Northern California Society of Public Health Educators

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Northern California Society of Public Health Educators

Tips on CHES Exam

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From SurroundHealth

Tips for taking the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam
by: Liz Carden

The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) aims to enhance the professional practice of Health Education by promoting and sustaining a credentialed body of Health Education Specialists through the CHES or MCHES certification. The CHES and MCHES designation after a health educator's name is one indication of professional competency and commitment to continued professional development (

To ascertain these certifications, the NCHEC conducts semi-annual paper-based exams that consists of a written exam of 165 multiple choice questions. The passing score varies by the version of the exam. The passing point is determined by using a variety of statistical techniques (A modification of the Angoff method and equating), which takes difficulty in account (

If you're still unsure about the value that the certification will provide, check out, What is a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Master Certified Health Education Specialist.

Although this test can seem intimidating, if you prepare ahead you will do just fine, as do the hundreds of professionals that sit in for exam every year.

Tips for taking the CHES exam

Here are a few tips that might be helpful to you, as you prepare to take the exam:
If possible, try to take the exam as close to graduation as possible. A good portion of the test focuses on items covered during the public health/health education program. The fresher the material is in your head, the better off you will be.

Join a study group or get a study buddy. If you don't know anyone in your area who is planning on sitting in for the exam, NCHEC offers study groups by state.  Contact the group leaders for dates, times and costs.

Get the NCHEC study guide. Although might be pricey, it provides a really good overview of what will be asked during the exam, and also has sample questions. These will show you exactly the types of questions they will ask during the actual exam, and will give you an opportunity to practice which will be invaluable. Additionally, NCHEC offers a few free study guides that can be found through the NCHEC website. You can also find a few free sample questions there too.

If finances allow, look into getting CHES exam related books. One I have hear good things about is CHES Exam Secrets Study Guide: CHES Test Review for the Certified Health Education Specialist Exam. It offers great tips to help you prepare for the exam.

Focus a good portion of your studying on program planning and evaluation. Several of the people I spoke to about their experience with the exam mentioned that the ins and outs of developing programs and how to evaluate them were a heavy focus of the CHES exam questions, and it was definitely a focus when I took the exam too. Be sure to brush up on that if it's been a while.

Refresh yourself on basic test taking skills. If it's been a while since you have sat in on a lenghty exam such as this one, it is a good idea to remind yourself best ways to

Join the Official NCHEC group on LinkedIn. There are quite a few conversations on there about the exam, so you can learn from others' experiences. It's also a great place to network with other CHES/MCHES professionals.

Relax! As long as you spend time preparing you will do fine, so try not to stress.The night before, be sure to get a lot of rest so you are refreshed and ready to go.


Author Appearance!

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Bookshop Santa Cruz is thrilled to welcome Atinuke, traditional oral Nigerian storyteller and author of the Anna Hibiscus series, one of our most-recommended series of early chapter books. All of Atinuke's books (including her other series, The No.1 Car Spotter) are set in Africa, and all of the stories she tells as a storyteller originate in Africa, too. Atinuke brings her warm, funny, and vibrant books to life through voice, song, and gesture.

"The most important concept in the Anna Hibiscus books--that people in other countries may do some things differently but are like us in so many ways--is beautifully conveyed. [An] outstanding and unique series." --Bookends

"Anna Hibiscus is a lovely, rare bird of a series, providing a modern view of another culture in warm, approachable language." -- School Library Journal

Don't miss this fantastic event!

Bookshop Santa Cruz - 1520 Pacific Ave - 423-0900 -


Leadership Forum-Homelessness and Education

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There is a leadership forum on homelessness and education on Friday, April 25th, 2014 from 8:00am to 4:30pm. SJSU has partnered with the City of San Jose. If you are interested in attending, please register

If you don't want to go to City Hall, SH 435 has been reserved all day for staff and students to join the event virtually via telepresence. Some of the sessions will be on WebEx and/or TP. The sessions will also be recorded and available at a later date.


Oakland Food Policy Council Panel Discussion

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Join Oakland Food Policy Council, TransForm, Causa Justa: Just Cause, Acta Non Verba and others for a panel discussion and community dialogue on anti-displacement strategies for the food movement.

When: Saturday, May 3rd, 10AM-1PM
Where: Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway Blvd, Rm H
What: OFPC has partnered with People's Grocery to present a panel of speakers from allied sectors in housing, transit, and living wages, who have decades of experience in anti-displacement strategies. This will be a learning session where we discuss and learn how we might integrate effective anti-displacement strategies into our work for a just and sustainable food system!
Also: Child care and light refreshments will be provided.


Slow Food South Bay Fundraiser!

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On Friday, April 25th--Join Whole Foods Market, Cupertino Culinary Center, for the spring edition of Produce Perfection! We'll begin this hands-on cooking class by visiting the produce department where one of our knowledgeable produce team members will show you how to select the perfect asparagus, artichokes, green peas, citrus and much more! Then we’ll head back to the Culinary Center with your hand-picked fruits and veggies and create delicious seasonal dishes! Andy, our fantastic wine specialist, will also be pouring a variety of delicious local wines perfectly paired to the dishes you’ll be creating.  For each ticket sold to this event, Whole Foods Market will be donating $10 to the Slow Food South Bay organization.
On the menu:
Cherry Tomato and English Pea Salad with Feta and Herbs
Parchment Roasted Salmon with Shaved Asparagus
Creamy Spring Onion Soup
Goat Cheese Panna cotta with Strawberries and Rhubarb
Instructors: Mariel, Culinary Director and Kathleen, Healthy Eating Specialist
Location: Whole Foods Cupertino, Culinary Center

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