Public Health Program Receives Full Accreditation
Florida State University’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program has received accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), putting the program on par with those offered by many of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the U.S.
“Our students can now be confident that they have met the same requirements for an MPH at FSU as they would at any other CEPH-accredited university in the country,” said William Weissert, director of the program in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy.
Accreditation means that current and future students, as well as any who have graduated within the past three years, are now eligible to take the Certification in Public Health exam to be certified as public health professionals. Certification demonstrates a graduate’s knowledge of key public health competencies and a commitment to the field through continuing education focused on emerging and established public health issues. The goal of certification is to enhance the profession and elevate public health workers with advanced degrees to the same level as other health professionals.
The road to accreditation was long and very time-consuming but ultimately fruitful. The process involved revising and documenting every aspect of the program: recruitment and selection, course content, internship selection and monitoring, faculty evaluation, and program review and revision. A major result of the process was the institution of a monthly Continuous Quality Improvement Committee that now systematically reviews all aspects of the program on an on-going basis and recommends changes to the faculty and the advisory council.
To meet CEPH requirements, the hours required to attain an MPH were raised in 2006 from 33 to a minimum of 42. Students typically take two years to earn their degree, although some have done it in less time. In 2014, after making certain adjustments to facilitate graduates seeking both medical and public health degrees, the program graduated its first MD/MPH student.
An in-depth self-study was submitted to CEPH in August 2013, followed by a site visit several weeks later. The accreditation was extended at a CEPH council meeting in Washington, D.C., in June 2014, and the official accreditation seal was awarded July 1. The accreditation is for five years, with annual reporting of progress.
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