Based on national accreditation criteria and quality standards, the program goals are:
A. To provide leadership and service to enhance public health practice at the local, state, national and international levels.
- Provide expertise to public health agencies and organizations in the surrounding region in order to find innovative solutions to existing public health problems.
- Promote collaboration with a variety of public and private agencies in the rural areas and the surrounding region to meet current and future public health practice needs.
- Provide leadership to national, regional, and state public health and community health education professional organizations.
Teaching and Research
B. To develop an academic public health program that contributes to and helps train students and support faculty to participate in conducting and translating the growing body of knowledge to enhance the health of communities and strengthen evidence-based public health practice.
- Support a local and global research agenda through enhanced international collaboration and increased graduate student involvement in research.
- Increase the opportunities for students to participate in and learn from faculty-directed research designed to inform public health decision-making.
- Facilitate qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method research.
- Stimulate innovative, crosscutting, interdisciplinary research (grounded in the ecological model) that will help solve public health problems.
- Facilitate the publication and dissemination of student and faculty research.
- Strengthen and support student and faculty capacity for conducting ethical research.
C. To provide an instructional program that enhances public health education
practice and strengthens the capacity of the existing public health workforce.
- Conduct needs and/or asset assessments of communities or professionals in region to determine needs for workforce capacity building.
- Conduct continuing education programs that help meet the needs determined in the assessments above.
- Facilitate student collaboration with faculty to participate in community and continuing education.
- Periodically evaluate the current program, student/faculty perceptions and experiences.
- Revise or enhance courses, the program, opportunities, and resources based on an evolving body of knowledge and on results of periodic evaluations.
- Create and/or enhance mechanisms (media, pamphlets/flyers, meetings, seminars, and others) to provide educational opportunities for education regarding ongoing and emerging public health issues, especially those based on community concerns.
- Provide student MPH opportunities in communities to disseminate information and foster action on public health issues.
D. To prepare Public Health Professionals who can demonstrate attainment of
our MPH Program competencies.
- Give, solicit and receive oral, written, graphic and numerical information, taking into consideration target audience and using a variety of mechanisms in both formal and informal settings. [Competency: Communication.
- Interact sensitively and professionally with individuals and communities with diverse characteristics. [Competency: Diversity and cultural proficiency]
- Create and communicate a shared vision to improve the public's health.
- Develop and champion solutions to population health challenges.
- Demonstrate ethical choices, values and professional practices implicit in public health decisions, giving consideration to the effect of choices on community stewardship, equity, social justice and accountability, as well as to commit to personal and institutional development. [Competency: Professionalism and ethics]
- Design, develop, implement and evaluate strategies and interventions to improve individual and community health. [Competency: Program planning and assessment]
- Recognize dynamic interactions among human and social systems and how they affect the relationships among individuals, groups, organizations and communities. [Competency: Systems thinking]
- Utilize biostatistics in the practice of public health. [Competency: Biostatistics]
- Design, develop, implement and evaluate approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety. [Competency: Environmental health]
- Utilize epidemiological skills for informing scientific, ethical, economic, and public health policy decisions on health issues. [Competency: Epidemiology]
- Understand the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the US. [Competency: Health policy and management]
- Understand the role of social, behavioral and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems. [Competency: Social and behavioral science].
E. To create an environment where diverse faculty, students, and staff work
collaboratively and respectfully to promote public health.
Public Health Practice Competencies
- Maintain a diverse student body that reflects the diversity of the region we serve.
- Maintain a student body with diverse educational and professional backgrounds.
- Provide a multi-disciplinary, ethnically diverse, and experienced public health faculty and staff.
- Provide students with contact and involvement with diverse communities and peoples within and outside the MPH Program, that provide and/or enhance knowledge and experience.
- Annually monitor and continually evaluate processes for recruitment and admission into the program.
(Ten Essential Services
Track Specific Competencies
- Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
- Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
- Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
- Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
- Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
- Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
- Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
- Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
- Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
- Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.
- Community Needs Assessment - Diagnose public health problems in the community and gather the information needed to determine when and whether to involve public health specialists and other experts.
- Public Health Response - Respond quickly and effectively to emerging public health concerns, coordinating the response and enlisting the help of specialists as appropriate
- Applied Research and Evaluation - Apply the core public health research and evaluation skills in real world situations where the practitioner may have little control.