Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Promotion

The health and wellness promotion major allows students to combine their passion for providing health services with community outreach.

Sport and exercise science students work with area 5th graders in the human performance lab.Thanks to the program’s holistic curriculum, students learn to share in a client’s success. Graduates with this degree will be able to analyze a community’s health, develop a plan of action to combat health and wellness issues, and then strategically implement their vision. The long-term planning skills students learn and utilize as an undergrad can be used to assist clients in leading happy and healthy lives. And now is the time: A report from the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that the 10-year job growth rate for health educators is more than double the national average of other careers.

At a Glance

  • A holistic curriculum is designed to maximize a student’s professional success.
  • Faculty provide expert guidance on the subjects of Health & Wellness Promotion, Public Health, and Exercise Science, and Teacher Education.
  • Access to a state-of-the-art human performance laboratory.
  • Small class sizes allow students to achieve dedicated attention from faculty members.


Health and Wellness Promotion Track

Backed by a solid foundation of courses, the Health and Wellness Promotion track carries the credibility and expertise employers look for in a prospective hire. Select course topics include community and public health, community nutrition, fitness, health promotion programming, and wellness coaching. Prepares students for entry level positions in health and wellness, including community health, corporate wellness, health education, and health and wellness coaching.

Health and Wellness Promotion/Pre-Occupational Therapy Track

Students enrolled in the Health and Wellness Promotion/Pre-Occupational Therapy major complete the Health and Wellness Promotion curriculum and through a combination of required and elective courses, complete the required coursework for application to Occupational Therapy graduate degree programs. Occupational therapists, known as OT’s, work as part of a health care team to treat patients of all ages with injuries, illnesses or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. In clinical, community and industrial settings, OT’s help patients of all ages develop, recover, and improve skills needed for daily living and working.

Health and Wellness Promotion/Public Health Track

The Health and Wellness Promotion major/Public Health Track allows students to combine their passion for improving the lives of others through health with community outreach. Through a combination of required and elective courses, as well as experiential learning opportunities in diverse settings, students will have the knowledge and skills needed for a variety of entry-level positions in Public Health and have the required courses needed to apply to Public Health related graduate degree programs.

Double Major Option: Health & Wellness Promotion AND Exercise Science/Fitness Specialist Track

The double major option Health & Wellness Promotion AND Exercise Science/Fitness Specialist Track prepares students for successful employment in the fitness and wellness fields, such as corporate, community, and clinical wellness programs.

Health-related Minors

A Holistic Health & Wellness minor is available and requires students to take 18-20 credits.

Master programs articulation agreements

Health and Wellness Promotion/Pre-Occupational Therapy

We have an articulation agreement with the University of Southern Maine, whereby students at Saint Joe’s who earn a minimum 3.0 GPA and a grade of “B” or better in pre-requisite courses and who signed a letter of intent by October 1st of their junior year at Saint Joe’s would receive admission to USM's Master of Occupational Therapy program.

Health and Wellness Promotion

We have an articulation agreement with Merrimack College, whereby students at Saint Joe’s who earn a minimum 3.0 GPA and a grade of “B” or better in pre-requisite courses and who signed a letter of intent by October 1st of junior year at Saint Joe’s would receive admission to Merrimack's Master of Science in Community Health Education or Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management programs. Furthermore, students would qualify for various levels of fellowship funding depending on their overall GPA.

Some of our faculty

Dr. Karen Croteau
Dr. Karen CroteauProfessor of Health & Wellness Promotion/Exercise Science
EdD, Boston University
MEd, McNeese State University
BS, Bridgewater State College
Dr. Lenore DiFiore
Dr. Lenore DiFioreAssistant Professor, Biology
DC, Western States Chiropractic College
BSN, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Chris Willer
Chris WillerAssistant Professor, Sport and Exercise Science
MSEd, Saint Joseph’s College (Maine)
BS, Saint Joseph’s College (Maine)

Student stories

Students who keep our communities healthy in body and mind

Brianna Cobb
Brianna CobbHealth and Wellness Promotion/Pre-Occupational Therapy

“I spent this semester interning at an assisted living facility in southern Maine - as an activities coordinator, developing and implementing activities and programs for the older adult residents at the facility. Especially during the pandemic, these activities have offered them vital interactions, joy, and a sense of normalcy. One program I developed was a new seated yoga class offered to our independent residents to encourage physical and mental relaxation and activity. Not only have the residents become more flexible and more confident in their physical abilities, but they routinely express how relaxing and happy they feel after our class. I am so glad to have brought them some joy during these difficult times. The activities department plans to continue offering my yoga class, and the residents are ecstatic to have this new program continue.”

