SU Announces New Health Education Minor for Fall 2023 – Thursday January 12, 2023

Thursday January 12, 2023

SALISBURY, MD—As the need for health educators across Maryland grows due to new high school diploma requirements, a new minor at Salisbury University will help produce more teachers qualified in health studies.

Scheduled to begin in fall 2023, the health education minor is geared toward education majors outside of public health fields to supplement knowledge needed to pass the P-12 Praxis II exam in health content certification.

“The minor complements any program of study, allowing students to pursue their interests in areas such as disease prevention, sexual health, public health policy, epidemiology, health communication and social determinants of health,” said Dr. Brandye Nobiling, associate professor and Public Health Program director. “Our goal is to prepare future educators across disciplines who want to incorporate the foundations of health education and health behavior in their classrooms.”

Courses in the minor are pre-existing from areas across the College of Health and Human Services.

“The minor is very flexible to tailor to students’ interests and career goals while also filling a need across the state for more health teachers,” said Nobiling.

Learn more about SU and opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at

High schools to begin mental health education amid rise in suicides

Japan will from next spring revive mental health education in high schools, axed four decades ago, following a record number of youth suicides and concerns over the stressful effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the government’s new curriculum guidelines for senior high schools, health and physical education textbooks for use in spring 2022 will feature descriptions of prevention and coping methods to help mentally distressed students deal with problems.

Emiko Michigami, a 60-year-old school nurse at Saitama Prefectural Soka Higashi High School, is a faculty member already on the frontlines looking for ways to best handle the mental health education of her students.

Photo shows Emiko Michigami, a school nurse at Saitama Prefectural Soka Higashi High School, teaching her students about mental disorders in a class in February 2021. (Kyodo)

“Do you feel stressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Mental instability can occur with anyone and needs to be dealt with efficiently,” Michigami told some 40 first-year students in her class for mental health in February.

Mental ailments tend to happen when a person’s daily life is disrupted, Michigami said. Referring to government data, he points out that mental disorders can affect one in five people.

As a member of the School Mental Health Project, Michigami has been involved in the preparation of educational teaching aids related to mental health. She began to offer an annual comprehensive course on mental health at her high school in Soka, Saitama Prefecture, six years ago. So far, some 320 first-year students have attended it.

Noting that some students never realize that stress may be at the root of a health issue they have, Michigami said, “I try to teach them the proper way to deal with their problems.”

In her class, Michigami has students roleplay giving advice to their friends and urging them to freely visit the school’s healthcare office for consultations instead of dealing with mental health problems alone.

Photo shows Emiko Michigami (C). (Kyodo)

She gets students to write down their feedback on a worksheet, which she shares with other teachers at the school, so the faculty can work together to ensure students are looking after properly.

The new curriculum guidelines have added “prevention of and recovery from mental disorders” for health and physical education.

Students will not only learn about the mechanics of mental illness but also that anyone is susceptible and that there is a higher likelihood of recovery if the disease is detected and treated in the early stages.

The school textbooks describe, among other content, celebrities’ experiences of recovering from depression and mental disorders as well as methods of coping with stress.

Photo shows a health and physical education textbook that will be used in Japanese high schools from spring 2022. (Kyodo)

According to the Japan Sports Agency, schools scrapped the mental illness category from the curriculum in fiscal 1982.

But as depression and other mental illnesses are considered a reason for an increase in suicides in recent years among elementary, junior high, and high school students, a revival of mental health education was deemed necessary to address the current crisis.

Indeed, childhood suicide has become more serious during the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the number of suicides among elementary, junior high, and high school students reached a record 499, and the pace has accelerated since May.

Multiple studies abroad show that the peak onset of mental illness is in the early teens, according to Tsukasa Sasaki, a professor of health education at the University of Tokyo.

Although he welcomes the revival of mental health education as a mandatory course for senior high school students, Sasaki said it “ideally should be introduced into mandatory education” at elementary and junior high schools.

As classes on mental health education are expected to result in more opportunities for students to seek consultations, Sasaki emphasized that schools need to establish a broad network of cooperation from health and physical education teachers to school nurses and administrative staff.

“The transfer of knowledge alone cannot help distressed children,” Sasaki said.

Emergency service in Japan: 119

If you are having suicidal thoughts, help is available.

For Japan, call Yorisoi Hotline at 0120279338 (toll-free). Press 2 after the recorded message for consultation in English, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Nepali, or Indonesian. The service in these languages ​​is also available on Facebook messenger.

For those outside Japan, you can find a list of other resources here.

Related coverage:

Domestic violence consultations in Japan hit record high amid pandemic

Suicides among Japanese students hit record high in 2020

Japan sees record number of children abused in 2020 amid pandemic

Massive learning setbacks show COVID’s sweeping toll on kids

The COVID-19 pandemic devastated children’s well-being, not just by closing their schools, but also by taking away their parents’ jobs, sickening their families and teachers, and adding chaos and fear to their daily lives.

The scale of the disruption to American kids’ education is evident in a district-by-district analysis of test scores shared exclusively with The Associated Press. The data provides the most comprehensive look yet at how many schoolchildren have fallen behind academically.

