The Council on Education for Public Health awarded the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Master of Public Health program a full seven-year accreditation based on site visitors’ recommendations and documentary evidence.
The council concluded that the M.P.H. Program met or exceeded requirements in all 23 applicable criteria in four areas: the public health program; the instructional programs; the creation, application and advancement of knowledge; and faculty, staff and students.
Self-study preparations began in the summer of 2014. Faculty and staff collaborated during the next 20 months to write assigned sections and solicit input from faculty, administrators and public health program stakeholders. A final self-study was submitted to the council in April, followed by a site visit May 16-17, 2016, from a three-member team that met with program faculty, administrators, students and alumni, and WSU and public health leaders.
The accreditation team included Vice Chair of Public Health Sciences Victoria Neale, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Master of Public Health Program Director Kimberly Campbell-Voytal, Ph.D., M.S.N.; Master of Public Health Practicum Director Dana Rice, Dr.PH.; and Master of Public Health Program Manager Elissa Firestone, M.Ed.
“As I think about the required CEPH criteria, I am conscious of the contributions that each of the faculty made to writing or reading iterative drafts,” Dr. Campbell-Voytal said. “The visitors were impressed with the quality of our study, and commented that it was extremely well-written. The faculty are all to be commended. It was a powerful effort, and the passion for our students and scholarship was undeniable.”
The council also provided commentary in four areas that could be strengthened in the future: fiscal resources; student and faculty diversity; program assessment (attrition); and community service.
“CEPH accreditation is a significant indicator of the quality of our program. Accreditation requires a large investment of resources from the university, which is proud that we remain one of only two accredited MPH programs in Michigan,” Dr. Neale said. “The self-study was an inclusive ‘all-hands-on-deck’ effort to which all faculty and many department staff contributed. We really pulled together and are very gratified that we were successful. The self-study also provided us with the opportunity to examine all aspects of our program and identify areas of improvement. So, reaccreditation is not the time to rest on our laurels. We are already hard at work designing and implementing improvements to our academic programs and our administrative processes.”
The program was established by the WSU Board of Governors in 2004 and awarded initial accreditation from the council for the full five-year maximum in 2011. CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit public health programs offered in settings other than schools of public health.
The program’s mission is to educate and engage students in theory, practice and interdisciplinary research focused on understanding and improving the public health of urban and underserved communities on a local, national and global level. Recent program graduates are employed in areas of health program evaluation, toxicology, epidemiology, policy analysis, biostatistics and research.
“Kudos to the MPH team and all faculty and staff from the department who contributed to the preparation for the extensive site visit,” said Tsveti Markova, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., associate dean of Graduate Medical Education and professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences. “We also want to thank our community partners and the university for their support and commitment to public health.”
Dr. Markova said she will make the accreditation determination and supporting documents available on the program’s website within 60 days.