The North Carolina School Health Training Center (NCSHTC) began at UNC-Greensboro in 1988 and transitioned to Appalachian State University in 1993. Dr. Donna Breitenstein applied for and received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for over 10 years to provide professional development in HIV prevention and violence prevention. Most of the activities were provided to school personnel: teachers, counselors, nurses, and administrators.
The NCSHTC also conducted outreach to public health educators and youth serving agencies. Over time additional sources of funding were awarded expanding the focus to a variety of health issues including: sun safety, suicide intervention and post-vention, puberty education, bullying prevention, Darkness to Light/child sexual abuse, ally for LGBT youth education, parental engagement, and evidence-based sexuality education curricula. The current staff of the Center consists of a director, assistant director, and graduate assistants. The NCSHTC maintains a cadre of trainers (Masters and Doctorate level) with experience in school health, public health, and youth serving agencies.
The North Carolina School Health Training Center is committed to strengthening the quality of Health Education within a coordinated school health program. The Center provides programs throughout the state for teachers, nurses, counselors, administrators, and public health educators to reduce health-risk behaviors in children and adolescents.
The NCSHTC’s history of conducting needs assessments and providing professional development to school personnel and youth-serving agencies reflects East Carolina University’s mission to maximize student success, serve the public, and lead regional transformation.
Additionally, the NCSHTC activities aims to inspire positive change, promote wellness, and reduce health disparities. The Center is housed within the Department of Health Education and Promotion and further strengthen the public health focus within ECU by providing services to school districts with the highest teen pregnancy rates, many of which are in eastern North Carolina, and by working collaboratively with the school districts demonstrating the highest level of health disparities and need.