Final Paper: Personal Growth and Achieving Excellence Imagine you have just graduated with your health education degree. To ensure you are prepared to enter the job market, for your Final Paper, you will develop a personal plan for professional growth. This will be a very personalized paper since it will be based on the real-life possibilities for your career. Whatever health issue motivates you or whatever you are passionate about in the field of health should serve as the basis for your paper. Your Final Paper must include the following sections: Introduction: Explain your intent for the Final Paper in an introductory paragraph. Health Issue and Population: Select a health issue and a population that you would like to work with in the future. Your interests may be influenced by a family member who has been affected by a disease or illness. Perhaps you have been afflicted with some health concern, or you are highly committed to a specific health cause. For example, you may be passionate about African-American children (a population) and obesity (a health problem). Describe both the population and the health concern with which you would love to work. Include the motivation behind your selection. Summarize two to three scholarly articles that support the validity of this health concern for your selected population and explain how this research applies to your selected population and health concern. Provide an APA-style citation for each article. Setting: Identify the location where you plan to carry out your future work regarding the selected health issue and population (e.g., the location could be within the community, within a non-profit organization, at a school, as an in-home counselor, etc¦). Describe the selected location in which you would like to work. Whatever you select, be as specific as possible when you describe this setting (e.g., I want to work for the after-school program of the XYZ non-profit organization based in Smalltown, Ohio.). Identify the demographics of the setting that influenced your selection. Give specific examples of why this location is the most effective place to reach the population you have selected. Organizations: Based on the information you have already presented, select one to three professional organizations that you should join to grow professionally in this area (e.g., the American Public Health Association). Refer to Week One of the course for other possible organizations and/or conduct research on your own to locate additional organizations. In addition to providing the name and a brief overview of each organization, explain how each organization relates to the health issue, population, and setting that you are most passionate about. Assess why the organizations would be valuable to you personally. What advantage(s) would you gain by associating with them? Professionalism: Examine the traits of professionalism within the health education field, taking into consideration your target population and setting. Identify the key elements that you will need in order to maintain professionalism among the people with whom you are intending to work. Job Posts or Job Descriptions: Review two to three job posts or job descriptions available in health education that are most clearly associated with your health issue and population. The websites specific organizations web pages, or other online search engines are all good resources for finding job posts or job descriptions. Briefly describe each of the jobs as well as the credentials that are listed as being required for these positions. Provide a link to the URL of each job post or job description. Summarize the role of national credentialing programs (e.g. Community Health Education Specialist or C.H.E.S.) and their influence on job marketability. Discuss whether a credential would be appropriate or necessary to work with your intended population and/or setting. Do you intend to seek a credential upon graduation? Explain your answer. Health Promotion Methods: Identify which methods of health promotion would be the most critical in your role working within your selected location as well as with your specified health issue and population (e.g., strategic planning, technology use, presentations, volunteer training, advocacy, or action plans). Analyze why these methods of health promotion would have the most impact on your work. Explain and give specific examples of how you will integrate at least three methods of health promotion and education into your professional growth strategy. Human Resources/Leadership Skills: Describe the human resources you would employ as part of your work as a health educator (e.g., volunteers, paid staff, coalitions, support groups, etc¦). Explain how you made your selections and provide evidence that these are the most appropriate for your line of work. Appraise and give examples of the leadership skills necessary to manage these human resources for the health education activities you would likely develop for your target population within your selected setting. Ethical and Legal Concerns: Examine the legal and ethical concerns of health education as they relate to your population and setting. What should you be most concerned with legally and ethically? Refer to Week One of your course for additional information. Personal and Professional Needs: Identify your personal and professional needs regarding how you plan to achieve your personal plan for professional growth described above. What personal qualities and professional traits must you learn or possess to fulfill this plan? Identify and give examples of the actions and strategies that you must obtain or maintain in order to be successful. Refer to your course materials to find information on professionalism. Additionally, include a statement (two to three sentences minimum) about how this plan will help you achieve excellence in the field of health education.
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