CEPH Accreditation in UNE Online Public Health Programs

CEPH Accreditation at UNEThe Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is an independent agency recognized as the accrediting body for public health schools in higher education and programs by the U.S. Department of Education.

Accreditation is a rigorous peer-review process designed to ensure that a program’s curriculum meets the standards set for high quality education and training. Federal agencies often require this accreditation from their employees.

CEPH-accreditation means graduates are prepared, through their coursework, to meet the demands of the current public health workforce.

Is having CEPH accreditation imperative to your future in public health?

Some public health jobs are only open to graduates of CEPH-accredited public health schools or programs. The US Public Health Service, many US military public health jobs and some state and local government agencies require that MPH-level jobs be filled with graduates of CEPH-accredited schools and programs.

If you have an idea of the area or agency where you would like to work after graduation, you should speak to human resources. They should be able to give you a better idea of specific public health job requirements for that company or agency.

Your program must be CEPH accredited for you to take the NBPHE Exam

Public Health CEPH AccreditationThe National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE), the body for the national credentialing exam for individuals who possess a graduate-level degree in public health, offers the exam only to graduates of accredited programs and schools.

NBPHE is not affiliated with CEPH, and CEPH does not have a formal role in shaping the eligibility or other rules. For more details, visit  www.nbphe.org.

UNE is CEPH accredited

The only official way to tell if a program is accredited is to go to the source and check the official list for yourself. The University of New England is accredited, and as such is listed on the official CEPH “Schools of Public Health and Public Health Programs” list. Follow the link to view UNE’s listing on the official CEPH website. It’s a nine-page document, so don’t be afraid to use CTRL F to find our listing.

About UNE’s public health CEPH accreditation

The University of New England’s Graduate Programs in Pubic Health became accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in October of 2011. The accreditation is good through December 31, 2016, so the next scheduled accreditation review must take place before that date.

UNE’s official CEPH accreditation report is available upon request by contacting Program Manager Laudan Ghayebi at lghayebi@une.edu.

CEPH accreditation attests to the quality of UNE’s educational program

From the CEPH website:

  • For higher education graduates, it promotes professional mobility and enhances employment opportunities in positions that base eligibility upon graduation from an accredited school or program.
  • For prospective online students and their parents, accreditation serves a consumer protection purpose. It provides assurance that the school or program has been evaluated and has met accepted standards established by and with the profession.
  • For prospective employers, it provides assurance that the curriculum covers essential skills and knowledge needed for today’s jobs.
  • For public health workers, it involves practitioners in the establishment of standards and assures that educational requirements reflect the current training needs of the profession.
  • For the profession, it advances the field by promoting standards of practice and advocating rigorous preparation.

For more in-depth information on CEPH accreditation, the CEPH website also has its own extensive Frequently Asked Questions section on the importance of accreditation.

The history of Public Health Programs at the University of New England

Best schools for public healthThe Master of Public Health program began in the spring of 2005. The mission, goals, and objectives for the MPH program were developed by the director of the program and the Advisory Committee. Members of the Advisory Committee included program faculty, faculty from the College of Osteopathic Medicine, faculty from the College of Health Professions, key university administrators such as the Graduate Admissions Director, and external public health community leaders.

The MPH program is specifically designed to be aligned with the University of New England’s mission. The mission, goals and objectives were approved by the Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH) Advisory Committee and faculty. The effectiveness of the MPH program in fulfilling its mission is monitored and assessed by the Advisory Committee, which revisits its mission every seven years.

After a new president was installed at UNE in 2006, UNE underwent an institutional strategic planning process to meet the strategic goal of implementing centers of excellence in research, which would reinforce UNE’s position in the top tier of research institutions in northern New England. The MPH program is one of the founding partners for one of these centers of excellence: the Center for Community and Public Health (CCPH).

Today, the MPH program is delivered completely online and serves students from all over the United States and across the globe.

