Program Overview

Vision and Mission

Vision

The vision of the MPH Program is to promote the health of all populations through education, research, and service.

Mission

The mission of the MPH Program in the Department of Health is to enable students to develop skills and apply knowledge from multiple disciplines for the promotion and protection of health in human populations and to serve as effective practitioners and leaders in the fields of community health, health care management, and environmental health.

VALUES

The core values of the MPH program are shaped by the following two interrelated convictions:

  • Health is central to human existence, as it impacts both the quality and quantity of life of all individuals.
  • Public health is vital for enhancing the health of individuals and their communities.

To promote the health of individuals and communities, all public health professionals (students, staff, faculty, and others affiliated with the program) are invited to adopt and further the following core values by:

  • Seeking and sharing knowledge and wisdom.
  • Lifelong learning for self and others.
  • Taking responsibility for one's actions.
  • Ensuring the highest personal and professional integrity.
  • Cultivating deep compassion for those suffering from ill health.
  • Committing to and supporting diversity of individuals, views, programs, and institutions.
  • Respecting, always, human dignity and human rights.
  • Promoting social justice and justice for all.

We believe the cultivation and practice of these personal and professional values translates into the following for our MPH Program:

  • An academic model that values the integration of the scholarship of teaching, research, and community service.
  • A commitment to student-centered learning.
  • Shared governance of every aspect of the program.
  • A learning environment characterized by objective, evidence-based knowledge.
  • Meaningful, active experiential learning and community service.
  • Collaboration and mentoring not only among the faculty but also between the faculty and our students.
  • A global public health view.
  • An engaged, seriousness of purpose to improve the health of individuals and the communities in which they live.

MPH FOUNDATIONAL COMPETENCIES

All students will be expected to successfully complete a total of 46 credits of core and track coursework. Our three tracks in Community Health, Environmental Health, and Health Care Management all share the same required core coursework including a 200-hour Applied Learning Experience Practicum. The core courses in the MPH program cover both the 12 Foundational Public Health Knowledge and the 22 MPH Foundational Competencies required by the Council on Public Health Education (CEPH, 2016).

Through the required 12 core courses (equivalent to 28 credits), all MPH program graduates will obtain knowledge and skills in the 22 MPH foundational competencies.

Evidence Based Approach to Public Health

MPH FOUNDATIONAL COMPETENCIES

All students will be expected to successfully complete a total of 46 credits of core and track coursework. Our three tracks in Community Health, Environmental Health, and Health Care Management all share the same required core coursework including a 200-hour Applied Learning Experience Practicum. The core courses in the MPH program cover both the 12 Foundational Public Health Knowledge and the 22 MPH Foundational Competencies required by the Council on Public Health Education (CEPH, 2016).

Through the required 12 core courses (equivalent to 28 credits), all MPH program graduates will obtain knowledge and skills in the 22 MPH foundational competencies.

COMPETENCIES

Evidence Based approach to Public Health
1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given health context
3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
4.  Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy, or practice

Public Health & Healthcare Systems
5.  Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health, and regulatory systems across national and international settings
6. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequalities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community, and societal levels

Planning & Management to Promote Health
7.  Assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities' health
8. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
9. Design a population-based policy, program, project, or intervention
10. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
11.  Select methods to evaluate public health programs

Policy in Public
Health
12. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
13. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
14. Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
15. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity

Leadership
16. Apply principles of leadership, governance and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration and guiding decision making
17. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges

Communication
18. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
19. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
20. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content

Interprofessional Practice
21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams

Systems Thinking
22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

 

TRACK COMPETENCIES

Students gain a deeper understanding of a concentration area in Community Health, Environmental Health, or Health Care Management. Each track requires six courses (equivalent to 18 credits) designed to prepare students in a specialized concentration.

Through completion of track coursework, all MPH students will demonstrate the specialized knowledge and skills of their selected track.

COMPETENCIES

Community Health Track Competencies
1. Design implementation plan for a health education/health promotion program to address a public health issue
2. Develop community asset map utilizing community based participatory action research (CBPAR)
3. Develop an evaluation plan for assessing the effectiveness of a health education/health promotion program
4. Prepare a proposal for funding for a health education/health promotion program
5. Prepare a budget for a health education/health promotion program

Environmental Health Track Competencies
1. Identify illness and injury causing agents in workplaces, residences, health care facilities and other institutions, and the outdoor environment
2. Measure biological, chemical and physical disease agents in any environment and assess compliance with environmental regulations and professional standards
3. Analyze, interpret and evaluate toxicological, epidemiological and environmental exposure data 
4. Quantitatively assess risk using mathematical models
5. Communicate risk information to populations served

Health Care Management Track Competencies
1. Engage in activities that are relevant and address current trends and issues of health care management
2. Identify external and internal pressures affecting administrators' functions and their role in organizational politics, resource allocation decisions, and other critical issues
3. Demonstrate the widespread applicability of management theory to diverse types of health services organizations and health systems
4. Apply health care management terminology and concepts to enhance professional development and lifelong learning
5. Analyze health care regulations and legal requirements for health care operations and financial sustainability of health care organizations
6. Leverage the use of information technology to improve the patient experience and outcomes

GOALS  

The MPH program crafted seven goals with related objectives. These goals are monitored on an annual basis for quality improvement purposes.

Education

Goal Statement

To provide students with relevant marketable skills that prepare graduates for successful careers in the field of public health.

Objectives

  1. To recruit and retain qualified graduate students.
  2. Students will gain relevant public health knowledge and skills through MPH core/track courses and related practicum.
  3. Graduates of the MPH program will be valuable skilled professionals in the public health-related workforce.

Research

Research Goal Statement

MPH faculty and students will engage in research and scholarly activity reflecting the theory and practice of public health.

Objectives

  1. MPH faculty will participate in research and/or evaluation projects or other scholarly activities.
  2. MPH students will participate in Research Methods (HEA 648), Applied Learning Experience (ALE) and/or individual faculty led research projects.

Service

Goal Statement

To involve students and faculty in activities which promote and support service to the university, public health profession, and the community.

Objectives

  1. MPH faculty will participate in service activities in the public health profession and the community.
  2. MPH students will have opportunities to participate in service activities in the public health profession, in the community and in the university.
  3. The MPH program will sponsor public health-related workforce professional development opportunities annually.

MPH Fiscal Resources

Goal Statement

The MPH Program will have sufficient financial resources to support the program for each academic year as approved by the Dean, College of Health Sciences and the Department of Health Chair.

Objectives

  1. The MPH budget reflects sufficient income to support the program activities designed to meet the mission, goals and objectives.
  2. The MPH Program will provide alternative workload assignments (AWAs) for program administration to the MPH Program Director and graduate workload assignments to MPH Coordinators (based on collateral duties and track enrollments) for fall and spring semesters.
  3. The Department of Health will provide resources for professional growth and development for each academic year for all MPH faculty members.

MPH Diversity

Goal Statement

THe MPH Program will achieve a diverse complement of faculty and students.

Objectives

  1. Students enrolled in the MPH Program will represent minority population groups.
  2. The majority of students enrolled in the MPH Program will represent women.
  3. Students enrolled in the MPH Program will represent international population groups.
  4. MPH faculty will represent minority and women population groups.

MPH Faculty Qualifications

Goal Statement

The MPH Program will ensure that its faculty complement possess the requisite qualifications for the training of MPH-level public health professionals.

Objectives

  1. Retain high quality faculty to support the continued growth and development of the MPH Program.
  2. MPH faculty will hold additional certifications/licensures beyond the doctoral degree.
  3. MPH faculty will demonstrate continued professional growth and development.

MPH Faculty and Other Resources

Goal Statement

The MPH Program will provide personnel and other resources sufficient to fulfill its stated mission, goals and objectives.

Objectives

  1. Retain sufficient faculty and staff resources to maintain the MPH Program.
  2. Retain sufficient resources for the growth and development of the MPH Program.

By-Laws

The MPH program administration and related procedures are available in the WCU MPH Program By-Laws document (last approved 5/3/2016 ).

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