Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

Department

Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Douglas R. Davis

Second Advisor

Dennis Bunch

Third Advisor

Tim Letzring

Relational Format

dissertation/thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the professional preparation of secondary health education teachers in Mississippi. All four-year institutions of higher learning were contacted to determine the requirements for an approved program in order to obtain a supplemental endorsement in health, to compare the similarities and differences, and to determine the extent to which the approved programs reflect the ten content areas of the Mississippi Comprehensive Health Framework. This study also examined the status of secondary school health education programs in Mississippi by utilizing selected data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2008 School Health Profiles Study and the 2006 School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS). The findings of this study revealed that eight of Mississippi's four-year institutions offer an approved program for a supplemental endorsement in health. For all eight of these institutions, 12 credit hours are required. Most of these institutions require a semester course in first aid or emergency health care as well as drug abuse, family living, and a methods-of-teaching health course. Only three institutions required or offered as an option a course in human sexuality or sex education. Only one institution required a course on the health benefits of physical activity and only one institution offered as an option a course in nutrition. Upon evaluation of the course content of the eight approved programs to the ten content areas of the Mississippi Comprehensive Health Framework, human growth and development was the content area least covered followed by nutrition. Although the total semester hours required by the approved programs for a health endorsement in Mississippi are well below the semester hours required for an endorsement in other academic areas, the CDC data for Mississippi reported that 87 to 94 percent of the lead health education teachers in Mississippi are certified. According to the CDC data, Mississippi does have specified time requirements for health instruction at the high school level and does provide schools with a curriculum and instructional tools recommended by the CDC.

Concentration/Emphasis

Emphasis: Education Leadership (K-12)

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