The Standards of Practice for Health Promotion in Higher Education are guided by several principles:
It is critical that health promotion professionals in higher education conduct their work in an ethical manner and expect and encourage the same of their colleagues. Ethical practice is often broadly defined; as such, health promotion professionals should consult their associations, accrediting bodies and institutional policies to understand their obligations. Ethical principles to consider include (Greenberg, Bruess, & Oswalt, 2017; Ryan et al., 2014):
- Nonmaleficence: Do no harm
- Beneficence: Do good; kindness
- Autonomy/Liberty: Ensure an individual’s ability to make decisions about their own wellbeing
- Justice/Fairness: Strive for equity that is free from bias
- Social Utility: Consider the greatest good for the largest number of people
- Respect: Respect others, including opinions and beliefs that differ from your own
Cultivating Well-Being and Student Success
By working to prevent the development of personal and population-level health concerns, health promotion professionals contribute to a culture of well-being. While there is no agreed upon definition of well-being, the promotion of well-being should incorporate factors beyond physical health, such as positive emotions, interaction with others and the environment, and additional factors that impact a student’s ability to succeed. College health provides students with access to health and wellness services and programs that are vital to the retention, progression, and graduation of students (American College Health Association, 2016). All aspects of student health and well-being are critical and “students must receive appropriate and reactive care when needed, [however] there are large scale benefits to proactive, upstream approaches [unique to health promotion] that will allow increasing numbers of students to flourish and thrive” (Health and well-being in higher education, 2019, p. 1).
Institutions of higher education are communities. Members of this community may share physical spaces but may also engage with each other in satellite or digital spaces. Students, staff, faculty, alumni, and surrounding populations work, live, and engage with the institution, and thus have a shared identity as members of this community. Through this “collective identity” a community can facilitate change. As such, institutions of higher education should use a community-based approach to population health and well-being, building upon the relationships and interdependencies of their members and structures.
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A scope-of-practice survey leading to the development of Standards of Practice for Health Promotion in Higher Education. Journal of American College Health, 51(6), 247-254. 2019 Revision Authors Alicia Czachowski, EdD, MPH, CHES Tulane University Padma R. Entsuah, MPH, CHES Columbia University Emily Matson, MPH, MCHES, CHWP University of Minnesota Sarah E. I. Menefee, MPH, CHES The College of William & Mary Joleen M. Nevers, MAEd, CHES, CSE, CSES University of Connecticut Delynne Wilcox, PhD, MPH, CHES The University of Alabama