Standard I: Candidates assess individual and community needs for health education. Key Element A: Candidates obtain health-related data about social and cultural environments, growth and development factors, needs, and interests of students.
Key Element B: Candidates distinguish between behaviors that foster and those that hinder well-being.
Key Element C: Candidates determine health education needs based on observed and obtained data.
Standard II: Candidates plan effective health education programs.
Key Element A: Candidates recruit school and community representatives to support and assist in program planning.
Key Element B: Candidates develop a logical scope and sequence plan for a health
Key Element C: Candidates formulate appropriate and measurable learner objectives.
Key Element D: Candidates design educational strategies consistent with specified
Standard III: Candidates implement health education programs.
Key Element A: Candidates analyze factors affecting the successful implementation of health education and Coordinated School Health Programs (CSHPs).
Key Element B: Candidates select resources and media best suited to implement
program plans for diverse learners.
Key Element C: Candidates exhibit competence in carrying out planned programs.
Key Element D: Candidates monitor educational programs, adjusting objectives and
instructional strategies as necessary.
Standard IV: Candidates evaluate the effectiveness of coordinated school health programs.
Key Element A: Candidates develop plans to assess student achievement of program
Key Element B: Candidates carry out evaluation plans.
Key Element C: Candidates interpret results of program evaluation.
Key Element D: Candidates infer implications of evaluation findings for future program planning.
Standard V: Candidates coordinate provision of health education programs and services. Key Element A: Candidates develop a plan for coordinating health education with other
components of a school health program.
Key Element B: Candidates demonstrate the dispositions and skills to facilitate
cooperation among health educators, other teachers, and appropriate school staff.
Key Element C: Candidates formulate practical modes of collaboration among health
educators in all settings and other school and community health professionals.
Key Element D: Candidates organize professional development programs for teachers,
other school personnel, community members, and other interested individuals.
Standard VI: Candidates act as a resource person in health education. Key Element A: Candidates utilize computerized health information retrieval systems
Key Element B: Candidates establish effective consultative relationships with those
requesting assistance in solving health-related problems.
Key Element C: Candidates interpret and respond to requests for health information.
Key Element D: Candidates select effective educational resource materials for
Standard VII: Candidates communicate health and health education needs, concerns, and resources. Key Element A: Candidates interpret concepts, purposes, and theories of health
Key Element B: Candidates predict the impact of societal value systems on health
Key Element C: Candidates select a variety of communication methods and techniques
in providing health information.
Key Element D: Candidates foster communication between health care providers and
Candidates assess individual and community needs for health education.
In needs assessments, health educators gather and analyze information to determine which health education program goals and strategies are appropriate for a specified target population. Individual needs may be basic--those essential for learning, growth, and development (e.g., food, water, shelter, warmth). They may, however, be more complex (e.g., sense of safety, security, and emotional support, self-efficacy) and affected by multiple family, school, and community factors (e. g., family structure, available community resources, opportunities to contribute).
Basic individual needs and/or complex family, school, and community needs are indicators of gaps between "what currently exists" and "what is optimal." Needs assessment is the systematic, planned collection of information about individuals’ health-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, motivations, skills, and behaviors as well as environmental factors that may impact health. If possible, health educators can conduct more comprehensive needs assessments examining existing health-related programs and resources in the surrounding community. Needs assessment is critical to designing relevant, developmentally-appropriate, and culturally-sensitive health education programs. Assessing needs logically precedes planning and implementing program goals and strategies.
Comprehensive School Health Education In the school setting, needs assessments are used to determine developmentally-appropriate and culturally-sensitive health education instructional strategies to address diverse needs of all students. More comprehensive needs assessments conducted in school settings also examine the status of existing coordinated school health program (CSHP) components—health education; physical education; health services; healthy environment; counseling, psychological, and social services; nutrition services; family and community involvement; and staff health promotion.
School health educators can use findings of national youth surveillance systems and other databases to understand current student needs. For example, by examining results of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (CDC, 2001; Kolbe, 1990) and other national representative surveys (e.g., Monitoring the Future Survey [NIDA, 2000]; National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health [Resnick, et al., 1997]), school personnel, parents, and community members can understand the prevalence of youth health-related behaviors (i.e., behaviors that result in intentional and unintentional injuries, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors that result in unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, dietary patterns, and physical inactivity).
Ultimately, some local school and community assessments will be essential for development of effective health education curricula. School, community, and public health data and records are important sources of information about local health-related needs. For example, student health and referral records (i.e., school nurse's office visits; absence from school), local hospital emergency room treatment (e.g., acute asthma; drug overdose), and sexually-transmitted disease and pregnancy rates can provide a picture of local health concerns and support the need for expanded school efforts. Finally, school health educators should use both qualitative and quantitative methods to elicit information directly and indirectly from students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other school personnel.
