COLLEGE STATION — For Texans and others wanting to improve their health and wellness as well as learn about common illnesses and disease prevention, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offers several online educational courses that can be taken from the comfort of their home or office.
The courses are available for both professionals seeking to meet state-mandated requirements or for everyday people wanting to learn more about a variety of health topics, said Dr. Ninfa Pena-Purcell, AgriLife Extension health specialist, College Station. They were developed by AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M University System faculty.
“AgriLife Extension offers online courses on diabetes, weight management, healthy eating, dealing with common illnesses, immunizations and other important health topics,” Pena-Purcell said. “There is free registration for an online account, and most courses offer free enrollment. However, to receive official credit for some courses, participants must pass a brief exam and pay a small processing fee for a verifiable certificate.”
Courses typically consist of an introduction, pre-learning assessment, course content sections, course activities and a brief final exam.
“Course content is brief, informative and easy to read and navigate,” Pena-Purcell said. “Most course content sections are less than one page in length, and you can leave a course and return anytime.”
Pena-Purcell said people are often too busy at work or home activities or have limited access to community agencies or resources, so offering health and wellness education courses online is a convenient and effective way to deliver practical, objective, research-based information.
“Diabetes, for example, is a growing problem among Texans and throughout the nation, so we have developed an online, self-paced course on the basics of diabetes self-management,” she said. “This course is especially useful for those who have been newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or those wanting to know more about diabetes self-care.”
Pena-Purcell said the “Diabetes 1st Step: Live Healthy, Be Hopeful” online course is particularly helpful for those wanting information on diabetes self-management.
“This self-paced course is suitable for people with prediabetes as well as those who provide care for those with diabetes,” she said. “We even have community clinics referring patients to this course because the demand for accessible, high-quality education about diabetes care is a growing need.”