Date of Conferral







Stacy Wahl


AbstractEmerging adulthood is a critical life stage when participation in higher education can facilitate the transition of young individuals into adulthood and independence. The barriers associated with low health literacy levels are higher among racial or ethnic groups facing health inequalities, including those enrolled in higher education institutions. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore how health educators promoted the health literacy of Black and Latino emerging adult college students. The theoretical framework was based on Bandura’s social cognitive theory. Eight health professionals who served to promote health literacy across diverse college campuses and different states in the United States were interviewed. The interviews were coded manually to identify overarching themes from the health promotion practices and experiences noted by those engaging in college health promotion. Results showed higher education health professionals promoted health literacy by focusing on cultural awareness, using diverse strategies to engage their students, and seeking out internal and external supports to benefit their students’ health literacy levels. The results may promote social change by increasing college health professionals’ knowledge and practices to promote the health literacy of Black and Latino emerging adult college students.