Credentialing Excellence in Health Education


Passion as a Practice: Why Health Education is My First Choice

Time and time again my colleagues want to know what steered me to take the CHES® exam, wondering how this certification has impacted abilities within my career and where I think it will lead me. The answer is this: every facet of my skillset, efficacy of practice and individual potential are strengthened because of continued education. To maintain CHES® certification I know I must accumulate Continuing Education Contact Hours (CECH), however I believe this requirement stands for something deeper. Philosophically, I find it vital to my success (and happiness) to pursue a career that challenges me to ask questions and seek answers, which I find through professional development and CECH opportunities.

As a Health Education Specialist (HES), my scope of work encompasses prevention efforts in a multitude of ways, but is specific to policy and communications in the arenas of school health and family and child wellness; I also have personal interests in reproductive rights and research. Yet, I understand the nature of public health is there will always be work to be done. As Thomas Frieden, M.D., MPH, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “It’s easy to miss public health successes - you don’t see the heart attacks that don’t happen, the years added to the lives of those who quit smoking, or the flu death avoided because of vaccines.” Our nation’s pursuit of health equity will not be seen immediately. However, when policy is put into practice and families are equipped with the wherewithal to make mindful decisions for their families, healthier behaviors and lifestyles can span generations; for this, I choose to be a HES.

Moving forward, my career objective is to practice the Seven Areas of Responsibility with emphasis on serving as a resource person by advocating research for health promotion and education. A long-term goal to complement this will be to obtain MCHES® certification. In the outcome, my indication of attaining advanced-level competency will be measured my ability to speak upon evidence-based theory along with boots on the ground field experiences.


Jordan Buckley obtained her CHES® certification in 2016. She is originally from central Pennsylvania, having completed a Bachelor of Science in Public Health: Health Promotion and a Master of Public Health concentrated in Community Health, and now works with Society for Public Health Education in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | 0 comments
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CHES® Profile: Ashley Monson

Ashley Monson, BS, CHES®, currently works as an Association Director and Project Manager for medical and health membership associations in Wisconsin. Her work involves the use of all seven Areas of Responsibility. Ashley works with her clients to access membership needs and capacities. From there she works with them to plan and implement those priorities for the year. Throughout the process, Ashley uses process, impact and outcome evaluation measures to track progress. Ashley is often called upon as a resource for health education discussions and planning. By becoming CHES®-certified, Ashley feels that her credibility has increased among the field of public health workers in her state.

Ashley has been involved with NCHEC contests and social media endeavors, and was a 2016 entrant in the CHES®/MCHES® Essay Contest.  Recently, she was invited to serve on the NCHEC Marketing Committee and volunteers her time each month in the effort to promote the value and recognition of CHES®/MCHES® in the field of health education and promotion.

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Tuesday, July 11, 2017 | 0 comments
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Should I Prescreen for Eligibility?

You've heard of the prescreen option...but do you really need to?  Here's the scoop on the difference between a prescreen and a traditional application, and why a prescreen may be the right place to start.

Prescreen vs. Application

prescreen application is often used in place of a regular application, if you are in any way unsure of coursework eligibility.  In fact, there are several benefits to using the prescreen service that you may not be aware of: 

  • You will not need to resubmit an additional application if you are eligible. You simply log back into the account you create, and complete the exam payment and select a test site location.
  • Prescreen applications receive priority during the review process - so your results will be received within about 2 weeks or less. Traditional applications may take longer.
  • If you are not currently eligible, you will learn exactly how many credits you are missing, as well as sample course titles to help you select additional classes. You can pick up these credits online if you wish.
  • The cost of the prescreen ($25) is subtracted off of your application fee if you are eligible, so you will not end up paying more than the cost of original exam fee.  You will not have to pay the full exam fee until after you know that you are eligible.

The date of your prescreen application will be considered your exam application date, so you will not incur a higher exam fee due to a deadline cutoff.

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Wednesday, July 5, 2017 | 1 comments
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What’s in an Advisor Letter? A Guide for Students

If you are registering for the CHES examination as a full-time student, an advisor letter must be submitted at some point during the application process.  Although the advisor letter is not necessary at the time of payment, it must be acquired and uploaded/mailed/emailed before the exam final deadline.

