Youth holding basketball

Program Coodinator:
Assistant Professor Susan Clark
sclark@ric.edu
401-456-8226 

RIC’s B.S. in health education program is a leader in providing innovative, skills-based teacher preparation. Our fully accredited program has been nationally recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the nation’s sole accrediting agency for preparing future educators. Our faculty are dynamic educators and scholars who model best teaching practices, and our curriculum includes a wide variety of field experiences. You will be prepared to teach health content areas and learn how to plan, implement and assess health education curricula. Upon successful completion of this program, you will be eligible for full certification to teach health education in all grades (Pre-K-12) in Rhode Island. You may also combine the health education and physical education majors into a double major option and earn your B.S. degree in both disciplines in five years or less.

Teacher candidates are advised to read the HPE Teacher Preparation Program Guidance document, consult with their program advisor and read the information found on the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development website in order to be informed about the path to student teaching and certification.

Program Details

Course Information

Click below for information on course requirements, course descriptions and the Academic Rhode Map, which lists all the courses you will need to complete this program and graduate in a timely fashion.

Course Requirements

Course Descriptions

Academic Rhode Map

Writing in the Discipline

1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession?

Writing in health education is vital in communicating between students, families and the community. Writing is an essential skill in building health literacy in PK-12 students. Health educators use writing to describe their school community context and to create rationales for units they need to teach. Health educators use writing to describe unit and lesson plans, to create assessment and evaluation tools and to craft reports of student learning outcomes. Writing is used to communicate between teachers and their professional organizations when presenting research and pedagogical strategies. Writing is used between teachers and administrators for many types of professional communication tasks.

2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement by your department? Why these courses?

The Health Education program has designated the following as its WID courses:

HPE 200: Promoting Health and Well-Being in Schools

HPE 418: Practicum in Secondary Health Education

HPE 422: Seminar in Health Education

HPE 424: Student Teaching in Health Education

HPE 200 is taken in the first year and is a required course for admission into the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD). It is a WID course because students must practice and show competence in writing skills that are a foundation for their work in future courses and their teaching profession (National Health Education Standards [NHES]), and in order to be accepted into the FSEHD. HPE 200 provides these writing opportunities.

HPE 418 is a WID course because in this course teacher candidates are required to write a comprehensive unit plan applied in the school setting. This is the Teacher Candidate Work Sample (TCWS) and it is a requirement for the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development Preparing for Student Teaching Portfolio for entrance into student teaching. The TCWS is a teaching unit plan and is composed of multiple parts that must be implemented in a school, and since HPE 418 is a practicum, teacher candidates must use this course for this applied writing assignment.

HPE 422 is a WID course because student teachers must show competence in writing in several genres associated with teaching in order to be successful in student teaching and their future profession. The course requires students to implement their writing skills with students and families, and therefore this course is suitable as WID.

HPE 424 is a WID course because student teachers must be in the field in order to write the Teacher Candidate Work Sample, once again showing growth in their writing from when they first wrote it in parts in HPE 417 to the first full writing in HPE 418, to HPE 424 when they demonstrate mastery of all parts of the TCWS. 

3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?

In our WID courses, students will learn and practice a range of different kinds of writing. Genres include persuasive writing (rationales in HPE 200, 418 and 424), reflective writing (observation and teaching reflections in HPE 418 and 424), procedural writing (lesson and unit plans in HPE 418 and 424), analytical writing (the TCWS and video analysis in HPE 418, 422 and 424) and professional writing (letters to families, administrators, presentations, etc.). These genres align best with skills the students will need in the health education teaching field and provide depth and breadth to best prepare them for tasks in the profession.

4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?

The Heath Education Program provides opportunities to develop writing skills by giving students both low- and high-stakes writing assignments. Many low-stakes assignments not described here support the skills that are evaluated for high-stakes assessment purposes. In order to develop competent writers in the Health Education Program, the following strategies are used in our WID courses:

  • In-class demonstrations, with examples of both the sources and the process of where and how to find and use information in written work.
  • In-class demonstrations, with examples of completed work samples.
  • Provision of in-class and homework practice of writing tasks.
  • Provision and explanation of exemplars.
  • Provision of feedback from instructor and peers.
  • Revision opportunities.
  • Encouragement and, when necessary, added support from RIC’s Writing Center.
  • Explicit prompts aligned with the evaluation tool.

5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?

Upon completion of our WID courses, students will be able to use writing to:

  • Present in-class demonstrations, with examples of both the sources and the process of where and how to find and use information in written work.
  • Write in a way that clearly communicates lesson and unit plans.
  • Demonstrate health literacy.
  • Communicate effectively to families and their professional community.
  • Incorporate a variety of writing tasks into lessons for multiple intelligence students.
  • Engage in useful reflection leading to professional growth.
  • Seek opportunities to share writing with professionals in the field of health education.