Findings of the School Health Programs and Policy Study (SHPPS) (CDC, 2000d) describe the status of coordinated school health program components across the country. Using SHPPS instruments or the School Health Index (CDC, 2000b; 2000c), school health educators can determine CSHP program gaps in their schools. In addition, state and national guidelines for school-based health programs and policies (e.g., CDC, 1988, 1994, 1996, & 1997) can be reviewed and used to provide direction to program and policy development, as appropriate.
Collaboration with Health Educators in Other Settings Health educators in other settings can offer support to school-based needs assessment efforts. For example, community health educators can provide current local, state, and national data about youth, assist in assessment of student and family needs, map existing community health-related programs and services, and assess community support for school health programming. Community health agencies also can partner with schools to enhance health programs at alternative schools and/or determine outreach program needs for youth who have dropped out of school, run away from home, and/or become homeless.
Health educators in medical care settings can provide information about youth problems/issues as presented to health care providers or within hospital emergency rooms. Health educators at post-secondary institutions can work with local schools and their partners to administer the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conduct student and family needs assessments, summarize and interpret results, and provide recommendations for school health education and CSHPs. Finally, health educators in worksite settings could include discussions about youth issues as part of worksite health promotion programs for working youth, parents/guardians, and other adults.
Key Element A:
Candidates obtain health-related data about social and cultural environments, growth and development factors, needs, and interests of students.
Candidates are unable to assess validity and reliability of sources of needs assessment data; fail to use technology-based sources of information; use inappropriate data-gathering instruments and procedures.
Candidates select valid, reliable, and credible sources of data and information about health needs, interests, and concerns; use technology-based sources of information; identify appropriate data-gathering instruments; apply various methods to collect health-related data and information.
Candidates use multiple formats to select valid, reliable, and credible sources of information about health needs, interests, and concerns; design valid and reliable instruments to assess baseline knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and skills; develop culturally-sensitive plans for effective administration of needs assessment instruments; organize obtained data to facilitate analysis.
Supporting Explanation: Conducting needs assessments requires that health educators are able to locate relevant existing information and statistics about student health needs; generate additional data, as appropriate; and verify validity, reliability, and credibility of information sources. To ensure a broad understanding of students' developmental and health-related needs, related factors, interests, and concerns, health educators should access multiple sources of secondary data and information, including federal agencies, national organizations, and state/local agencies. These data include those that are routinely gathered as part of national, state, and local surveillance systems or funded research investigations. To gather primary data directly from students, families, teachers, and administrators, health educators first must understand school district protocols for conducting research and, upon approval, can administer surveys, conduct individual and focus group interviews, observe student behavior in classrooms and throughout the school, and/or conduct health risk assessments. A critical step is evaluation of all available data and information to determine if they are relevant and applicable to the local student population, school, and community.
Key Element B:
Candidates distinguish between behaviors that foster and those that
hinder well-being. Rubric:
Candidates are unable to identify individual, family, school, peer group, and community factors that influence health-related choices; describe how personal behaviors affect personal health and well-being; explain how personal experiences affect health-related decisions.
Candidates identify physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and other factors that influence one or more health-related behaviors of school-aged youth; distinguish between risk and protective factors within the family, school, peer group, and community; identify individual behaviors that promote and/or compromise personal health and well-being; articulate howcognitive, affective, and skill-based learning and other experiences impactpatterns of health behavior.
Candidates compare and contrast the potential impact of diverse factors on health-related behaviors of school-aged youth; analyze the relationship between family, school, peer, and community risk and protective factors and specified health-related behaviors; predict immediate and long-range effects of health-related behaviors; examine inter-relatedness of cognitive, affective, and skill-based learning experiences.
Supporting Explanation: Personal behaviors affecting health are based upon a complex interaction of knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, values, experiences, and skills. A young person's developmental needs, hopes and fears, short- and long-term goals, and desire for social acceptance also may impact health-related choices. Moreover, decisions about personal behavior can be influenced by risk and protective factors within the family, school, peer group, and community.
Principal determinants of students' behaviors differ dramatically depending on the situation and circumstances, and can change over time. Most personal behaviors are either beneficial or harmful for the short-term. Over the long-term, the aggregate of personal behaviors can foster or compromise personal health and overall well-being. Health educators must be able to identify individual, family, school, and community factors that can be addressed, modified, or eliminated to address factors that could influence health-related behaviors of youth and implement effective health education curricula and CSHPs.
Key Element C:
Candidates determine health education needs based on observed and
obtained data. Rubric:
Candidates are unable to gather and summarize needs assessment data; classify needs of school-aged youth; recommend school-based strategies for prevention and early intervention.
Candidates review, display, and interpret needs assessment data for diverse student populations; establish criteria for prioritizing areas based on diverse student needs; apply established criteria to identify priority needs for school-based health education and CSHPs.
Candidates synthesize multiple sources of qualitative and quantitative needs assessment data; evaluate health-related data to determine priority needs for school-based health education, CSHPs, and supporting community programs and services for diverse student populations; communicate need for coordinated, collaborative school and community efforts.