The analysis found the average student lost more than half a school year of learning in mathematics and nearly a quarter of a school year in reading – with some district averages slipping by more than double those amounts, or worse.

Online learning played a major rolebut students lost significantly ground even where they returned quickly to schoolhouses, especially in math scores in low-income communities.

“When you have a massive crisis, the worst effects end up being felt by the people with the least resources,” said Stanford education professor Sean Reardon, who compiled and analyzed the data along with Harvard economist Thomas Kane.

Some educators have targeted the very idea of ​​measuring learning loss after a crisis that has killed more than 1 million Americans. Reading and math scores don’t tell the entire story about what’s happening with a child, but they’re one of the only aspects of children’s development reliably measured nationwide.

“Test scores aren’t the only thing, or the most important thing,” Reardon said. “But they serve as an indicator for how kids are doing.”

And kids aren’t doing well, especially those who were at highest risk before the pandemic. The data shows many children need significant intervention, and advocates and researchers say the US isn’t doing enough.

Together, Reardon and Kane created a map showing how many years of learning the average student in each district has lost since 2019. Their project, the Education Recovery Scorecardcompared results from a test known as the “nation’s report card” with local standardized test scores from 29 states and Washington, DC

In Memphis, Tennessee, where nearly 80% of students are poor, students lost the equivalent of 70% of a school year in reading and more than a year in mathematics, according to the analysis. The district’s Black students lost a year-and-one-third in math and two-thirds of a year in reading.

For church pastor Charles Lampkin, who was Black, it was the effect on his sons’ reading that grabbed his attention. He was studying the Bible with them one night this fall when he noticed his sixth and seventh graders were struggling with their “junior” Bible editions written for a fifth grade reading level. “They couldn’t get through it,” Lampkin said.

Lampkin blames the year and a half of his sons were away from school buildings from March 2020 until the fall of 2021.

“They weren’t engaged at all. It was all tomfoolery,” he said.

The local school district this year set aside an hour every day for intervention, when struggling students can receive small-group tutoring, said Memphis-Shelby County Public Schools spokesperson Cathryn Stout. Students also receive tutoring help before and after school, and some campuses have started offering Saturday classes to help students catch up.

Lampkin said his sons had not been offered the extra help.

The amount of learning that students lost – or gained, in rare cases – over the last three years varied widely. Poverty and time spent in remote learning affected learning loss, and learning losses were greater in districts that remained online longer, according to Kane and Reardon’s analysis. But neither was a perfect predictor of declines in reading and math.

In some districts, students lost more than two years of math learning, according to the data. Hopewell, Virginia, a school system of 4,000 students who are mostly low-income and 60% Black, showed an average loss of 2.29 years of school.

“This is not anywhere near what we wanted to see,” Deputy Superintendent Jay McClain said.

The district began offering in-person learning in March 2021, but three-quarters of students remained home. “There was so much fear of the effects of COVID,” he said. “Families here were just hunkered down.”

When schools resumed in the fall, the virus swept through Hopewell, and half of all students stayed home either sick or in quarantine, McClain said. A full 40% of students were chronically absent, meaning they missed 18 days or more.

The pandemic brought other challenges unrelated to remote learning.

In Rochester, New Hampshire, students lost nearly two years in reading even though schools offered in-person learning most of the 2020-2021 school year. It was the largest literacy decline among all the districts in the analysis.

The 4,000-student district, where most are white and nearly half live in poverty, had to close schools in November 2020 when too few teachers could report for work, Superintendent Kyle Repucci said. studied Students online until March 2021, and when schools reopened, many chose to stay with remote learning, Repucci said.

“Students here were exposed to things they should never have been exposed to until much later,” Repucci said. “Death. Severe illness. Working to feed their families.”

In Los Angeles, school leaders shuttered classrooms for the entire 2020-2021 academic year, yet students held their ground in reading.

It’s hard to tell what explains the vastly different outcomes in some states. In California, where students on average stayed steady or only marginally declined, it could suggest that educators there were better at teaching over Zoom or the state made effective investments in technology, Reardon said.

But the differences could also be explained by what happened outside of school. “I think a lot more of the variation has to do with things that were outside of a school’s control,” Reardon said.

Now, the onus is on America’s adults to work toward kids’ recovery. For the federal government and individual states, advocates hope the latest releases of test data could inspire more urgency to direct funding to the students who suffer the largest setbacks, whether it’s academic or other support.

School systems are still spending the nearly $190 billion in federal relief money allocated for recovery, a number of experts have said fail to address the extent of learning loss in schools. Nearly 70% of students live in districts where federal relief money is likely inadequate to address the magnitude of their learning loss, according to Kane and Reardon’s analysis.

The implications for kids’ future are alarming: Lower test scores are predictors of lower wages, plus higher rates of incarceration and teenage pregnancy, Kane said.

It doesn’t take Harvard research to convince parents whose children are struggling to read or learn algebra that something needs to be done.

At his church in Memphis, Lampkin started his own tutoring program three nights a week. Adults from his congregation, some of their teachers, help around 50 students with their homework, reinforcing skills and teaching new ones.

“We shouldn’t have had to do this,” Lampkin said. “But sometimes you have to lead by example.”


The Associated Press education team receives support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The AP is solely responsible for all content.