Online Learning Collaboratives – Let’s dig a bit deeper!

From time to time many of you have told us that you appreciate our training offerings but you wish that there were more opportunities to delve deeper into subject matters. Experienced providers are looking for more advanced training, but also new educators and supervisors express the need for in-depth training. It has been challenging to chart training opportunities for an initiative that involves professionals with a wide range of expertise and experience.

We would like to tackle this dilemma by introducing Learning Collaboratives. What distinguishes these Collaboratives from our monthly webinars? Learning Collaboratives are interest groups that come together to:

  • accomplish clearly articulated objectives and goals in a particular subject area
  • learn cooperatively by articulating their needs, sharing their expertise, and jointly exploring new strategies and practices

Logistics

Participation is voluntary. You join if you are interested in the subject matter the Learning Collaborative will explore. Participants are actively engaged and committed to doing some extra work such as researching information and resources. Learning Collaboratives meet on a regular basis for a limited time period; for example, the collaborative might meet every other week over three months. Each Learning Collaborative will work out their own schedule. ACT for Youth will facilitate the meetings and provide support.

Benefits

Participants will post challenges, share strategies and practices, and engage in cooperative learning. There is great potential for developing new resources and tools that we can archive on the website and make accessible to the whole initiative.

Start up: February 27, 2018

We would like to focus the first Learning Collaborative on supervisors. Many Health Educator Supervisors have expressed challenges and questions about the responsibilities and tasks of supervisors. To mention just a few potential topics: Hiring and orienting new educators, retaining staff, handling personality conflicts, supervision, negotiating with subcontractors, community outreach… and any other topic you would like to tackle in this area.

Stay tuned for a special invitation with registration information.

Looking Ahead

We are planning a few other Learning Collaboratives focusing on:

  • Parent education and engagement
  • Professional development needs of experienced educators

We would love to hear what you think about this approach. Any suggestions or comments? Is there another topic you would like to dive into with your CAPP or PREP colleagues?

  – Jutta

Educators: Are You Certified?

CHES© and MCHES©, or Certified Health Education Specialist and Masters of Certified Health Education Specialist, are national and international certifications for health educators. CHES is for entry-level health educators and MCHES is designed for specialists with at least five years of experience. These certifications are offered by the nonprofit organization National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), whose mission is to “enhance the professional practice of Health Education by promoting and sustaining a credentialed body of Health Education Specialists.”

To become certified, one must pass an examination that assesses one’s competence in the possession, application, and interpretation of Seven Areas of Responsibility:

Area I: Assess Needs, Resources, and Capacity for Health Education/Promotion
Area II: Plan Health Education/Promotion
Area III: Implement Health Education/Promotion
Area IV: Conduct Evaluation and Research Related to Health Education/Promotion
Area V: Administer and Manage Health Education/Promotion
Area VI: Serve as a Health Education/Promotion Resource Person
Area VII. Communicate, Promote, and Advocate for Health, Health Education/Promotion, and the Profession

Once certified, one must pay an annual $55 renewal fee and obtain 75 continuing education contact hours every five years for recertification.

Who is eligible?

Basic requirements to be eligible for the exam include:

  • Official transcript clearly showing health education major

OR

  • Official transcript reflecting at least 25 semester hours or 37 quarter hours with specific preparation addressing the Seven Areas of Responsibility and Competency for Health Education Specialists.

Should I become certified?

This national credential lets others know that you have competencies beyond just a degree. You understand the responsibility and accountability in being a high quality health educator. Certification can be appealing to employers looking for health education experts and may be required for some careers in the field.

How can I become certified?

Exams are offered biannually in April and October. Check out the NCHEC exam overview  for more information on registering for the next exam!

ACT for Youth now offers contact hours

ACT for Youth has recently become a Designated Provider of continuing education contact hours with NCHEC. This means we can now help those of you who are already certified get those 75 credit hours! Any webinar or training we offer that addresses at least one of the Areas of Responsibility will be eligible for contact hours (don’t worry – we will make it clear if a webinar or training does not qualify). If you attend and successfully complete these events, you will need to get in touch with me (mas597@cornell.edu) as soon as possible to receive a special evaluation form to be completed. Once we’ve received your evaluation form, we will submit it to NCHEC for you. We are excited to be able to offer this new service to help further your career as a certified health educator!

Divine Sebuharara  – Divine Sebuharara, MS, CHES