School Health Education

Program Description

Program Goals

  1. Prepare its students with the proficiencies to become lifelong learners, provide the skill needed to contribute to a healthy lifestyle, and improve quality of life for themselves and the students they educate.
  2. Provide a comprehensive and multidisciplinary academic curriculum that prepares its graduates for careers in a variety of health education fields.
  3. Prepare students to meet the standards set by state and national credentialing organizations for health educators.
  4. Provide a comprehensive approach to health education emphasizing the connection and interdependency of individuals, school, family and community.

Program Objectives

Graduates of the B.S. Health Education (PK-12) Certification Program will be prepared to:

  1. Apply health content knowledge as competent health educators.
  2. Assess individual and community needs for health education.
  3. Plan effective health education programs.
  4. Implement health education programs.
  5. Evaluate effectiveness of health education programs.
  6. Coordinate provisions of health education services.
  7. Act as a resource person in health education.
  8. Communicate health and health education needs, concerns, and resources (#2-8   responsibilities and competencies for school health educators have been established, as seen in The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. at


Certification Program for PK-12

e teacher education programs at WestConn are rigorous and not all candidates applying for professional program admission are accepted. While students may gain acceptance to the university, those interested in obtaining state teacher’s certification (elementary, secondary, music, and health education) must file a separate application for professional program acceptance usually during the second semester of their junior year.

Self-declared health education majors must maintain a GPA of 2.67 or higher upon the completion of 60 credits of course work in order to remain a self-declared education major. Students who fail to meet this requirement will be contacted by the dean of the School of Professional Studies. Students must achieve a GPA of 2.8 or higher in order to be accepted into all professional education programs as candidates for teacher certification.

Course Restrictions

For a complete list of prerequisites, co-requisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Health Education Program Sheet

Note: Students may not register for the following courses until they have been formally admitted to the health education program: HPX 311, HPX 386, HPX 460, HPX 464, ED 340, ED 440, EPY 405.

To graduate, students must complete all general education requirements, the courses and credits listed below and free electives to total a minimum of 125 semester hours, including HPX physical activity requirement.

PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology*
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology*
BIO 105, 106 Anatomy and Physiology I & II*
COM 161 Decision Making in Groups*
ENG or WRT Writing Intensive Course (W)*
HIS 148 American History to 1877* or HIS 149 American History since 1877*
EPY 204 Adolescent Development in School**
ED 206 Introduction to Education**
ED 340 Assessment of Teaching Strategies
ED 440 Integrating Language*
EPY 405 Introduction to Special Education*
HPX 100 Health Promotion and Maintenance
HPX 160 First Aid & Safety
HPX 177 Fitness for Life
HPX 205 Nutrition and Health
HPX 215 Health Issues in the Schools**
HPX 230 Drug Studies
HPX 253 Concepts of Disease
HPX 271 Health Education Programs in the Community*
HPX 311 School Health Programs*
HPX 352 Mental Health
HPX 355 Human Sexuality
HPX 371 Health Communication Methods and Strategies*
HPX 386 Health Education Professional Development School Experience
HPX 460 Health Education Student Teaching Seminar*
HPX 464 Student Teaching

In order to register for student teaching, health education majors must present at least a 2.8 overall GPA. Students are advised not to register for other courses, except for ED 340, HPX 460 and HPX 464, or be working in other jobs during this semester. A student teaching application (available at the education office) must be filed with the chairperson of the education department during the semester just prior to the student teaching semester. The student teaching requirement for health education majors consists of one semester. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from their assigned schools.

Students earning other than a “P” grade in student teaching may be required to complete additional student teaching and/or course work before receiving a recommendation for graduation and certification. Students must have at least a 2.8 cumulative GPA in all courses to graduate as a health education major.

Health Education Program Sheet

PRAXIS Information

To complete the health education degree program, the student must pass the Health PRAXIS II examination. The PRAXIS II exam tests health subject area knowledge. The Initial Educator Certificate will be issued by the State of Connecticut upon completion of program requirements and the passing of PRAXIS II (0550). All CONNTENT exams are being offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). ETS utilizes the national teacher examination (PRAXIS) specialty area tests for CONNTENT requirements. Additionally, students are encouraged to sit for the national CHES exam.


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Professional Semester Information

Application and Submission Process for Professional Program Acceptance

Applications for professional program acceptance can be obtained at the department of health promotion and exercise sciences (BR 230). Before the process of screening for professional program acceptance, applications must be filed with the school health coordinator of the health promotion and exercise sciences department.

