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Health Science: Health Promotion

Bachelor of Science
  • 120 Credits
  • School of Health and Natural Sciences
  • Bronx
  • Dobbs Ferry
a team of community health and healthcare professionals

Health Science: Health Promotion Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Health Science, concentration in Health Promotion provides a comprehensive and innovative curriculum that prepares students for evidence-based practice in health promotion. Students take courses that focus on human biology, personal behavior, social and environmental determinants of health as well as the structure of and access to health care. 

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What is Health Promotion?

Health promotion is part of the core disciplines of public health.  The core disciplines of public health include: 1) biostatistics, 2) epidemiology, 3) health policy, 4) environmental health sciences, and 5) the social and behavioral sciences (also known as health promotion).  To learn more about public health and health promotion, see this video from the American Public Health Association.

The World Health Organization defines Health Promotion as “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.”  Health educators and other health promotion practitioners seek to improve health by addressing the health knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and skills of individuals alongside environmental factors, social determinants of health, and inequities.  Watch this video from the National Council on Health Education Credentialing to learn about where health educators work and what they do. 

Students in the Health Promotion Concentration study the Core Functions and Essential Services of Public Health and the Eight Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists.

Health runners

Become a Certified Health Education Specialist

The Health Promotion concentration covers the specific competencies required for students to qualify to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) examination administered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. Students can seek careers as a community health educator in a variety of settings such as public and community agencies, business and industry, hospitals, and other types of clinical facilities. The health promotion concentration also prepares students who may want to advance their health degree (e.g., MPH, MPA in Health Administration, or DrPH/PhD/EdD in public health/Health Education/Community Health).

Learn more about CHES certification
Dr. Davidson

Meet Dr. Davidson, Health Promotion Program Director

Dr. Charis Davidson is the co-director of the undergraduate Health Science program, and leads the Health Promotion concentration. Dr. Davidson teaches courses that help students develop essential skills in health promotion including needs assessment, intervention planning, and evaluation. Her goal is for students to graduate Mercy College prepared to  work towards health equity in the communities they serve. Dr. Davidson supports students exploring their interests in public health and health promotion as they decide whether to pursue a career in this field. She holds an MPH and DrPH in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.  In addition to working with students, Dr. Davidson is an active practitioner and researcher. 

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Program Details & Curriculum

The World Health Organization defines Health Promotion as "the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health."  Health educators and other health promotion practitioners seek to improve health  by  addressing the health knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and skills of individuals alongside environmental factors, social determinants of health, and inequities.

Students in the Health Promotion concentration study the Core Functions and Essential Services of Public Health  and the Eight Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists

The B.S. in Health Science: Health Promotion emphasizes disease prevention and both public and personal health promotion. The health promotion concentration prepares students for entry-level positions in a variety of health care settings as well as for graduate study in public and community health. The health promotion concentration also prepares students to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) Exam

 

CHES Seven Areas of Responsibility Mercy College HLSC Course(s) Addressing the CHES Areas
Area I: Assess needs, resources and capacity for health education/promotion

HLSC 395 Health Promotion and Program Intervention

 

HLSC 396 Evaluating Health Promotion Programs

Area II: Plan health education/promotion

HLSC 395 Health Promotion and Program Intervention

HLSC 400 Health Science Capstone

Area III: Implement health education/promotion

HLSC 396 Evaluating Health Promotion Programs

HLSC 400 Health Science Capstone

Area IV: Conduct evaluation and research related to health education/promotion HLSC 396 Evaluating Health Promotion Programs

HLSC 400 Health Science Capstone
Area V: Administer and manage health education/promotion

HLSC 395 Health Promotion and Program Intervention

 

HLSC 396 Evaluating Health Promotion Programs

Area VI: Serve as a health education/promotion resource person HLSC 275 Health Policy and Advocacy

HLSC 395 Health Promotion and Program Intervention
Area VII: Communication, promote and advocate for health, health education/promotion and the profession HLSC 102 Introduction to the Health Professions

HLSC 275 Health Policy and Advocacy

HLSC 250 Health Communication

General Education Requirements: 60 Credits
Major Concentration: 55 Credits
Open Electives: 5 Credits

Total: 120 Credits

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog. 

Major Requirements

  1. Any student who receives a grade below a C in a major course will be required to retake the course. Major courses may be retaken once.
  2. Students who have selected the Health Science: Health Promotion concentration must adhere to the Mercy College policy regarding maintenance of a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.0.
  3. Any exceptions to program guidelines require approval by the Program Director.

The Health Science: Health Promotion program offers students the opportunity to complete a semester long internship as part of the program (HLSC 399 Field-based Experience in Health Science.) This course is designed for the student to study the professional world of health care environments. Students will make meaningful connections between their classroom learning and the healthcare internship or job experience. Topics focused on ethics, diversity, communication skills, stress management and other key topics help the student integrate their classroom knowledge with their experiences in the field. Students can review current internship opportunities on the College's Career Services page.

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Program Outcomes

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Synthesize and apply knowledge from biological, physical, health,  and behavioral sciences as a foundation for practice as a health care  professional.

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Explain the importance of cultural competency and appreciation for diversity in the community and health care environments.

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Demonstrate knowledge of sound ethical practice found in  health care settings.

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Identify and use professional/scientific literature and materials to support professional decision making related to clinical practice and  health care issues.

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Demonstrate knowledge of the current health care system, as well as challenges and changes in the delivery and funding of health care.

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Exhibit interpersonal skills required for client practitioner and professional interaction, as well as peer clinician communication. 

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Exhibit ethical behavior in science and to evaluate the implications of unethical scientific conduct

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Apply their core scientific knowledge to examine basic, applied and societal topics in biology and to explain how life science professionals use strategies and techniques to address these issues

Frequently Asked Questions

A wide-range of areas such as licensed rehabilitation professions, environmental and occupational health, public health or health promotion. Graduates may also pursue careers related to health care and health promotion in various public and private, clinical and non-clinical settings.

Yes, faculty are always ready to help students with questions about what courses to take, the sequencing of courses, and career opportunities, including internships and cooperative education.

Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.

Very. You can take classes as a part-time or full-time student, at various times including evenings and weekends.

Yes. Acceptance of transfer credits is determined by Admissions. They consult with any graduate program to which you intend to apply. To be eligible for a B.S. in Health Science, which is a 120-credit degree, students must complete a minimum of 30 undergraduate credits at Mercy College. Mercy may transfer up to 90 undergraduate credits from a four-year college and up to 75 credits from a two-year community college.

If an employer requires a college degree with a health care focus, a B.S. in Health Science is usually preferred. A B.S. in Health Science is the most effective route to completing a Bachelor's degree that includes all the graduate program prerequisite courses for programs such as the Health Promotions Concentration as well as the Graduate Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Programs.

Kathleen Golisz

Message from Interim Dean Kathleen Golisz

A health care education specialist empowers people and their communities to take control of their health, and adopt healthy lifestyles and behaviors.

This not only improves health and wellness for families and communities but decreases health care costs and risks for chronic diseases. It is not surprising that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for health education specialists will continue to grow and is projected to be much faster than the average for all occupations

Full-Time Faculty

Part-Time Faculty