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Continuing Education

Enhancing Student Employability: Perceptions of Faculty Advisors and Community Health Practitioners

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Pages 10-15 | Published online: 25 Feb 2013
 

Abstract

Students seeking advice on the skills and attributes most desired by potential employers of entry-level community health educators usually turn to their faculty advisor for this information. This study examined the skills and characteristics identified by directors of health education in state and local health departments as being most desirable for entry-level health educators and compared those requirements with professional skills and characteristics rated as important by faculty advisors in community health education programs. Survey results indicated community health education students entering the workforce today need a wide variety of skills. All skills studied were valued, with the most important of these being writing, public speaking, and presentation skills. Although CHES certification is accepted as a valid measure of basic competence, it is insufficient to gain employment and must be augmented with evidence of other key skills. Faculty advisors should emphasize the need for a wide variety of skills when counseling students. Results from this study also indicated that the advice given by faculty advisors closely follows the current needs of local and state agencies with few exceptions.

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