“I love majoring in Community Health because you’re always looking for ways to make a community whole and figuring out how to get people within the community involved. I’m so lucky to have resources like the Mercy Center to get me off the ground in terms of community service, and to collaborate with professors who are equally passionate about helping others in need.

In October I attended the Maine Hunger Dialogue with professors Lenore Difiore and Steve Bridge. The goal of the Maine Hunger Dialog is to take action to end hunger in the state of Maine. After attending the event, we submitted for a $500 grant for the SJC Commuter Kitchen. Having the encouragement of my peers and mentors backing me at all times is so helpful.”

Carly Jordan
Carly JordanHealth and Wellness Promotion


Ashley (MacLeod) Stratton ’20
Ashley (MacLeod) Stratton ’20Health and Wellness Promotion

“I love that I get to help people everyday when I come to work and more importantly I get to educate the community and provide resources to individuals in the state of New Hampshire. I am very grateful that I get to help individuals in the community that I work in and provide resources and programs that are impacting the Social Determinants of Health. I feel that SJC has prepared me well for my career and I use the skills and lessons I learned in my experiences at SJC everyday in my career. One thing I would love to strive for in my career is be able to teach some of the classes I was able to participate in at SJC like Stress Management, and Meditation and Mindfulness, because these are the classes that really helped shaped my career and I continue to use the lessons I learned everyday.”

— Ashley Stratton, MPH; Community Health Educator for AmeriHealth

“The academic rigor of the science and anatomy classes at SJC prepared me well for the demanding classes in graduate school. The professors cared about my success and instilled confidence in me. My favorite experience was working closely with Dr. Croteau to help craft a blueprint to enable success in future Pre-OT students.

In 5 years, I see myself moving into a leadership role in a hospital. During my time at SJC I was fortunate enough to hold leadership roles on athletic teams as a captain, on boards of clubs and committees. This broad array of responsibilities will help me manage and lead in the future.”

— Joseph Mooney, MS, OTR/L Occupational Therapist; Works at an inpatient rehabilitation hospital

Joseph Mooney ’20
Joseph Mooney ’20Health and Wellness Promotion, Pre-Occupational Therapy
MaryClaire Attisano '20
MaryClaire Attisano '20Health and Wellness Promotion, Pre-Occupational Therapy

“I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. While at Saint Joe’s, I explored many health-related professions until I found my perfect fit. While on a clinical, I encountered an occupational therapist and knew it was a perfect fit for me as it combines my enjoyment of medical sciences, and it fulfills my need to care for others. Saint Joe’s health and wellness program provided me with a diverse range of health science courses with additional hands-on clinical and fieldwork experiences. The coursework provided me with the opportunity to complete a specific pre-occupation therapy tract. After graduation, I earned a doctoral degree in occupational therapy from Johnson and Wales University. As an occupational therapist, I plan to pursue acute care and gain experience working with pediatric and neonatal populations.”

— MaryClaire Attisano, OTS; Occupational Therapist

“I graduated from Saint Joe’s in 2017 and started at Saint Dominic Academy about a year after that. Initially after graduation I was still trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. Health and wellness is such a broad major with so many different career paths. For a while I was considering working in a hospital or doctors office and working on the clinical side of health and wellness. But, I come from a family of teachers and have always been exposed to the world of education. Ultimately, I found education to be a more interesting career path. I felt like, if I can take my passion and use it to motivate kids to be healthier, and really make an impact and difference in their lives, that’s the most fulfilling job to me. I get so excited to come to work every day and see the kids, try new things, and create strategies that grow this program and make it stand out.”

— Physical Education Teacher, Saint Dominic Academy

Bethany Fox '17
Bethany Fox '17Health and Wellness Promotion

Career moves

Health and wellness promotion professionals understand the multi-faceted health needs of any given community. Explore specific career opportunities.