Now up front I vow to be as objective as I can, of course I believe we have the best program, but then at the end of the day what constitutes the ‘best’ program for you may be different for the next person depending on what you’re after. I also need to mention that I intend to hold a professional curtesy when commenting on other colleges. Every college will have its unique slant and benefits, likewise they also have their limitations, the trick in my view is to marry up what you want with the ‘best fit’ college.
Why does health coaching attracting so many people?
We tend to find that most people come to coaching via a process of 'healer heal thy self'. That is, you’ve had a health challenge, and you’ve overcome it or other challenges in your life, others find your story an inspiration, you’ve loved sharing your road travelled, and before you know it the light goes on and that thought that this is your calling begins to bubble up to your conscious mind. You’ve arrived at your direction in life through a process you’ve undergone, a passion was ignited and now you want to be free to live it. A student recently said in a reflection in her psychology case study that she ‘knows that she has arrived at her purpose at last’. Awesome, simply ... Awesome!!! As best you can, try to find a college that speaks to the inner voice within, one that you feel will fed your passion so that your can arrive at your inner purpose.
A quick insiders view
Ok, so if I wanted an insiders view of Cadence Health I think I’d want to know the things that make Cadence Health’s program, training and service stand out above the rest. We are not the biggest, we don’t have the most famous people behind us, and we don’t have the biggest most prominent name plastered across every website there is, we don't pester you or badger you, nor do we have a price tag that speaks to the cost of all of this. Everything we say we do, we are wholly focused on our students and their learning, our commitment is to community health (one of the reasons we include mental health training in our program), and we feel our best assets to achieve this is you, our students. We will always do everything we can to offer you the latest knowledge, and as many tools, to become the best coach you can be. We ask and listen to hear and respond, so we are every changing and evolving.
I know, I can hear you saying, 'ok, I get it, but get on with how to compare the options out there'.
What are your study options?
In conversations with future health coaches it seems there are a few initial characteristics that draw them to a college. The reach, that is the extent to which you hear and see the college. The appeal, for example of the people represented on the website, regardless of whether they have any real input or connection. And, the unique proposition, that is the 'one thing' that sets the college apart from the rest, this could be something they present on their site or something they do or offer, payment plans, subjects that you have a passion for and so on. Based on these characteristics there are really only 4-5 colleges in the leader group, to make it simple I’ve included the top few colleges from Australia and the USA and divided them into four main types to contrast them. Here goes:
1. The local
Think of a local natural college for example, you’ll likely have a few that come to mind. In opting for a local you’ll be getting lovely home-grown information and being local you can really connect with them. However, with a smaller 'pool to fish in' the approach can be quite light with a focus on getting as many 'bodies' through the doors as possible, with as little obstruction as possible. In saying this, you can get small local colleges who are wholly committed to pedagogy (educational standards) and health. If you jump on into a course that is based in another country you’ll find registration easy enough in most cases, but, insurance in your own hometown may not be. So, think carefully about a college overseas and check that you can be insured to use their domestic content.
2. The 'everywhere' colleges
Often hailing out of the US these colleges are the ones you see on every page on the Internet, you literally would have to live under a rock not to notice them. They look impressive, have massive ‘machinery’; this has its benefits in terms of bells and whistles, but also limitations, for example, around responsiveness and a personal touch. The size of the 'machine' can create an inflexibility around your choices of what you have to study, and the variety of how the content is delivered, which can be quite standardised. You’ll see all the famous people you could wish for, the content has been ‘tried and tested’ over some time, and is very consistent. These colleges tend to be quite similar perhaps from a sort of ‘follow the leader’ approach. Price tags tend to be a premium, and the content is generally domestic, which if you are not in the US or Canada can pose issues in terms of relevance to your clients and insurance in your country.
3. The Uni-varsity
In university based training, you’ll likely get robust training over three or more years culminating in a degree which is always a fantastic outcome. At present there are only a few countries offering degrees in health coaching. As you can imagine the training can be costly and student loans only available for domestic students, university can be stressful with tight exam timetables and a large amount of study, they also tend to lack flexibility due to term dates and intakes. The content is generally cutting edge and delivered by excellent educators and often researchers in the industry.
4. Le Global Boutique
Online colleges recognise that in working through the world wide web that any content they deliver will need to be global. Some colleges simply host downloadable content for their courses on the back end of their websites, while others invest in robust, easy-to-use and educationally sound learning systems. Tending to be medium-sized colleges, their focus is education and service and they may not opt to invest in ‘influencers’ and extensive marketing. However, their size enables them a high degree of responsiveness and personalised service, hence the student experience ratings are quite high. These colleges are able to consistently release new courses, and continually update their programs and delivery, although the degree of change can vary greatly. Price-wise they are middle of the range, generally offer payment plans and are quite affordable. While most will have some form of accreditation some offer fairly basic options only.
The spend is on you
We all have a role to play in community health, the only question is how do we play this role? Through intelligent, evidence-based inquiry we can understand how to health coach to support others in taking on positive behaviour change.