OSWEGO — The State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego) recently announced it is offering an online graduate certificate in health and wellness through Open SUNY+.
Open SUNY+ programs are online degree and certificate programs that “meet pressing employment needs” and include support services for students and faculty, according to the school’s news release.
The online certificate program is currently available for enrollment, SUNY Oswego said in response to an email inquiry.
SUNY Oswego contends the certificate program “fits a need in a growing employment field,” citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS expects a 33 percent increase in the number of jobs in the health-care and social-assistance industry between 2010 and 2020.
Oswego’s online health and wellness certificate is designed for professionals, who can earn the certificate within a year, Sandra Bargainnier, chair of the university’s department of health promotion and wellness, said in the news release.
Jill Pippin, dean of extended learning at SUNY Oswego, called the online program a “unique opportunity” for the school to serve the health-care field.
“Having it online is key to being adult friendly, since most of these people are going to be working in the health field and will have varied schedules and demands on their time,” Pippin said in the release.
SUNY Oswego sees nurses and health-care workers as the program’s “core target market,” including those in the mental-health field who need to advance their skill sets or attain professional health-care credits.
At the same time, the program could also benefit anyone interested in personal or professional development in the field, such as fitness instructors, substance-abuse counselors, child-care workers, and professionals in the leisure and insurance industries, the school said.
It also addresses a key educational niche, Bargainnier contends.
Students who earn a bachelor’s degree in a New York teacher-preparation program for health or physical education need at least 12 credits in graduate health-related content to gain professional certification, she said.
Students completing the advanced certificate will learn about evaluating various approaches to health and healing, SUNY Oswego said. They’ll also learn about viewing people holistically, incorporating physical, environmental, emotional, mental, and social factors.
“Students are going to learn about the latest evidence-based research in mind-body wellness,” Bargainnier said. “They will also explore the behavior change process … how you help yourself or others make and maintain positive changes in behavior, whether in diet or exercise or managing addictions.”