Workplace wellness programs are comprised of employment-based activities and employer-sponsored benefits aimed at promoting health-related behaviors and disease management among employees. Employment organizations are increasing their wellness offerings and commitment to supporting the health of their employees in order to reduce healthcare costs and improve employee productivity, resilience, satisfaction, and morale (for more information click here). MUIH’s Workplace Wellness Post-Baccalaureate (PBC) program offers graduate-level education that prepares individuals to develop, implement, and assess workplace wellness programs in a multitude of settings including corporations, schools, county, state and federal workplaces, and a variety of health facilities and settings. This online 13 credit program can be completed in one year (three trimesters).
The Workplace Wellness PBC provides educational and career opportunities for professionals in a variety of fields, including employee health nurses, occupational health workers, and others who need expertise in workplace wellness, such as human resource professionals, personnel directors, safety department personnel, health care insurance professionals. Focusing specifically on the workplace setting for health promotion activities and building student competencies around program needs assessment, development, and evaluation increases the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills of such professionals. This in turn can increase career advancement opportunities and marketability among organizations that wish to implement effective workplace wellness programs.
This program prepares students with the skills to develop, implement, and assess research-based workplace wellness practices in workplace settings. The curriculum is designed to establish an understanding of workplace wellness, the principles and practices of health behavior and self-care, and the principles of population health and health education. Students also learn the components of program needs assessment and planning, fundamentals of practice, and effective program evaluation including return on investment. The program teaches students how to create sustainable behavior changes in order to have a powerful impact on individuals and organizations to support positive lifestyle choices and preventative practices. Students will gain the knowledge and understanding to articulate the mechanisms among psychological, social, and environmental factors and formulate practical applications for innovative integrative health promotion programs in the workplace setting. The program also
explores the role of emerging wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics in well-being at the individual and organizational levels. As with all MUIH programs, particular emphasis will be placed on being a healing presence through relationship-centered interactions.
Students who complete the PBC in Workplace Wellness will:
1. Have the skills to effectively educate employees to initiate and maintain behavioral changes that support health and wellness, and be able to:
- Articulate best practices in integrative workplace wellness program creation from a business and leadership perspective.
- Assess diverse population needs relevant to workplace wellness program design.
- Design and plan integrative workplace wellness programs with tools and resources that build comprehensive skill sets.
- Implement effective and sustainable workplace wellness programs from an evidence base of best practices by creating health-maintenance activities, and managing their progress and accountability.
- Evaluate workplace wellness programs and speak the business language of the business of workplace wellness with various levels of employees and organizational leadership.
- Have the skills to administer and manage workplace wellness programs.
2. Have an evidence-based understanding of employee health and wellness that integrates traditional, complementary and conventional medicine, as well as self-care practices, and be able to:
- Articulate the inter-relationship between psychological, social, and biological processes.
- Evaluate the evidence base for integrative health and wellness approaches in workplace wellness.
- Articulate the various roles played in related careers by workplace wellness professionals.
- Have the skills to succeed professionally as a workplace wellness professional and contribute to the overall field of workplace wellness.
The program consists of 13 credits of the following required courses:
IHED633 A Culture of Wellness: Introduction to Workplace Wellness (1.5 cr)
IHED637 Principles and Practices of Health Behavior and Self Care (1.5 cr)
IHED621 Communication Strategies in Health Education (3 cr)
IHED626 Health Education Needs Assessment and Integrative Program Planning (3 cr)
IHED635 Workplace Wellness: Fundamentals of Practice (2 cr)
IHED623 Health Education Program Evaluation (2 cr)
The courses in this program can be used for beginning preparation for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. This program can also serve as an entry point and advanced standing in MUIH’s M.S. in Health Promotion degree. Completion of the Workplace Wellness PBC program qualifies students for 10.5 credits of advanced standing for the M.S. in Health Promotion with an Area of Concentration in Workplace Wellness: 1) students will have completed 8 credits of required courses in the Master’s program (IHED621, IHED623, and IHED626), 2) 3 other credits (IHED633 and IHED637) will exempt students from a related course (IHED620, 2 credits) in the Master’s program, and 3) students will be exempt from IHED675 (1.5 credits) due to their completion of IHED635 (2 credits). Completion of the Workplace Wellness PBC program also qualifies students for 9 credits of advanced standing for the M.S. in Health Promotion with an Area of Concentration in Community Health.
Increasing and significant employer interest in workplace wellness programs has led to a need for well-educated professionals in the field. The cost-saving, health-improving impact that these professionals can have will be increasingly important in the changing world of work and healthcare. Studies conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Labor, National Business Group on Health, Integrated Benefits Institute, and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans have demonstrated a steady increase in the number and investment in workplace wellness programs. 90% of organizations surveyed in 2017 offered at least one kind of workplace wellness initiative. 63% had budgets devoted to wellness, with 51% of these expecting their budgets to increase in the next two years. In parallel to the rise of workplace wellness programs SHRM has noted the emergence of a new profession, and the U.S. Department of Labor projects a much faster than average growth rate (16%) for health educators for the period 2016-2026.
Career opportunities and job titles for individuals completing the PBC in Workplace Wellness program include human resource wellness specialist, employee assistance specialist, corporate wellness administrator, health and wellness program director, health promotion director, health educator, health management consultant, health and productivity analyst, life enrichment coordinator, and fitness coordinator.
For more information about career opportunities click here.