MPH-CHE Program Information

Purpose, Philosophy, and Mission
Program Goals
Program Objectives
Program Accreditation
Financial Information
MPH-CHE Student Profile
MPH Brochure (pdf)
2011-2012 Graduate Student Guidebook (pdf)

Purpose, Philosophy, and Mission

Purpose: To promote health and wellness in our communities through well-designed educational interventions.

Philosophy: Health education draws from many different disciplines, including psychology, biology, sociology, communications, business, and education. The variety of undergraduate backgrounds that MPH-CHE candidates bring to the program help all members of the program to broaden their understanding through classroom sharing and team projects.

The curriculum of the MPH-CHE program is designed to prepared candidates to practice health education in the graduate responsibility areas developed by the Joint Committee for Graduate Standards. To further demonstrate mastery of these professional competencies, graduates of the MPH-CHE program are encouraged to become Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) through the national examination offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. while in the program. In their present or future professional situations, teamwork and networking will be essential. Mutual support and collaboration are encouraged both informally and through the curriculum in the MPH-CHE program. Many opportunities to develop creative and innovative approaches to health education, often as a team, are provided. The curriculum stimulates personal challenge, growth in understanding, and confidence in one's skills, along with a community connectedness.

Each MPH-CHE candidate, with the assistance of the program director and faculty, is encouraged to examine career options and personal preferences. Opportunities to explore health education in business, communities, schools, clinical settings, and higher education through the core curriculum, electives, workshops and the Preceptorship experience are offered by the department.

In addition to choosing a career path, the graduate student uses the time in the program to form an image of himself or herself as a professional health educator. This process is complemented by readings, projects, and discussions with fellow students and faculty, and memberships in professional organizations.

MPH-CHE Mission: The mission of the MPH-CHE graduate program at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse is to prepare professionals, using advanced-level health education competencies and public health core areas, who will address quality of life enhancement through health education and health promotion, mindful of the holistic, dynamic and interdependent nature of people and their interactions within the environment.

Program Goals

  • To prepare proficient Community Health Educators through educational experiences in the core public health and health education competencies that include quality instruction, practical experience, and culminating opportunities.
  • To plan, implement, and report research that will contribute to the health enhancement of the public, the community health education profession, other aligned professions, and the program teaching and service components through the research endeavors of faculty and program candidates.
  • To engage in interactive opportunities with parties internal and external to the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse in order to enhance relationships, share knowledge, resources and advice, and to engage in join planning through active service on committees, councils, special task forces, and boards, as appropriate. 

MPH-CHE Program Objectives: By the end of the MPH-CHE program, at the Advanced 1 level, candidates will be able to:

  • assess individual and community needs at the advanced level;
  • plan health education strategies, interventions, and programs at the advanced level;
  • implement health education strategies, interventions, and programs at the advanced level;
  • conduct evaluation and research related to health education at the advanced level;
  • administer health education strategies, interventions, and programs at the advanced level;
  • serve as a health education resource person at the advanced level;
  • communicate and advocate for health and health education at the advanced level;
  • incorporate biostatistical knowledge and skills into practice;
  • incorporate epidemiologic knowledge and skills into practice;
  • incorporate environmental health knowledge and skills into practice;
  • incorporate health service administration knowledge and skills into practice;
  • incorporate social and behavioral knowledge and skills into practice.

Program Accreditation

The MPH-CHE program at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, and was the first MPH degree offered in the UW System.

It was ranked 6th in the Nation in the 2004 U.S News and World Report of the Best U.S. Graduate Programs in Community Health.

Financial Information

MPH-CHE Profile of Candidates


Candidates in the MPH-CHE program come from a wide array of undergraduate backgrounds and professional experiences. Some were students in health education, while others majored in liberal arts programs, medicine, nursing, the social sciences, or the natural sciences. Community health education integrates elements from all these disciplines. MPH-CHE candidates also have in common an interest in the human condition in all its diverse aspects. They believe that good health is basic to human well-being.

MPH-CHE candidates should have good communication skills. They will become specialists in the gathering, processing, and disseminating of health information to the public. They are also prevention focused. Graduates from this program are involved in efforts that seek to prevent health problems and optimize healthy lifestyles choices. Such approaches have become even more crucial in an era of burgeoning health care costs.