Even though Ms. Cassidy Osborne outscored more than 1,500 other test takers this year, she feels that achieving the top score in the nation on the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam was just the result of her undergraduate education.
[Photo: Ms. Cassidy Osborne]
A recent graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health–Community Health program at the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Ms. Osborne says that her undergraduate classes prepared her well. “I felt really prepared for the exam after taking the classes in the community health curriculum,” said Osborne. She even used her class notes to prep for the exam.
Ms. Osborne believes her community health classes, the CHES study sessions and the practice tests she took helped her feel confident about taking the test. She thinks one of the most helpful parts of the program was “hearing from people who had taken the test and getting their advice.” “We also got practice questions and tests that gave us examples of the types of questions to expect,” Osborne added. “Those practice tests were the number one thing I used to study.”
While Ms. Osborne credits her community health classes with helping her ace the test, she is also thankful for the faculty and staff who helped her through her undergraduate career. “I learned so much in my classes, and I have the utmost respect and admiration for my professors and advisors who helped me discover my love for public health.”
Ms. Osborne is currently working at Memorial Hospital in Jasper, Indiana, as a health educator. She performs workplace wellness programming and health screenings for companies in the area. Eventually, she would like to get her master’s degree, but for now she wants to put her community health education into practice.
The CHES exam is a competency-based tool used to measure possession, application and interpretation of knowledge in the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists. There are currently over 13,000 CHES certified community health workers in the United States.