3 - MAY 2012 ACHA Guidelines Standards of Practice for...

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MAY 2012 ACHA Guidelines Standards of Practice for Health Promotion in Higher Education Third Edition, May 2012 Introduction and Guiding Principles In 1996, the American College Health Association (ACHA) appointed the Task Force on Health Promotion in Higher Education to study the scope of practice of health promotion in a higher education setting and develop professional standards of practice (Zimmer, Hill, & Sonnad, 2003). ACHA first published the culmination of that research as the Standards of Practice for Health Promotion in Higher Education (SPHPHE) in 2001; a revised edition was published in 2005. Like previous editions, the third edition serves as a guideline for the assessment and quality assurance of health promotion in higher education. The third edition also acknowledges additions to the body of knowledge and makes explicit the scope of practice and essential functions for the field. The new SPHPHE are guided by several principles: Health is the capacity of individuals and communities to reach their potential. Health is not simply the absence of disease measured through clinical indicators, but “a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources as well as physical capacities” (World Health Organization [WHO], 1986). The specific purpose of health promotion in higher education is to support student success. In the higher education setting good health enables student success by creating health supporting environments – that is, both the physical and the social aspects of our surroundings (WHO, 1991). Specific health promotion initiatives aim to expand protective factors and campus strengths, and reduce personal, campus, and community health risk factors. This is done in alignment with the missions and values of institutions of higher education (IHEs). IHEs are communities. IHEs possess all of the components of a community – that is, functional spatial units, units of patterned social interaction, and symbolic units of collective identity (Glanz, Rimer, & Lewis, 2002) – and therefore should build upon the inter-relationships and interdependencies among their members and contextual systems to influence health. This principle indicates use of a socioecological-based approach that examines and addresses health issues at multiple levels: intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community, and public policy (McLeroy Bibeau, Steckler, & Glanz, 1988). Therefore, the specific populations targeted will vary with the community and may include students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members, among others.
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