If you’re reading this article, you’re probably exploring the field of health and wellness coaching as a career option. A quick search on the internet produces a wide variety of options for education and training. For health and wellness coaching, MUIH launched its Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in 2010, and the nation’s first Master of Arts (MA) degree in 2012. Since then, other accredited higher learning institutions have joined MUIH in offering academic credentials (certificate and degree). These academic credentials can serve as a gateway to professional credentials, specifically with the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching NBHWC and the International Coach Federation (ICF).
As the health and wellness coaching field has evolved, the number of choices has expanded for health, health and wellness, and/or wellness coach training programs, offered also by non-accredited organizations. Accredited and non-accredited programs are delivered in different formats—online, in-person, or hybrid. Here are some factors for you to consider when choosing a program that gets your health and wellness coaching career off to a good start:
- Regional accreditation and state approvals. This type of recognition demonstrates that the learning institution has met high bars for credibility against rigorous standards. As an institution, MUIH is accredited by the regional Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Our degrees and certificates (academic credentials) are approved at the state level by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
- Academic credentials. This type of recognition demonstrates successful completion of a course of study in the field. Within MUIH, the Health and Wellness Coaching Department offers two graduate-level programs – a PBC, and an MA degree that includes the core coaching courses of the PBC. The MA courses deepen the coaching experience, address business practice management, and allow for concentrations in integrative health practices, herbal studies, or nutrition. Both programs lead to professional credentialing with the internationally-recognized NBHWC and ICF.
- Professional credentials. This type of recognition demonstrates competency in the field. Health and wellness coaching is a credentialed field. Many MUIH graduates are working in the field without professional credentials (such as ICF’s Certified Coach or NBHWC's National Board Certified-Health and Wellness Coach). However, as the field is further integrated into the mainstream, the opportunities—and competition—for coaching work increase. Professional credentials offer an edge whether you establish a private practice or work in a community, educational, fitness, healthcare, or organizational setting.
The field has evolved relatively quickly, proving early predictions by a U.S. News and World report about health and wellness coaching as a cutting-edge career. When selecting your education and training program, examine its strengths and limitations, especially if the program is offered only online. Some programs, for example, do not serve as a gateway for professional credentials.
If you would like to learn more about MUIH's Health and Wellness Coaching programs, we welcome your inquiry. A member of our Admissions staff is available Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm to answer any questions you have. The Office of Graduate Admissions also offers small group and individual information sessions by appointment. Speak to an Admissions Counselor today by calling 410-888-9048 ext. 6647 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an exciting time to be a health and wellness coach!
Rebecca Pille, Ph.D., M.S., CHWC, CWP
Department Chair, Health and Wellness Coaching
410‑888‑9048 ext. 6782