Advocate for School Community Health Needs With an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Health and Human Services

A large part of advocating for a school community’s needs as an education leader is recommending and supporting health services and access to health information for faculty, students and their families. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Healthy students are better learners, and academic achievement bears a lifetime of benefits for health.” Schools play a critical role in promoting the safety and health of children and adolescents by teaching and helping them establish lifelong healthy patterns.

Time spent in school has a crucial impact on students’ physical, social, intellectual and psychological development. Schools provide an ideal setting for this type of education. School leaders can advocate for opportunities for students to boost their physical activity, manage chronic health conditions and improve their dietary behaviors.

Guidance from experienced and supportive faculty in the online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) – Educational Leadership – Health and Human Services program from Youngstown State University helps educators develop leadership and research expertise. Graduates can pursue career advancement in private, charter and public schools or other educational roles across diverse organizations. This program enables students to customize their curriculum to fit their professional needs, conduct meaningful research and strengthen their leadership capabilities with knowledge and experience.

How Educational Leadership Professionals Advocate for the Health of a School Community

While the best solution to encourage improved physical and mental health in schools would be to allocate enough funding for every school, that doesn’t seem realistic for many people. However, some public schools are starting to reallocate funds reserved for school resource officers (SROs).

Students have begun to advocate for removing SROs from their schools, and some schools have been using that money to hire psychologists and counselors. Teachers and educational leaders can also normalize talking about improving physical and mental health through classroom discussions, sharing resources or implementing a check-in process to monitor psychological and physical health.

To positively impact students, communities and schools must work together to encourage a healthy lifestyle to improve wellness. Many students may experience violence, inadequate medical care, insufficient nutrition or feel unsafe in their community. These barriers can hinder a student’s motivation, engagement and learning ability. Community health is critical to schools because it identifies public health concerns and illustrates how to use community resources to improve individual lifestyle practices.

Public outreach programs use social and educational media to encourage direct medical care and often partner with schools to reinforce the overall message of maintaining physical and mental health practices. In addition, educational leadership professionals can use school-based data systems to track students’ behavior, mental health and physical well-being, demonstrating the support and opportunities students need.

About Youngstown State University’s Online Doctor of Education Program

Designed for health and human services professionals, this 100% online doctoral program has multiple start dates per year. In this program, students will learn to engage the community and families to advocate for district, student and community needs; promote the current and future success and well-being of students with ethical decisions made by cultivating and enacting professional norms; and develop, monitor, evaluate and manage data-informed equitable district systems for resources and operations management.

Learn more about Youngstown State University’s online Ed.D. – Educational Leadership – Health and Human Services program.

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