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Passionate about health education?

February 21, 2018

Health professionals in Alberta have the opportunity to add the role of educator to their resumes. The University of Alberta is now accepting applications to its Master of Education in Health Sciences Education (MEd in HSE) program.

The MEd in HSE program has been offered since 2010, but only admits a new group of 18 to 20 students every other year. Currently, the part-time program is accepting applications until August 1, 2018, for September 2018 admission.

Program director Dr. Sharla King says the program recognizes that health educators don’t have formal training in an educator role. The course content will cover teaching, leadership, and educational research skills. The MEd in HSE is geared towards students who are health professionals in full time positions. Sharla says they are looking for people who are “passionate about education, feel there is a need for expertise, and want to gain that expertise.”

In the past, students have come from a wide range of professions including: dental hygiene, public health, and paramedics. Two pharmacists have gone through the program, while one is currently enrolled.

“We need to be flexible on how we offer education,” says Sharla. “We understand students have families and work, and we need to accommodate that.”

There are eight required courses – four in year one and four in year two. Each course is eight weeks long with a couple of weeks off in between. There are online discussions or group work and scheduled online sessions on Thursday evenings. In the summer, students must attend a week-long session on campus at the University of Alberta.

The program is based on a master’s program, but it allows some to do the required eight courses plus two optional courses, and a capping project. The other stream completes the same required eight courses plus a more traditional thesis. Both streams allow the student to go on to a PhD if they are interested.

Some graduates have received promotions at work, helped to develop new curriculum, but all are regarded as experts in health education. Sharla says some students just gained professional confidence through the course material.

For more information visit the Master of Education in Health Sciences Education website.