin their current health practices, as well as examining the values and issues that shape our current health care models. They will explore and critically evaluate a variety of holistic health services and their application.
HHE 5801 Student Review: Mid-Point
0
A comprehensive review of the student’s work halfway through the program. Each student’s work is reviewed by the department chair. All degree candidates must meet with the department chair in order to continue in the program.
Year 2 - Fall
Units
HHE 5820 Concepts and Practices for the Emerging Educator
3
This course is designed to help future educators, including teachers, trainers, coaches, and others who facilitate learning develop familiarity with a range of learning models and instructional methods. Topics will include: whole person learning, creating space for learning, adult learning models, learning taxonomies, content organization, presentation skills, experiential activities, writing learning outcomes, and how to create a learning module. Opportunities for practice will enable students to apply course content immediately.
HHE 5823 Psychology and Physiology of Stress
2
In this course, we examine the psychological and physiological effects of stress on the mind and body. Content will include information on the impact of stress on the nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems, among others.
HHE 5825 Internship
1-2
Students work with ways of bridging their work as students with what they hope to do as professionals by working for one quarter in a professional setting under the guidance of a mentor, keeping a journal, and describing their work in a paper. This internship meets the requirements of SVL 5000 – Service Learning. This two-unit requirement may be satisfied with two separate internships of 1 unit each; one 2-unit internship in a single quarter, or a 1-unit internship over two quarters. Prerequisite: HHE 5774 and Permission of Instructor.
Electives
0-2
Students take a minimum of 5 elective units. They may choose from among electives offered for the Holistic Nutrition Specialization, and/or for the Graduate Certificate in Holistic Health Coaching, and/or other topics such as Energy Models of Healing, Arts in Healthcare, or Transitions & Grief.
Year 2 - Winter
Units
HHE 5870 Colloquium in Holistic Health Education
1
The Colloquia represent our residency requirement, offered three times a year, often held over a single weekend. Students from both the online and hybrid formats attend together, with program faculty welcome to attend as well. Topics covered will include those of general interest to all, such as professional identity or spirituality and health, as well as cutting edge issues as they arise. Each Colloquium is 1 unit each. Students are required to attend a minimum of five Colloquia in order to graduate.
HHE 5840 Innovative Strategies for Health Education
2
Students explore creative and novel ways to approach complex health education problems using collaborative processes that emerge from the fields of design thinking, iterative design, and media production. Students will also hone their ability to communicate complex ideas and solutions in a variety of internal and external settings.
HHE 5842 Mind-Body Practices for Self-Care
2
The theory, concepts and practice of various mind-body medicine modalities (such as meditation, expressive movement, visualization, etc.) will be presented as comprehensive holistic approach to stress management. Students will learn hands-on practices for mind-body self-care and will integrate their learning into course content.
HHE 5865 Capstone A
2
This is the first course of a two-course series in which the student will develop and create a health education capstone project, which consists of a written paper and an oral presentation. The student considers an important question or challenge in the field of health education and develops a holistic or integrative solution in the shape of a new model, approach, program, curriculum, etc. (approach or program) through faculty guidance and peer support/feedback. In the first course, the student develops the approach or program and writes a detailed description of it and its possible method of implementation. Prerequisites: Permission of Chair
HHE 5825 Internship
1-2
Students work with ways of bridging their work as students with what they hope to do as professionals by working for one quarter in a professional setting under the guidance of a mentor, keeping a journal, and describing their work in a paper. This internship meets the requirements of SVL 5000 – Service Learning. This two-unit requirement may be satisfied with two separate internships of 1 unit each; one 2-unit internship in a single quarter, or a 1-unit internship over two quarters. Prerequisite: HHE 5774 and Permission of Instructor.
Electives
0-2+
Students take a minimum of 5 elective units. They may choose from among electives offered for the Holistic Nutrition Specialization, and/or for the Graduate Certificate in Holistic Health Coaching, and/or other topics such as Energy Models of Healing, Arts in Healthcare, or Transitions & Grief.
