Health program receives accreditation

Mai Hoang

Western’s Master of Health Program recently became the first of its kind in Kentucky to receive accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health.

In order to be accredited, Western’s program, which is housed in the College of Health and Human Services, had to meet national standards in curriculum, evaluation, graduate success, faculty, planning, resources and research.

CEPH representatives came to Western last October to visit university facilities and interview students and faculty. The program was officially accredited in June, one of 35 schools nationwide.

Public health program coordinator Richard Wilson said public health faculty spent the last two years preparing for accreditation by strengthening curriculum, placing evaluation methods to determine student learning and tracking graduates.

“We were all pleased,” he said. “There are many programs around the country that are not accredited. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have this.”

Wilson said a strong asset to the MPH program was its faculty and curriculum.

“It has all the courses that you should have for a strong graduate program for that type,” he said. “We are able to do that because we have a strong faculty.”

Marilyn Gardner, an assistant public health professor, said a relatively young faculty group has helped bring in new ideas that have improved the program.

“We have a dedicated and motivated faculty over here,” she said. “. We are making sure we have all the courses needed to turn out a public health professional. I think all the faculty care about that, (and) we exceedingly work toward that goal.”

Gardner said the recent accreditation will help recruit more students to the program. She said the certification will show prospective students that Western’s program meets standards and will train students well for public health professions.

Reach Mai Hoang at [email protected]