University Relations and Communications

Health Promotions graduates earn prestigious certification

December 23, 2010



Dr. Agnes B. Samples, Health and Human Performance, 896-5826
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential is affirmation of excellence, instructor says


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Four graduates of the Montana State University Billings Health Promotion program have passed a prestigious national certification examination administered by The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC).


Dr. Agnes Samples works with current students in a health promotion class at MSU Billings

The NCHEC certification gives the MSUB graduates a national credential as a health specialist and identifies them to potential employers as an accomplished health practitioner. The certification exams were done last spring just after graduation.


“This is very exciting news,” said Dr. Agnes B. Samples, who teaches in the health promotion program at MSU Billings. “All of our health promotion students who took the national examination passed and received their CHES certification.” 


Nationally, 73 percent of the students who took the examination passed, she said.


NCHEC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the practice of health education and to serve the public and profession of health education by certifying health education specialists, promoting professional development, and strengthening professional preparation and practice. Today there are more than 8,000 individuals actively carrying the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) designation.


“For our graduates, there are several benefits attached to the CHES designation,” Samples said. “The CHES designation means that an individual has met national standards, helps employers identify qualified professionals and conveys a sense of pride and accomplishment in the profession.”


She added that the CHES designation creates additional opportunities for graduates because “more employers than ever have begun advertising their health educator/health promotion positions descriptions as ‘CHES preferred.’ ”


“We are excited at the achievement of our students and we look forward to hearing about their future endeavors and accomplishments,” Samples said. 


Health promotion is a growing field of practice whose graduates are employed in all setting where health education takes place, such as schools, health care facilities, community health groups, businesses and government agencies. Health promotion educators are employed under a range of job titles, including patient educators, health education teachers, health coaches, public health educators, and health program managers. 


For more information about the MSU Billings Health Promotion program or the CHES examination and certification, contact Samples in the Department of Health and Human Performance at (406) 896-5826 or email her at

The department is a part of the College of Allied Health Professions, five academic colleges at MSU Billings.


PHOTO ABOVE: Dr. Agnes Samples works with current students in a health promotion class at MSU Billings