Supporting Explanation: Developmentally-appropriate health education needs of school-age youth and their families should not be assumed nor estimated, but must be based upon information obtained through multiple valid, reliable, and credible sources and data collection methods, as feasible. School health educators can obtain existing data about youth risk behaviors as well as predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors of health-related behavior in the family, school, and/or community from national, state, and local morbidity and mortality reports, local health department reports, youth risk behavior surveillance systems, and published/unpublished research, to name a few. Additional data can be collected through qualitative and quantitative methods, including individual and focus group interviews, classroom and school observations, written surveys of youth, families, teachers, and/or administrators, health risk appraisals, and other methods. To determine trends and patterns of needs relative to youth and their families, school health educators must be able to tabulate, organize, and summarize needs assessment data. Established criteria used to determine health education and CSHP priorities should be applied to guide program planning.
Candidates plan effective health education programs.
Health education program planning follows needs assessment and is based on identified health-related needs, problems, and concerns of the target population. Prior to initiation and throughout the planning process, health educators should involve key stakeholders, including but not limited to community leaders, representatives from community organizations, resource people, and representatives from the target population (e.g., youth/others from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and educational levels).
Health educators first must formulate program goals to provide overall direction and focus of the health education curriculum as well as other health promotion strategies. Then, measurable program and learner objectives are developed to address specific changes anticipated as a result of the health education program. Finally, based on characteristics of the target audience and available resources, health educators select and/or develop specific instructional strategies and program components to meet established program goals and objectives.
Comprehensive School Health Education In the school setting, program planning relates both to the health education curriculum and CSHP. School health educators should facilitate a collaborative program planning process involving school administrators, teachers, nurses, counselors, food service managers, parents/guardians, students, and representatives from related community health agencies and organizations. Optimally, school health advisory councils should be established at both the school-site and district-level to ensure that the health education curriculum and other CSHP components are comprehensive, developmentally-appropriate, and culturally-sensitive. Composition of district-level and school-site health advisory committees will vary based on existing school and community resources.
Adopted health education curricula, whether locally-developed or commercially-published, should be based on district/state frameworks/guidelines and nationally-established criteria, and should reflect student, family, and community needs. In addition, preK-12 curricula should promote health literacy—the capacity to obtain, interpret, and understand basic health information and services and the competence to use information and services in ways that are health-enhancing (Joint Committee on Health Education Standards [JCHES], 1998). Decisions about curriculum content and process (what health-related concepts and skills should be taught at which grade levels) as well as proposed student outcomes (what students will be able to do) should be based on state/national health education standards as well as current research findings (JCHES, 1998). Health education standards are supported by specific performance indicators that should guide learner objectives.
School health educators select instructional methods and strategies based on the cognitive, affective, and skills-based objectives to be met, developmental readiness and learning styles of students, and available resources. A variety of interactive teaching strategies is needed to address diverse student needs, to maintain interest and discipline, and to meet objectives in all domains of learning. A minimum of 50 hours of health education instruction at every grade level is necessary to provide and reinforce essential health skills for a lifetime (Connell, et al, 1985).
Because health-risk behaviors are complex and interrelated, school health educators should promote CSHPs; these complementary and synergistic components can address the needs of children and their families more comprehensively (Allensworth & Kolbe, 1987; Marx & Wooley, 1998). Within schools, efforts should be made to support and expand CSHPs so that the health education instructional program is well articulated with other CSHP components.
Collaboration with Health Educators in Other Settings Health educators and other professionals in community, medical care, university, and worksite settings can support and enhance school health education and CSHP planning efforts in a variety of ways. As active members of school-level and/or district-level health advisory committees, their combined expertise related to program planning would more adequately address student, family, and community needs. Coordinating existing and potential resources in the surrounding community with school-based efforts will maximize funded efforts and minimize duplication of health-related programs and services. For example, in planning a comprehensive substance use prevention program, research-based classroom instruction could be supported by a variety of after-school youth activities sponsored by local youth serving organizations (e.g., Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, YWCA). Other community programs, such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, could connect high-risk youth with adult mentors. Campaigns for drug-free school zones could be established by the local health department and law enforcement agencies. Professionals and youth from local treatment centers could address school-aged youth in classroom settings. Finally, university health educators could advocate with state representatives for increased school/community funding for substance use prevention programs.
Key Element A:
Candidates recruit school and community representatives to support and assist in program planning.
Candidates are unable to identify and obtain commitments from individuals and/or groups who work in health-related programs; do not know how to elicit opinions of those who may affect or be affected by the school-based program.
Candidatesidentify individuals and/or groups whose cooperation and support will be essential to program success; integrate other school and community resources and recommendations within the health education program plan.
Candidates use persuasive communication skills to justify the need for health education and CSHPs to various audiences; involve key decision makers, resource people, representatives from community organizations, and potential participants as advisors in the planning process; obtain broad-based support for the health education program; demonstrate dispositions and skills to serve as a contributing member of a community advisory committee.