North Central College - Naperville, IL

Health Education

Why choose health education at North Central College?

This minor will equip you to teach health education at the middle school/junior high level as well as high school level. There is a demand in school systems for educators to be able to teach in more than one specific discipline. Majoring in physical education and minoring in health education provides a distinct advantage in the job market. Many teaching positions are now split between the two disciplines. Opportunities are present in the curriculum to complete field experiences as well as extensive in-class exposure to currently implemented health education curriculum and teaching philosophies.

You can also:

  • Join PECS, the student organization for physical education and health minor students.
  • Join Educators Rising, which develops and carries out professional development and service projects and programs.
  • Complete your residency in some of the Midwest’s premier school districts.
  • Benefit from a program approved by the North Central Association of College and Secondary Schools, as well as the Illinois State Board of Education.
  • Participate in local and state physical and health education conference presentations alongside North Central College Health and Physical Education faculty.


Gerald Gems, professor of health and physical education
Gerald Gems, North Central College professor of health and physical education, receives Routledge prize, gives talks, authors and coedits books and chapter.
North Central College will host the USA Triathlon Central Region Qualifier for the Collegiate National Championships on Labor Day, Sept. 5.
North Central College recognizes high-achieving students for academic and co-curricular excellence throughout their college careers on Honors Day.



  • Girls swim coach intern, Naperville North High School
  • Track & field coach intern, West Chicago High School
  • Intern, Ultimate Strength and Fitness, Bloomingdale, IL
  • Sports and programming intern, YMCA, Schaumburg, IL
  • Intern, Dixon Park District, Dixon, IL


Health education minors often find teaching positions in districts within a 30-mile radius of North Central, like:

  • Aurora and East Aurora School District 131
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Naperville School District 203
  • Indian Prairie School District 204
  • Plainfield School District 202
Physical Education major, Secondary Education minor, Middle School Health endorsement

“North Central was the perfect fit!” says Rachael, when reflecting on her last four years. Not only was the College’s location within a comfortable proximity of her hometown, but North Central also offered the excellent education programs she sought.

Because she brought passions for fitness, teaching and coaching with her to North Central, Rachael knew that a physical education major with a health endorsement was the right path for her.

She soon enjoyed the benefits of her decision. Rachael observed teachers in the field and gained experience as a student teacher—both requirements of her major.

“Every moment I spent writing a lesson plan was worth it if it meant seeing my students learn and...

Physical Education major, Health Education minor

Natalie’s interests—athletics, health, coaching, teaching—are central in her academic and career choices. “I knew I wanted to teach physical education at the middle-school level. Adding the health endorsement gives me different experiences than being in the classroom and the gym and opens additional career options.”

Health, says Natalie, is a required subject and won’t be eliminated in schools. It focuses on nutrition, stress management, environmental health and more. Having a health endorsement opens doors to teach community health at a health department, a rehab program, service center or other health-related area.

“North Central’s health education program requires 150 hours of field experience...

Health Education Faculty Coordinator

Adding a health education minor to programs in physical education, secondary and elementary education makes North Central students more marketable, says Tammy Wynard, faculty coordinator for health education.

“Being qualified and diverse in today’s society is critical. You have to bring more to the table than just a physical education degree. At North Central you gain important credentials and skills and fill a need in the schools.”

Students learn how to teach, develop curriculum, adapt lessons to fit any classroom situation, and gain access to real classrooms to practice their skills early and often. “It’s important for aspiring teachers to teach in dynamic, growing school districts and North...

Health Education

For Alyssa, North Central College’s faculty has a love for education that’s contagious.

“My professors are so passionate about what they do, and that has rubbed off on all of us,” she says.

Under the guidance of her professor, Alyssa joined another student to research the effectiveness of scare tactics within early education. She presented her findings at the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

A speaker at one of Alyssa’s health classes offered her a volunteer coaching position for the girl’s water polo team at Metea Valley High School. She became the team’s junior varsity coach the next year.

Alyssa hopes to become a health and physical...

Elementary Education major, Health Education minor

Alicia minored in health education, in part because she wanted additional classroom training. As a sophomore, she interned at a local middle school where she created lesson plans, ran review sessions, observed classrooms, and graded tests daily. A member of North Central’s cross country and track and field teams, as well as the Concert Winds music ensemble, Alicia credits the personal attention of her professors with keeping her on task while accommodating her intense schedule. “They understand my schedule because they know who I am, my habits in class, and what I am involved with,” she says.

Physical Education major, Health Education minor

The son of two educators, Brendan learned at an early age that teaching is more than a career. “It’s a lifestyle and a passion,” he says.

His professors at North Central College further cemented that belief. “They don’t see teaching as their job; they see it as their favorite thing to do every day. They love being at school and have a genuine passion for teaching.”

If someone possesses that passion, he says, “they will be very successful at North Central and in their future teaching career.”

Brendan is a physical education major and health education minor and hopes to teach both subjects in the future. He serves as an officer in...