Title page for ETD etd-10242007-224204

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kunkel, Danylle Ranae
URN etd-10242007-224204
Title Profile of Health Educators in Virginia Institutions of Higher Education: The Value Attached to Work-related Competencies
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Redican, Kerry J. Committee Chair
Krouscas, James A. Jr. Committee Member
Lepczyk, Billie F. Committee Member
Stratton, Richard K. Committee Member
  • College Graduates
  • Employability
  • CHES Exam
  • Certifications
  • Health Educators
Date of Defense 2007-10-10
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to create a profile of the value of work-related competencies according to health educators in institutions of higher education in the state of Virginia. The health educators were surveyed regarding competencies perceived to be of high importance in their current position. Additionally, the study examined whether these competencies are addressed on the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam created by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC).

Data collected did support current literature in regards to importance of competencies. Regardless of job title or CHES certification status, health educators rank oral communication skills and interpersonal skills as being in the top five “soft skills” related to career success. Oral communication and interpersonal skills are among the competencies addressed by the CHES exam. Interestingly, however, 76% (n=29) of respondents reported that they were not CHES certified. This study also examined the relationship between a respondent’s job title (health-related, medically-related, or other) and his or her willingness to assist with health education curriculum development and student evaluation. Respondents whose job title directly related to health education were much more likely to be willing to help with curriculum development and student evaluation than those that had the responsibility of disseminating health education but held another type of title.

There is a need for further investigation into the basis for perceptions of dissatisfaction with college graduates by employers in regards to level of preparedness for the workforce.

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