The goal of an advisor letter is to demonstrate:

  • That the applicant is enrolled in 9 or more credits (which secures the student rate)
  • When the student is expected to graduate
  • The student’s current major
  • That a faculty member has deemed the student in good standing for the exam

The letter should be drafted on letterhead by a faculty member actively involved in the student’s educational process. Its purpose is to verify that the student will be completing the necessary credits for certification and will possess a conferred degree within 90 days of taking the examination – a standard that is required for our NCCA and IAS accreditation.

Sample Advisor Letter

Don't Procrastinate

If you are hesitant to ask an advisor or faculty member for this letter... don't be!  In most cases, they will already be familiar with the concept and the purpose behind the request.  If not, you can print this sample letter and provide it as reference for your advisor.  Composing an advisor letter should only take about 5 minutes of time. Remember that it is required in order to be able to sit for the certification exam as a student.  

Don't forget to submit your official transcript along with your application or advisor letter!  

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Friday, June 23, 2017 | 0 comments
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2017 CHES®/MCHES® Video Contest - Enter to Win!

Introducing NCHEC's first CHES®/MCHES® Video Contest

We are inviting all CHES® and MCHES® to submit a 1 - 3 minute video that explains the professional experiences they have experienced as a result of obtaining certification.  Questions to consider when filming are:

  • what are the benefits of the CHES® or MCHES® in your professional or personal life?
  • why did you decide to get certified?
  • what is your current role as a CHES® or MCHES®?
  • can you describe a positive impact/experience you have made or gained in your professional life as a result of certification?
All entries should be submitted by October 1, 2017.  Please include a written transcript with your submission! Prizes include:
  • $100 gift card for the 1st place winner
  • $25 gift card for honorable mention(s)
  • Publication in NCHEC's print newsletter (14,000+ subscribers)
  • Recognition on the NCHEC website and social media outlets

Contest guidelines:
  1. Video length should be 1 -3 minutes (NCHEC will not consider submissions longer than 3 minutes).
  2. Written transcript must be provided.
  3. Upload and share to YouTube (entry can be unlisted for privacy), then email the link and transcript to with "Contest Submission" in the subject line.
  4. Entrant must be CHES® or MCHES® in good standing.
  5. Must be filmed horizontally - Phone submissions are permitted.
  6. Entrant must agree to allow NCHEC to publish your video online or in print, or in future campaigns.
  7. Entrant must agree to have fun filming!!**

**The purpose of this contest is to get a glimpse in the lives of our CHES® and MCHES® - don't worry too much about whether your video looks professionally produced - we just want to hear YOUR story. Have fun with it!

If you have additional questions about this contest, please email


Posted by Jessica Wessner at Thursday, June 15, 2017 | 0 comments
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New CHES® and MCHES® Video Release

The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC), is pleased to announce the release of the newly filmed 2017 video on the value of CHES® and MCHES® certification!  Filmed at the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) annual conference in March of 2017, the video features Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®) practitioners from a variety of work settings. Video participants offer advice and guidance on the value and process of NCHEC certification for individuals entering careers in the field of health education and promotion, as well as advanced-level practitioners seeking higher level skills validation.

Filming was conducted in Denver, Colorado at the Hyatt Conference Center by NCHEC’s digital vendor, Speak Creative.  Interviews were compiled from volunteers attending the conference who are actively CHES® and MCHES®-certified through the NCHEC organization.  The individuals filmed included Trisha Zizumbo, Oakland County Health Department, Zachary Raney, North Kentucky Health Department, Arycelis Segura, Montefiore Medical System, Dr. Raffy Luquis, Penn State University, Jennifer Nguyen, National Psoriasis Foundation, Dr. Beth Chaney, Past NCHEC Board Chair, and Melissa Opp, NCHEC Staff member.  Interviewees spoke to how obtaining the certification has benefited them in the advancement of their health education careers, as well as serving both the public and their employers.

The video will be available on NCHEC’s NCHEC’s YouTube channel and on the organizational website at

Posted by Jessica Wessner at Tuesday, June 6, 2017 | 0 comments
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