Status of the General Health Education Courses in U.S. Colleges and Universities

By Kittleson, Mark J.; DeBarr, Kathy A. | Journal of School Health, October 1991 | Go to article overview

Status of the General Health Education Courses in U.S. Colleges and Universities


Kittleson, Mark J., DeBarr, Kathy A., Journal of School Health


In 1981, U.S. colleges and universities listed in the Eta Sigma Gamma Directory of Health Education Programs were survered to determine the status of their general health education courses. Results indicated 13 institutions required a general health education course for graduation. [1] In addition, 88 institutions indicated the course was required for some majors. Nearly 73% required the general health course for health education majors, 41% for physical education majors, and 44% for education majors.

SURVEY DEVELOPMENT

Numerous changes in public health and higher education have occurred since the initial survey was completed. [2] Consequently, a similar survey was conducted in 1991. While the 1981 survey included only those programs listed in the Eta Sigma Gamma Directory, the 1991 survey included health education programs listed in the 1988 Health Education Directory, including those insitutions that did not respond to the AAHE survey. [3] Department chairs or program heads listed in both directories were surveyed.

As in 1981, the 1991 survey asked respondents if the department offered a general health education course primarily for freshmen and sophomores that addressed a variety of personal health concerns, which majors (if any) required the course, number of credit hours for the course, course enrollment, and institution name. In addition, the 1991 survey asked respondents' opinions on the possibility of the course either being dropped or added as a university requirement, number of sections of health education offered, average number of students enrolled in a section, and percentage of courses taught by part-time instructors, adjunct professors, or graduate assistants. The survey required approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Three hundred fifteen colleges and universities were mailed surveys in January 1991. A self-addressed, stamped, return envelope was included. Two weeks

                             Table 1
    Institutions Requiring a General Health Education Course
                         for all Students
                                        Credit    Enrollment
                                                      of
Institution                             Hours    Institution (*)
Alabama A&M University                    2         6,000
Brigham Young University (Utah)           1        27,000
Capital University (Ohio)                 3         3,235
University Central Arkansas               2         8,500
Central State University (Ohio)           2         3,000
Central State Univeristy (Okla.)          2        15,000
Chadron State College (Neb.)              3         3,000
Cumberland College (Ky.)                  3         2,000
Eastern Kentucky University               2        15,000
Eastern Montana College                   3        14,000
Emory University (Ga.)                    1         9,500
Glassboro State College (N.J.)            2         6,000
Gettysburg College (Penn.)                1         2,010
Jackson State University (Miss.)          3         7,000
Lamar University (Texas)                  3        11,000
University of Maine (Farmington)          1         2,000
Morehead State University (Ky.)           2         8,500
Northeast Missouri State University       2         6,000
Norfolk State University (Va.)            2         8,200
North Carolina Central University         1         5,000
Northwest Missouri State University       2          6,000
Univeristy of Northern Iowa               3        12,500
University of Oregon                      2        18,000
Portland State University (Ore.)          2        14,000
Radford Universty (Va.)                   3         9,000
Southern Connecticut State University     1         7,000
Southwest Missouri State University       2        20,000
Springfield College (Mass.)               2         2,200
Tennessee State Univeristy                2         7,000
Texas Christian University                1         7,000
Warner Pacific College (Ore. … 

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