Online Master's in Community Health Education


On a molecular level, all humans have equal health needs, but unfortunately, not every human gets what they need to survive and thrive. The global COVID-19 pandemic highlights areas of health inequities in the United States. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian and Alaska Native people in the United States have experienced higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths than non-Hispanic and White populations. Community health educators work to solve existing health inequities, prevent prevalent health issues, and educate people on long-term health initiatives.

Community health educators have many titles, including substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that most of these positions require a bachelor’s degree in or related to public health, such as psychology, public policy, and social science. Those with a master’s in community health education can pursue leadership and teaching opportunities.

In addition, some states and professional organizations may require a master’s degree for licensure. Finally, there are numerous certifications to pursue in this career, including the Prevention Specialist (PS) from the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium and the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam through the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing.

It should come as no surprise that public health crises caused by racism, opioid addiction, polluted drinking water, gun violence, and COVID-19 are fueling the demand for qualified community health educators. The BLS shows that substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselor careers will grow 22 percent from 2021 to 2031 (BLS 2022). This rate is more than four times the national average (5 percent) and will create 77,500 new jobs in the coming decade. While some positions are accessible with a bachelor’s degree, some may require a master’s degree.

Read on to learn more about online master of community health education programs, including eight schools and three outstanding professors who teach in them.

Professors to Know in Online Master’s in Community Health Programs

  • Michelle Renee Chyatte, DrPH

    Dr. Michelle Renee Chyatte is an Assistant Professor and the Capstone Director of the MHA program at the University of Cincinnati. She is experienced in mixed methodology for multi-level research, healthcare delivery systems, and curriculum development for public health and medical students.

    Dr. Chyatte is a former NPR journalist and a member of numerous national strategic planning committees and has procured more than $4 million in grants. Previously she worked in the design, implementation, and revelation of health policy strategies of healthcare industry leaders such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

  • Joe Tomaka, PhD

    Dr. Joe Tomaka is a Professor of Public Health, the Graduate Program Coordinator, and the Director of Crimson Research at the University of New Mexico. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in social and health psychology from the University of Buffalo.

    Dr. Tomaka has received more than $5.5 million in grant funding and has been the principal investigator (PI) on more than 25 extramurally-funded projects. With more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, his research areas include challenge appraisal and self-esteem as predictors of health and well-being. Dr. Tomaka’s current projects include program evaluations for Amador Health Center, St. Luke’s Recovery Project, and a survey of caregivers with inflammatory bowel disease in partnership with the National Alliance for Caregiving.

  • Barbara C. Wallace, PhD

    Dr. Barbara C. Wallace is a Professor of Health Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College: A Graduate School of Education, Health & Psychology. Her expertise areas are in health and nutrition education.

    Dr. Wallace earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of New York and studied at Princeton University. Her scholarly interests span a wide range from global leadership training for health education, diversity training for multicultural competence, and health promotion in multicultural settings. She has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and edited and authored multiple books, including her most recent book, Making Mandated Addiction Treatment Work.

Rachel Drummond
Rachel Drummond

Rachel Drummond is a freelance writer, educator, and yogini from Oregon. She’s taught English to international university students in the United States and Japan for more than a decade and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Oregon. A dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Rachel is interested in exploring the nuanced philosophical aspects of contemplative physical practices and how they apply in daily life. She writes about this topic among others on her blog (Instagram: @racheldrummondyoga).

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