Degree Spotlight: B.S. in Health Education And Promotion

Online health program prepares graduates for community advocacy

B.S. In Health Education and Promotion

Dr. Bennie Prince shares some information on the B.S. In Health Education and Promotion program.

The UA Little Rock Bachelor of Science in health education and promotion prepares students as health professionals in community health agencies, as well as business and industry wellness programs. The health education and promotion degree is available as a fully online program offered through the School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation (CHPR).

Dr. Bennie Prince, program coordinator, explained an 18-hour minor program of study is required as part of the 120-hour online degree.

“Currently, the School of Counseling, Human Performance and Rehabilitation offers two fully online undergraduate minors,” Prince said. “We offer health science and sport management.”

According to Prince, the health science minor is designed for students interested in health education and the sport management minor is designed for students who are interested in sports facility management, sports industry, and sports marketing.

Cultural Competence

Dr. Bennie Prince. Courtesy of UALR Online/ Chris Bailey

One course Prince highlights within the program is Cultural Competence in Health Education. The course is designed to increase a student’s understanding and knowledge about individuals and groups of people as it relates to policies, practices, and attitudes. Prince said the course focuses on culturally appropriate communication, health literacy, minority health disparities and effective strategies in planning, implementing, and evaluating culturally appropriate health education programs.

“The overall objective was to design a course that includes cross-cultural differences,” Prince said.

As American classrooms become increasingly diverse, cultural competence is a key factor in enabling educators to be effective with students from cultures other than their own, according to Prince.

“Cultural Competence is a course that many of the other departments have now started referring their students take,” Prince said. 

Career Opportunities

Students who complete the program will have the necessary tools for career success and advancement in a growing healthcare industry, according to Prince.

“Many of the positions in the healthcare industry require knowledge of wellness programs, smoking cessation, and stress management techniques,” Prince said.

Coupled with a minor in sports management or health and exercise science, Prince explained how students can obtain a practical, well-rounded education through her program.

“Students can use the health education side so they’re advocating for health,” Prince said. “Then they’ve got the background in health and exercise science for a career in sports facility management, sports industry, and sports marketing.” 

According to Prince, changes in healthcare insurance have been instrumental in the growth of health education.

“With all of the highlight being on improving your health and advocating health programs, it has put a focus on our B.S. in health education and promotion program,” Prince said.

While the health and promotion degree ensures students will be prepared as health professionals, the goal is for students to view themselves as more than just health care professionals.

“We’re community advocates,” Prince said. “And we want our students in our classes to know they share a common bond in supporting health advocacy in the community.

The online degree program is also designed to assist the entry-level health educator in taking the National Health Education Credentialing examination.

For more information please call 501-683-7201.

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

At Your Fingertips: Disability Resource Center

Disability Resource Center

UA Little Rock’s Disability Resource works to ensure accessibility to all students.

The UA Little Rock Disability Resource Center (DRC) collaborates with faculty and staff to ensure that physical, curricular, and web environments are accessible to as many students as possible.

“Say you have somebody who is blind or low visioned. If they can’t see the text, then it’s not accessible,” said Reed Claiborne, Director of the UA Little Rock DRC. “We try to focus on what the barriers are, versus what a student’s diagnoses are.”

Reed Claiborne DRC Director/ Photo Chris Bailey

Having been with the department for 12 years, Claiborne explains the focus of the department has shifted to reframing disability. Reframing in this context involves shifting the focus toward the design of the environment and the removal of barriers that prevent accessibility, according to Claiborne.

“By and large, the people that come to this office look like you and me; they just have hidden disabilities,” Claiborne said. “Whether a student is blind, low visioned, or temporarily having issues with vision, our job is to ensure the document is formatted properly for everyone with vision problems.”

Universal Design

In the DRC, the idea of reframing disability begins with the faculty.

“If an instructor has made sure materials are in an accessible format online, everyone will have access to the document regardless of their disability,” Claiborne said.

Many of the services offered in the DRC pertain to not only students but faculty members as well. The DRC will assist faculty members with captioning videos, braille materials, and converting books to audio or digital format.

All of the services and accommodations provided by the UA Little Rock DRC fall under the concept of “universal design.” Claiborne explains universal design as making sure preparation of curriculum, materials, and environments are accessible by not just a few, but all that need it. For example, automatic door openers benefit individuals using walkers and wheelchairs, as well as people carrying groceries or babies.

DRC Looking Ahead

As UA Little Rock’s enrollment of people with disabilities increases, the DRC is dedicated to furthering the resources currently being offered.

“Some of the things we’ve started to do is broaden the assistive technology that is out there,” Claiborne said. “We are testing an audio note-taking program that may help people who struggle with taking notes or reading notes from a notetaker.”

The audio notetaking program has been in use for 3 semesters and has been beneficial for a lot of students, according to Claiborne.

For more information regarding the DRC or accommodations needed, please contact

501-569-3143 or email

Applied Communication

Degree Spotlight: Applied Communication

Degree Spotlight Applied Communication

Dr. Gerald Driskill provides an overview of the applied communications program.

The BA in applied communication is a versatile program that focuses on professional writing, organizational communication, and developing and analyzing messages. For Dr. Gerald Driskill, a professor in the Department of Applied Communication, it’s all about creating a better social world through learning positive communication.

“Fostering better social worlds through positive communication is a mission we carry across our programs,” Driskill said. “From every classroom to every syllabus, it’s all about creating better worlds.”

Dr. Gerald Driskill, Program Coordinator/ Photo Christopher Bailey


The concept of co-creation is central to the applied communication program. Driskill explained that co-creation is more than teaching content knowledge or preparing students for exams; co-creation is a collaboration of students and instructors.

“When we say co-creation, we’re asking students what forms of communication will make your organization better or your family better,” Driskill said.

Driskill makes it clear: co-creation is not solving problems or fixing problems; co-creation is about listening and understanding what the problems are, and then identifying ways to move forward with communication.


A key aspect of co-creation is mentoring and building a relationship with the student.

“One of the practices we take into our online program is we make sure students have individual contact the first week or two with their instructor. It is a requirement,” Driskill said.

Nigel Spears, Communication Skill Center assistant director and former student of Driskill, credits the applied communication department for much of his academic success.

“It wasn’t until I met this department that I began to understand that what I learned in the classroom can apply to my everyday life,” Spears said.

Driskill further noted, mentoring is not offered directly to students, but the mentoring that develops with a student comes with being an instructor in that department.

“It’s mentoring, but it runs deeper than that,” Driskill said. “It’s how we want our classes set up, how we want our relationships set up, so those wanting help can get it.”

Students that need extra help can reach out to the Communication Skill Center — an on-campus resource designed to help students overcome difficulties associated with public speaking. Online students who are having trouble may receive help through video chats via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. To receive help students must book an appointment first.

Courses Offered

The applied communication program has courses that are geared for today’s job market, such as ACOM 3316 Interviewing. This course develops the student’s ability to effectively prepare for and participate in a variety of interview situations. Another course, ACOM 3330 Professional Communication, focuses on building positive relationships in organizations.

Students can complete the applied communication degree online or on campus. Courses are available in 16-week and 7-week (accelerated) formats.

For more information call 501-569-3158