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CCU health promotion program earns prestigious designation

February 19, 2008

Coastal Carolina University's health promotion program has received a significant honor from two of the nation's leading health education associations. The Society for Public Heath Education (SOPHE) and the American Association for Health Education (AAHE) awarded Coastal's program its prestigious "approval designation." Only 18 of the more than 250 university undergraduate health promotion programs in the nation have earned this credential.

The approval designation from the SOPHE/AAHE Baccalaureate Program Approval Committee (SABPAC) is recognized by the health education profession as an indication of high standards for entry-level health education programs.

"The recent award is a significant achievement for our students, faculty and university," said Sharon Thompson, coordinator and professor of health promotion. "Coastal's health promotion program is the first and only degree program in South Carolina to achieve this designation. Programs with SABPAC approval are recognized for their high quality academic programming, strong community relationships and relevant internship experiences. Having this designation will attract students from around the nation to our CCU program and also greatly benefit our graduates after program completion."

Other universities with health promotion programs that have earned the designation include Ball State University, Illinois State University, James Madison University, University of Toledo, Texas Woman's University and Western Kentucky University.

Coastal's health promotion program features three different areas of study so that students may personalize their studies based on career or graduate school aspirations:

* Health promotion with general cognate (designed for students with general health interests or those seeking graduate work in allied health careers)

* Health promotion with a communication option

* Health promotion with a fitness option

The purpose of SABPAC is to develop an approval process for credentialing undergraduate programs that prepare professional health education specialists. The process is implemented through a thorough self-study and site team program review. Recommendation of approval status is based on criteria established by the Division of Professional Preparation of the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc.