Health promoting universities and colleges transform the health and sustainability of our current and future societies, strengthen communities and contribute to the well-being of people, places and the planet.”
—Okanagan Charter for Health Promoting Colleges

The Department of Health Education bases its work in the tenants of the Okanagan Charter for Health Promoting Colleges and Universities.  We work at all levels of the socio-ecological model and utilize a public health approach rooted in social justice to improve the health and wellbeing of our campus community.

The mission of the Health Education Department is to help support students as they embark on or continue their individual and collective journeys to build and improve their wellbeing. We design health promotion initiatives that are responsive to the needs of our student population and recognize the many factors that influence our collective abilities to maintain and access health.  We are guided by shared values of respect, equity and justice.

We support the whole student through policy development, coalition building, individual and collective skill building, and other educational experiences related to the physical, emotional, and developmental needs of students.   Health Education strives to foster the students’ ability to achieve a balanced, self-aware, state of health-enhancing full engagement in their collegiate experience.  We work to create opportunities for our community to engage with and understand the intersections and connections of identity, social justice, and culture and how they impact health and wellbeing. We utilize evidence- based and theory -informed principles to plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs, events, and initiatives.  We take a broad view of health education and incorporate the dynamics of a diverse community and address intersections of identity including gender, race, economic status, and gender and sexual identity.  This involves collaborating with a variety of departments to enhance student experiences on campus in shaping their education beyond the curriculum.  We utilize public health and student development theories, review evidence-based and best practices approaches when designing programs and address multiple tiers of prevention from primary to tertiary. 

We strive to fulfill this mission by:

  • Advocating for policy and environmental changes that support the health of the campus community.
  • Educating and empowering students to make intentional healthy choices.
  • Develop student leaders through our two peer education programs The Peer Advocates for Sexual Respect and the Student Health Educators.
  • Collaborating with staff and students to provide opportunities for leadership and activism.
  • Conducting regular assessments of student health behaviors and perceptions.
  • Providing training and education for student leaders.
  • Offering individual consultation and referral services.
  • Responding to requests for consultation by faculty, coaches and other staff members.
  • Guest lecture in academic classes upon request.
  • Developing, maintaining and enhancing collaborative relationships within the 5 colleges and local community.

The Priorities for the Department of Health Education include:

  • Develop a shared understanding of what wellness means and the role it plays in students’ academic and personal success.
  • Provide inclusive initiatives that recognize the impact of student identities and experiences on their health and well-being, and work to improve health outcomes.
  • Advocate for policy and environmental changes that support health and wellness. This includes the integration of wellness practices into multiple aspects of campus life.
  • Build skills that promote healthy behaviors, increase resilience, and create a safer, more respectful community.

The staff of Health Education maintain and develop skills via participation in continuing education opportunities and membership in the American College Health Association (ACHA), New England Health Educators Network (NEHEN), and NASPA (National Association of College Student Personnel).

Please follow our Instagram pages for new content, health information, program announcements, online chats and IG-TV content.  Student Health Educators: AC_SHE, the Peer Advocates of Sexual Respect: @Amherst_PA, Health Education: @ac_healthandwellbeing