Year 2 - Spring
Units
HHE 5870 Colloquium in Holistic Health Education
1
The Colloquia represent our residency requirement, offered three times a year, often held over a single weekend. Students from both the online and hybrid formats attend together, with program faculty welcome to attend as well. Topics covered will include those of general interest to all, such as professional identity or spirituality and health, as well as cutting edge issues as they arise. Each Colloquium is 1 unit each. Students are required to attend a minimum of five Colloquia in order to graduate.
HHE 5855 Coaching for Health and Wellbeing
1
The focus of this advanced level course is coaching individuals for health and wellbeing. Students consider different coaching models and tools, such as salutogenesis, narrative, and appreciative inquiry, that are well suited to promoting the client’s wellbeing. Students explore the importance of alignment between a client’s health values and beliefs and their coaching goals. The practice of creating “wellness visions” and the like is examined. We also identify barriers to coaching for health and wellbeing and how to overcome them. Corequisite: HHE 5750
HHE 5866 Capstone B
2
This is the second course of a two-course series in which the student will develop and create a health education capstone project, which consists of a written paper and an oral presentation. In this course the student presents a public oral presentation providing an explanation of the theoretical foundations of the proposed approach or program and identifying similarities and differences between theirs and existing approaches or programs. Prerequisite: HHE 5865
Electives
0-2+
Students take a minimum of 5 elective units. They may choose from among electives offered for the Holistic Nutrition Specialization, and/or for the Graduate Certificate in Holistic Health Coaching, and/or other topics such as Energy Models of Healing, Arts in Healthcare, or Transitions & Grief.
Year 1 - Winter
Units
HHE 5870 Colloquium in Holistic Health Education
1
The Colloquia represent our residency requirement, offered three times a year, often held over a single weekend. Students from both the online and hybrid formats attend together, with program faculty welcome to attend as well. Topics covered will include those of general interest to all, such as professional identity or spirituality and health, as well as cutting edge issues as they arise. Each Colloquium is 1 unit each. Students are required to attend a minimum of five Colloquia in order to graduate.
HHE 5730 Fundamentals of Coaching
2
In this course, students discover what is needed to develop an effective and trusted coaching relationship that creates meaningful and sustainable change for clients. They learn how to coach from an integral perspective that engages the complexity and potential of the whole person -- mind, body, heart, and spirit. Aligned with the ICF competencies for professional coaches, Fundamentals of Coaching will teach students how to establish the coaching relationship, co-create trust and intimacy, and develop the core coaching skill of deep dialogue. It will also introduce the stages of the coaching process, including how to integrally assess the needs of the client, creating meaningful and clear coaching goals, integral design, and maintaining coaching momentum and accountability. This course will be taught in a dynamic, practice-based approach.
HHE 5732 Health Education Research Basics
2
This course introduces students to research concepts and practices that will support success in their graduate studies in holistic health education. The emphasis will be on developing critical thinking skills and gaining familiarity with academic publications. Key areas of discussion will include how to use the library’s databases to conduct effective literature searches, how to evaluate the quality of a journal and the quality of an article, an efficient strategy for reading articles, the different types of articles, and how to interpret research article results.
HHE 5734 Integrative Health
3
This course provides a foundation in Integrative Health, exploring the development of Western Medicine and alternative and complementary medicine. We examine historical perspectives that influence the current state of healthcare, explore the scientific basis of integrative approaches, and address the challenges of integrative health care. Students evaluate multiple approaches for addressing degenerative diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes examining the relationships among behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that enhance or compromise health.
HHE 5737 Nutrition for Wellness Throughout the Lifecycle A
2
This course introduces the foods, ways of eating and nutritional therapies that help to bring about and maintain the most vibrant health throughout the lifecycle, highlighting pediatric health and geriatric health nutrition. Special dietary needs of children and elders are a focus of this course. Nutritional recommendations for physical and mental vibrancy in the pediatric and elder years are identified through a holistic approach for preventing illness and maintaining wellness. Prerequisite: HHE 5716
Year 1 - Summer
Units
HHE 5870 Colloquium in Holistic Health Education
1
The Colloquia represent our residency requirement, offered three times a year, often held over a single weekend. Students from both the online and hybrid formats attend together, with program faculty welcome to attend as well. Topics covered will include those of general interest to all, such as professional identity or spirituality and health, as well as cutting edge issues as they arise. Each Colloquium is 1 unit each. Students are required to attend a minimum of five Colloquia in order to graduate.
HHE 5770 Health, Environment, and Sustainability
2
In this course, we examine the connection between the health of the environment and the health of the individual and community. We look at the origins of humanity’s disconnection from nature and the resulting modern worldview, through which we understand ourselves as separate individuals, “free” but helpless in the face of increasing environmental destruction. We evaluate the consequences of this worldview on our physical, psychological, social, and spiritual health. We then explore possibilities for re-connecting to each other and to the natural world as part of a homecoming that will allow us to re-imagine our relationship to nature and begin to create a sustainable future.
HHE 5772 Challenge of Change
3
This course is designed for future educators, including teachers, trainers, coaches, and others who facilitate learning. We will explore how students can forge their identity as educators from the wisdom of their own lived experience. Topics will include: whole person learning, creating space for learning, adult learning models, learning taxonomies, content organization, presentation skills, experiential activities, learning aids, and learning module lesson plans. Opportunities for in-depth practice will enable students to discover and develop their own style of teaching.
HHE 5774 Professional Development
1
Students will prepare for their internships and for work after graduation. Students will be encouraged to cultivate key skills such as informational interviewing and “selling” their ideas through oral and written communication. Students will learn how to identify and obtain an internship as a model for obtaining work throughout their careers.
HHE 5777 Complementary and Alternative Modalities
2
A general survey of holistic health practices and issues, with a focus on the variety of alternative and complementary modalities that are present in integrative health care settings. Students will complete an assessment of the values and attitudes which underpin their current health practices, as well as examining the values and issues that shape our current health care models. They will explore and critically evaluate a variety of holistic health services and their application.
HHE 5801 Student Review: Mid-Point
0
A comprehensive review of the student’s work halfway through the program. Each student’s work is reviewed by the department chair. All degree candidates must meet with the department chair in order to continue in the program.
Year 2 - Winter
Units
HHE 5870 Colloquium in Holistic Health Education
1
The Colloquia represent our residency requirement, offered three times a year, often held over a single weekend. Students from both the online and hybrid formats attend together, with program faculty welcome to attend as well. Topics covered will include those of general interest to all, such as professional identity or spirituality and health, as well as cutting edge issues as they arise. Each Colloquium is 1 unit each. Students are required to attend a minimum of five Colloquia in order to graduate.
HHE 5840 Innovative Strategies for Health Education
2
Students explore creative and novel ways to approach complex health education problems using collaborative processes that emerge from the fields of design thinking, iterative design, and media production. Students will also hone their ability to communicate complex ideas and solutions in a variety of internal and external settings.
HHE 5842 Mind-Body Practices for Self-Care
2
The theory, concepts and practice of various mind-body medicine modalities (such as meditation, expressive movement, visualization, etc.) will be presented as comprehensive holistic approach to stress management. Students will learn hands-on practices for mind-body self-care and will integrate their learning into course content.
HHE 5865 Capstone A
2
This is the first course of a two-course series in which the student will develop and create a health education capstone project, which consists of a written paper and an oral presentation. The student considers an important question or challenge in the field of health education and develops a holistic or integrative solution in the shape of a new model, approach, program, curriculum, etc. (approach or program) through faculty guidance and peer support/feedback. In the first course, the student develops the approach or program and writes a detailed description of it and its possible method of implementation. Prerequisites: Permission of Chair
HHE 5825 Internship
1-2
Students work with ways of bridging their work as students with what they hope to do as professionals by working for one quarter in a professional setting under the guidance of a mentor, keeping a journal, and describing their work in a paper. This internship meets the requirements of SVL 5000 – Service Learning. This two-unit requirement may be satisfied with two separate internships of 1 unit each; one 2-unit internship in a single quarter, or a 1-unit internship over two quarters. Prerequisite: HHE 5774 and Permission of Instructor.
Electives
0-2+
Students take a minimum of 5 elective units. They may choose from among electives offered for the Holistic Nutrition Specialization, and/or for the Graduate Certificate in Holistic Health Coaching, and/or other topics such as Energy Models of Healing, Arts in Healthcare, or Transitions & Grief.

If you’re here, you’ve already begun.