Professional Semester Application

Criteria for Professional Program Acceptance

Students seeking admission to any of WestConn’s teacher education certification programs must have completed and met the following criteria. The following deadline dates must be met for students applying for professional teacher education program acceptance. The deadline date for Fall semester admittance into a Professional Teacher Education Program is 12 noon on April 1st. You must have all of your materials submitted to the Health Education Program Coordinator by the deadline date.  After your materials have been submitted and reviewed, you will be contacted for an interview with faculty.

Candidates must:

  1. Pass a Connecticut state mandated basic skills examination (PRAXIS I) in mathematics, reading and writing, or must obtain a waiver from the State Department of Education by presenting a combined score of 1,100 or more with no less than 450 on either the verbal or math subtest. If the SAT was administered prior to March 31, 1995, the candidate must present a combined score of 1,000 with at least a score of 400 on both the verbal and the math sections. It is the student’s responsibility to apply for this waiver. (Students may present a passing score on a similar test for another state with which Connecticut has certification reciprocity agreements). Information concerning the PRAXIS I exam and waiver information is available in the Office of the Dean of Professional Studies, Midtown campus, 123 White Hall, (203-837-8575) or in the Education Office, Westside campus, Classroom Building 249 (203-837-8510).
  2. Present at least a 2.8 cumulative GPA for undergraduate courses taken prior to professional program acceptance (approximately 90 credits and reflecting courses in progress). Note: The 2.8 cumulative GPA requirements is effective for all students, including any change of majors. All work done both at WestConn and other colleges will be considered in the computation of the cumulative grade point average. Note: Students with less than a cumulative 2.8 grade point average will not be admitted to or retained in the program.
  3. Completed the university’s general education requirements (42 semester hour minimum) in communications, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences and mathematics/computer science, and exercise science, as well as complete a writing intensive course.
  4. Complete with a minimum grade of “B” in the following education courses:
    ED 206 Introduction to Education
    HPX 215 Health Issues in the Schools (Grades PK-12)
    EPY 204 Adolescent Development in School Setting
  5. Prepare and present an essay demonstrating a command of the English language identifying reasons for wanting to enroll, emphasizing experience relevant to teaching health.
  6. Present at least two letters of recommendation from persons outside the university who are able to testify to the candidate’s suitability as a prospective health teacher.
  7. Participate in an interview with health education faculty members who will assess personal attributes that suggest potential performance as a teacher.

The Professional Development School (PDS) Experience

Candidates for teacher certification who are enrolled in the health, music and secondary education professional programs at WestConn are placed in public school classrooms for two weeks in conjunction with their educational methods courses in the areas of: instruction, assessments, integrating language, and content practices. Student candidates work with students under the direction of public school classroom teachers and are also supervised by university faculty.  During the fall semester, health and music education candidates spend one week in an elementary/middle school placement and one week in a secondary school placement. (Danbury or area schools)  Secondaryeducation candidates spend one week in a middle school placement and one week in a high school placement.

Health Education PDS Handbook

Health Education Honors & Scholarship Opportunities

Professional Certifications

The first level of certification is the three-year initial educator certificate. This certificate is issued to applicants who meet all eligibility requirements, and who have fewer than three full school years of appropriate successful teaching experience in the past 10 years.

Initial Educator Certificate as a Health Educator (PreK-12

Health Education students are also eligible to become a Certified Health Education Specialist

Denial From the Student Teaching/Clinical Experience 

Superintendents, school district facilitators, cooperating teachers, principals, University supervisors and the Education and the Educational Psychology Department in consultation with the appropriate Arts & Sciences, health or music teacher education faculty reserve the right to dismiss the student from any student teaching/clinical experience. When problems arise during a student teaching/ clinical experience, the University supervisor must notify the student teaching coordinator. The coordinator then forwards any information to the Chair of the Education and Educational Psychology Department who in turn informs the student of any decision. A recommendation for dismissal can be based on, but not limited to:

  1. An absence of five or more consecutive teaching days in a fourteen week (requires 70 full days) assignment or three or  more consecutive days in a seven week (requires 35 full days) assignment, without presenting a verified explanation.
  2. A failure to demonstrate the state mandated teaching competencies during student teaching or any clinical experience.
  3. Drug or alcohol abuse.
  4. Allegation or conviction for sexual, physical or emotional intimidation, harassment or abuse of PK-12 students.
  5. Felony indictment.

The affected student has the right to request, in writing, within seven days of a notification of dismissal, a hearing with the University's teacher supervisor, the student teaching coordinator and the Chair of the Education and Educational Psychology Department. The reason(s) for dismissal shall be identified. The affected student has the right within two weeks of the hearing date to appeal, in writing, his/her dismissal to the Dean of Professional Studies.
Additional Information is posted in Student Teaching requirements on the Education and Education Psychology website.

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