University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | uwlax.edu

Health Education and Health Promotion
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  • School Health Education

    Welcome to the undergraduate School Health Education program at UW-La Crosse. We invite you to learn more about the program by selecting the appropriate link on the left. For additional information, please contact:

     

    Tracy Caravella, Ph.D.
    202 Mitchell Hall
    University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
    1725 State Street
    La Crosse, WI 54601
    608-785-6788
    tcaravella@uwlax.edu

    A one-of-a-kind program in Wisconsin, the school health education major is nationally recognized for excellence in preparing certified school health education professionals since the early 1970’s. Twelve faculty, ten with doctorates in the field, three with extensive teaching experience in schools, facilitate the learning of candidates for a Prek-12 teaching licensure in school health education (Early Adolescence-Adolescence-EAA). A variety of learning experiences ground them in an understanding of the profession, health content most frequently considered in schools across the United states, and methodology that not only prepares this pre-service teacher in effective teaching skills but also sets the stage for them to practice these skills in first clinical and then student teachings settings. 

    Finally candidates are prepared to plan and coordinate the prek-12 comprehensive school health curriculum based upon the academic standards for school health education. Graduates are able to be teachers, school health curriculum coordinators, and developers of health promotion and wellness activities for the community. Effective health educators can make a difference in the health and well-being of youth across the United States…a dynamic, worthwhile challenge in a time of rising health care costs and ever-evolving youth health concerns that can become adult health care concerns.

    The Wisconsin Teacher Standards, evolving from the National Teacher Standards, are the framework that directs instruction for the school health candidates and constitutes the assessment process for graduating students. Ultimately UWL graduates are assessed in their competence in health education content understanding, their ability to develop instruction that is age appropriate, considers the whole child and differs based upon the needs of the individual student. The teacher candidate will show competence in developing curriculum and instruction that engages the student in skill-based instruction that promotes critical thinking and problem solving, shows variety and addresses the academic standards for school health education. Motivation and classroom management competence, effective communication, curriculum and instructional planning, must be accompanied by assessment that is skill-based and varied. Finally, candidates are assessed in their competence in reflection and self-evaluation and their ability and commitment to collaboration with their peers, school and community to meet the health needs of their students.

    Vision

    The School Health Education faculty promotes the development of competent, empowered and collaborative school health education endeavors by enhancing the health of all individuals, schools and communities.

    Mission

    To prepare PK-12 leaders in school health education who exemplify innovative professional competencies, thereby contributing to the development of healthier PK-12 learners.

    To pursue this mission, School Health Education faculty and staff will collaborate to:

    • Provide the highest quality professional preparation.
    • Aim to cultivate professionals who are motivated, self-directed, continuous life-long learners.
    • Facilitate the development of school health educational professionals who reflect on their knowledge, skills and dispositions and attain Wisconsin licensure.
    • Provide innovative professional development opportunities.
    • Advocate for the advancement of health education.

     

    Application to the School Health Education Program requires that the student contact the College of Science and Health academic advisor to initiate the steps to acceptance.

    Mr. Guy Herling

    gherling@uwlax.edu

    608.785.8653

    205 Graff Main Hall

    Teacher Candidates enrolled in the School Health Education Program will ultimately be assessed through a portfolio process. These pre-service teachers will develop two portfolios: 1) “Preparing to Teach” Portfolio during their second clinical experience; 2) "Student Teaching" portfolio completed during their last semester on campus. Each teacher candidate will work with a portfolio advisor throughout this two-step process.

     

     

    Once school health undergraduate degree requirements have been met, and prek-12 licensure confirmed, graduates may seek employment in a public or private school district teaching elementary, middle, or high school learners. It is important to note that often school districts give priority to professionals who are also certified to teach an additional content area. While most frequently, pre-service health teachers complete additional work in physical education, accumulating credits for a “double major”; other teaching content areas have been acquired as well. Health education majors or minors, with an elementary education major, places a valuable asset in the elementary curriculum planning faculty and sets the stage for health education to begin from the outset of a child’s school experience. Majors or minors in science, languages, English and math have given the young professional teaching skills and knowledge consistently in demand by school districts. These combinations have been beneficial in making the candidate more marketable as they consider positions in health education. UW-La Crosse graduates have successfully obtained teacher licensure in other states by fulfilling licensure expectations for that state. Positions in community agencies that focus on the health of prek-12 youth have also been viable options for the UWL school health educator.