About the MPH Degree at UNE

The MPH program is 46 credit hours in length and offers a generalist degree with a professional focus. Courses, along with the practicum (practical experience and capstone project), are constructed to provide the necessary skills for today’s public health practitioners.

The MPH program presents a high quality program that is fully online and caters to the non-traditional, full-time working student. The courses address the discipline-specific competencies (core and interdisciplinary/cross-cutting) that are program-specific or taken from the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).

Courses are reviewed by the Curriculum Committee and annually by the Program Manager to assure that the course components are connected and aligned. The MPH faculty members have developed course maps for all program courses that align the course objectives, content, activities, and assessments with its competencies.

Mission of the Graduate Programs in Public Health

The mission of the Graduate Programs in Public Health at the University of New England is to improve the health and promote the well being of individuals, families and communities through education, research and service.

Goals of the Graduate Programs in Public Health

Public Health CareersThe following goals were accepted by the Advisory Committee, faculty and students.

Educational

  • Provide students with the knowledge, skills and values necessary for individuals engaged in professions related to public health.
  • Provide a program that is based on the attainment of defined student competencies.
  • Provide a public health education for professionals active in the area of health.
  • Provide a program to upgrade the skills and competencies of current public health professionals.
  • Provide a program that is convenient in its delivery and accessibility, regardless of where students live or work.
  • Provide faculty development activities.

Research

  • Implement a public health research program commensurate with faculty interest and program areas of concentration.
  • Provide students with research learning opportunities that allow for meaningful participation in the generation of new knowledge in the program’s areas of interest – including rural delivery systems, health disparities, chronic disease prevention, environmental health and global health.

Service

  • Provide opportunities for students to perform community service with a public health focus.
  • Encourage faculty members to share their expertise in service activities as public health professionals.

Workforce Development

  • Monitor and address the public health related workforce development needs and provide potential solutions.
  • Collaborate with Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Geriatric Education Center (GEC) and the Health Literacy Institute.

Program Development

  • Recruit and select students with diversity in ethnicity, race, age, gender, experience, and personal goals for the program and who meet or exceed academic requirements for the program.

The core values of the Graduate Programs in Public Health

  • CompassionCEPH Accredited School
  • Critical thinking
  • Diversity
  • Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Participation
  • Collaboration
  • Professionalism
  • Social and Environmental Justice

The MPH program was established with a clear mission, goals, and objectives, and the program values are aligned with the values of the University that were put forth in the UNE Strategic Plan and the University’s Code of Conduct. The program values reflect the program’s mission and goals. Faculty, staff and students have been actively involved in the development of the mission, goals and values.

Growing the program

All faculty members are expected to incorporate these core values in their teaching, research and service. Resources are provided to help operationalize program values through faculty development seminars and discussions. For instance, faculty development activities have included webinar programs on promoting student engagement, encouraging interactivity in courses, and tapping into higher level thinking. These activities reflect the program values of “participation,” “collaboration,” and “critical thinking.”

The Program Director and Curriculum Committee review and verify that the program values are reflected in course offerings. The program value, “excellence,” is held as a beacon when reviewing new and existing course design and content. Best practices in online courses are addressed with faculty in each course review session.

The program values, “collaboration” and “participation” are also operationalized in the Student Association for Public Health (SAPH) website’s homepage. The students use a real-time collaboration tool that allows them to meet online, so the students are able to hold open online meetings where they can network, discuss current public health issues, and exchange information regarding the program.

Moving forward

Public Health JobsAt this point the UNE MPH and GCPH programs have hundreds of graduates.  Each year, UNE sends out a survey to these graduates, to see what careers they have chosen.  We’ve compiled the results of our alumni survey here.

The public health programs at UNE are a great group of people who are passionate about what they do. We work hard to make UNE the best school at which to pursue your graduate study in public health. If you have any questions about the program, please call one of our enrollment counselors for the program at 1 (855) 325-0896 or at owladmissions@une.edu.

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