California State University, Northridge MPH Program
Certified Health Education Specialist
What is a CHES?
A Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) is a person who has passed the C.H.E.S. national certification exam. Graduates of our program are eligible to take the exam, which focuses upon the Seven Areas of Responsibility listed below. Details about the Seven Areas of Responsibility are integrated into all of the MPH course work at CSUN. More specific information about the CHES exam is provided for when students take one of two culminating experience courses, either H Sci 697 (Directed Comprehensive Studies) or H Sci 698 (Thesis/Graduate Project).
Seven Areas of Responsibility of a Health Education Specialist include:
Assessing individual and community needs for health education.
Planning effective health education programs.
Implementing health education programs
Evaluating effectiveness of health education programs
Coordinating provision for health education services
Acting as a resource person in health education.
Communicating health and health education needs, concerns and resources
Why and when should a student take the CHES exam?
Many health professionals are required to obtain and maintain certification, licensure, or other credentials to be qualified to practice in a specific field. Examples include nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling. A person who maintains a specific certification or licensure has demonstrated the abilities needed to effectively practice in that health field. The professional field of health education has emerged over the years as one that is defined by specific skills or areas of responsibility. A certified health education specialist (CHES) has demonstrated abilities in those areas.
Students are encourage you to take the national CHES exam for three reasons.
1. Some health education job announcements now state that CHES certification is preferred or, in some cases, required of job applicants.
2. Holding a professional certification can foster positive perceptions about your abilities in the work place, particularly when your coworkers hold certifications or licensers in other fields.
3. To maintain your CHES certification on an annual basis, you will be required to attend professional conferences or read current literature, a positive incentive to remain current in health education knowledge and practices.
The CSUN MPH program prepares students to be thoroughly familiar with the Seven Areas of Responsibility of a Health Education Specialist. The national CHES exam tests individuals' knowledge and abilities in those responsibility areas. The best time to take the national CHES exam is soon after you graduate, while much of the exam-related material is still fresh on your mind. For information about cost, exam schedules, and study helps, access the web site of the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing