Program Overview

VISION AND MISSION

Vision

Achieve a just society where health is a human right.

Mission

The MPH program leverages the power of partnerships and engagement in research, education, and service to prepare diverse public health professionals that advocate and promote health, well-being, and human rights for all people.

VALUES

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

Community Engagement

We develop mutually beneficial partnerships regionally and globally to facilitate sustainable capacity building and engage community stakeholders in decision making processes.

Diversity and Inclusion

We commit to and support the diversity and inclusivity of individuals, institutions, and communities. We are working to address historical institutional racism and marginalization through public health efforts.

Human Rights and Justice

We respect human dignity by promoting human rights for all and addressing social, racial, economic, and environmental injustice in our practice at the behavioral, institutional, and systemic levels.

Interprofessional Collaboration

We address complex public health issues through ethical and professional practice, compassion, and collaboration with professionals from a range of disciplines.

Lifelong Learning

We are committed to evidence-based practice, seek opportunities for professional growth, and share our expertise with colleagues and the community.

GOALS

To accomplish the MPH Program mission, we collectively monitor Goals and their respective Objectives.

Education Goal

To prepare diverse graduates with the knowledge and skills to pursue successful careers in the field of public health.

Research Goal

To model and engage graduate students in research and scholarly activity reflecting the theory and practice of public health.

Service Goal

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

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 Competencies
1. Generate a report on community health vulnerabilities and assets using spatial and non-spatial data.
2. Develop a grant proposal to fund an equity-focused health promotion initiative.
3. Design a participatory evaluation of a community-based health initiative.
4. Analyze the implementation of a social media campaign to promote health equity.
5. Apply a global perspective to design a community health initiative.
6. Utilize technologies to develop strategies for the implementation and management of community health programs.

Environmental Health 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 and communicate risk information to populations served
5. Evaluate the policy-making process, including the role of politics, ethics, socioeconomics and environmental (in)justice
6. Develop strategies to communicate environmental health policy issues for different audiences or sectors, using different media.

Health Care Management 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.

 

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 prepare diverse graduates with the knowledge and skills to pursue successful careers in the field of public health.

Objective 1

To recruit and retain diverse graduate students.

  • 1.1. 90% of newly enrolled students will meet the minimum GPA requirement of 2.8 (this GPA is based on a 4.0 GPA grade system)
  • 1.2 60% of the students accepted into the MPH program will fully matriculate as MPH students.
  • 1.3 At least 35% of enrolled MPH students will represent minority population groups (African American, Latino, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander or Multiracial).
  • 1.4 At least 60% of enrolled MPH students will represent diverse gender identity groups (including CISgender female/woman, genderqueer, gender non-binary, gender fluid, transgender female/woman, transgender male/man, or another gender not listed).
  • 1.5 At least 10% of the students enrolled in the MPH Program will represent international population groups.
  • 1.6. 70% of the matriculated MPH students will successfully complete graduation requirements.

Objective 2

To recruit and retain a diverse faculty to support the growth of the MPH program.

  • 2.1. At least 60% of the MPH Faculty will represent diverse gender identity groups (including CISgender female/woman, genderqueer, gender non-binary, gender fluid, transgender female/woman, transgender male/man, or another gender not listed).
  • 2.2. At least 20% of the MPH faculty will represent minority population groups (African American, Latino, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander or Multiracial).
  • 2.3. Retention of MPH faculty from underrepresented groups with 100% achieving tenure. [Underrepresented groups include: (1) gender identity: CISgender female/woman, genderqueer, gender non-binary, gender fluid, transgender female/woman, transgender male/man, or another gender not listed, and (2) race/ethnicity: African American, Latino, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander or Multiracial]

Objective 3

To recruit and retain a qualified faculty to support the growth of the MPH program.

  • 3.1. All (100%) of the MPH core faculty will have doctoral degrees in the area of expertise.
  • 3.2. At least 80% of the MPH core faculty will also have an MPH degree or a related Master’s degree.
  • 3.3. At least 60% of core faculty who hold professional licensure and/or certifications in addition to their doctoral degree will meet the requirements for continuing education.

Objective 4

Students will gain relevant public health knowledge and skills through competency-based MPH core/track curriculum.

  • 4.1. 80% of MPH students will complete core course key assignments linked to foundational competencies with a B or better.
  • 4.2. 80% of MPH students will complete track course key assignments linked to track-specific competencies with a B or better.
  • 4.3. 80% of MPH students will complete the HEA 650 Applied Learning Experience II practicum (applied practice experience) with a B or better.
  • 4.4. 80% of MPH students will complete the core/track competency-linked major project report (integrated learning experience) in HEA 650 Applied Learning Experience II with a B or better.
  • 4.5. 80% of MPH students will report very confident/confident in applying core and track competencies in practice in the exit survey.

Objective 5

Graduates of the MPH program will be valuable skilled professionals in the public health-related workforce.

  • 5.1. Of all MPH students responding to the required exit survey at the end of the HEA 650 Applied Learning Experience II practicum, 80% will report an intention to work and/or seek further training in a public health-related field.
  • 5.2. Of all MPH students responding to the alumni survey, 80% will indicate employment in a public health-related profession or will be seeking further graduate study or training in a public health-related area.
  • 5.3. 80% of ALE II site-supervisors will report MPH students are meeting or exceeding professional standards on the site supervisor final evaluation form.
  • 5.4. 75% of the employers responding to the stakeholder survey or reporting in the Community Advisory Board, will report MPH graduates as 'moderately to completely' prepared to apply foundational competencies in practice.

Research

Research Goal Statement

To model and engage graduate students in research and scholarly activity reflecting the theory and practice of public health.

Objective 1

MPH faculty will participate in research and/or evaluation projects or other scholarly activities.

  • 1.1. 80% of MPH faculty will participate in research and/or evaluation projects or other scholarly activities on an annual basis as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications, documented research in progress, peer-reviewed conference presentations/posters, books/book chapters, and internal/external grants or contracts.
  • 1.2. 60% of MPH faculty will participate in collaborative research/evaluation projects with graduate students yearly.

Objective 2

Graduate students will participate in research and/or scholarly activity as part of HEA 526 Biostatistics in Public Health, HEA 650 Applied Learning Experience II, and/or individual faculty led research projects.

  • 2.1. 100% of MPH students will conduct a research project on a topic of their choice as part of the HEA 526 Biostatistics in Public Health core course.
  • 2.2. 50% of MPH students will engage in collaborative research and/or evaluation projects or other scholarly activities with faculty mentorship, through graduate/research assistantships, or funded/non-funded research projects.
  • 2.3. 80% of MPH students will rate that they are extremely confident/confident in research-related MPH core competencies (#1-4, 7, 11, 15) in the MPH Exit Survey.

Service

Goal Statement

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

Objective 1

MPH faculty will participate in service activities in the public health profession and the community.

  • 1.1. 100% of MPH faculty will join and/or maintain their membership in at least one public health professional organization.
  • 1.2. 80% of MPH faculty will participate in service to the public health profession and/or community at the local, regional, state, national and/or international level.

Objective 2

MPH students will have opportunities to participate in service activities in the public health profession, community and at the university.

  • 2.1. 1 or more students from the MPH Student Advisory Board will serve as a student representative on the Full MPH Program Committee and a minimum of one student will serve on each standing MPH Program Committees as evidenced by meeting minutes.
  • 2.2. 5 or more students will serve on the MPH Student Advisory Board and compile annual recommendations to the MPH faculty to review at each August faculty retreat to inform quality improvement efforts.
  • 2.3 100% of the MPH students will participate in at least one community service activity during the completion of the MPH program.
  • 2.4. The MPH program will sponsor a minimum of four MPH student professional development events during each academic year.

Objective 3

The MPH program will annually sponsor public health-related workforce professional development opportunities.

  • 3.1 The MPH Program will sponsor a minimum of two public health workforce development opportunities during each academic year (panel discussions, workshops, or conferences).

 

By-Laws

The MPH program administration and related procedures are available in the WCU MPH Program By-Laws document (last approved October 15, 2022 ).

MPH Handbook

View the MPH Handbook

MPH ALE Guideline

View the ALE Guidelines

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