HEALTH PROMOTION AND PREVENTION RESEARCH PhD Program

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1 HEALTH PROMOTION AND PREVENTION RESEARCH PhD Program PROGRAM SUMMARY UAMS is Arkansas only institution of professional and graduate education devoted solely to the health and biological sciences. First founded as a School of Medicine in 1879, UAMS has evolved into a multidisciplinary health sciences center incorporating a rich array of resources now provided by the Colleges of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy and Health Related Professions. The Graduate Program was organized as an extension of the Graduate School of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1943, and was approved for independent status by the Board of Trustees in Academic programs at UAMS integrate the liberal arts with the biological, physical, and behavioral sciences, emphasizing life-long learning for practitioners and scientists in the health professions. The UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) was founded in July, 2001, as a result of legislation and approval of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. The mission of the college is to Improve health and promote well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Arkansas through education, research, and service. From early planning stages, two key disciplines have been envisioned as essential to this mission: public health policy and management; and social and behavioral sciences. Four major foci have been identified as necessary to realize our mission: 1) educating the public health practice workforce to foster the implementation of evidence-based strategies that currently are known to promote public health; 2) conducting demonstration and research projects designed to develop and evaluate theory-based strategies intended to address public health questions that continue to compromise the health of Arkansas residents; 3) creating community-based programs to disseminate currently established and newly developed evidence-based programs throughout the state; and 4) providing faculty and student expertise as a resource to the legislature, public health agencies and other institutions in Arkansas. The PhD in Health Promotion and Prevention Research advances the mission of the COPH by establishing a cadre of public health scientists who have the research expertise and experience required to develop and evaluate theory-based strategies intended to address public health questions that continue to compromise the health of Arkansas residents. The curriculum of this program will provide extensive training in basic and applied research methodology that will allow public health scientists to develop an extramurally funded program of independent research. Integrated within the multidisciplinary environment of an academic health sciences center, the proposed PhD program will be uniquely positioned to advance our understanding of interactions among biological, behavioral and cultural processes that are associated with the etiology and prevention of major chronic illnesses that constitute a significant public health challenge in Arkansas. An advanced understanding of these complex interactions will expand the current evidence base and foster the development and evaluation of new health care strategies and public health initiatives that subsequently can be implemented to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and communities throughout the state of Arkansas. A strong emphasis on applied behavioral science and community based research methods will provide graduates with a solid foundation in the design and evaluation of public health service programs. This perspective will foster collaboration with public health practitioners in the development of programmatic research that is truly responsive to the health needs of Arkansas residents and makes optimal use of public health infrastructure in the state. Individuals awarded a PhD in Health Promotion and Prevention Research will be prepared for careers as academic research faculty in schools of public health, medicine, nursing, and other affiliated health sciences. Graduates also will be prepared to function as research scientists in public and private foundations as well as in government agencies. In these various settings graduates will be able to apply scientific methods as well as administrative skills in the development and implementation of interdisciplinary efforts intended to advance our understanding of a broad range of challenging public health problems. Scientists who have been awarded a PhD in Health Promotion and Prevention Research will demonstrate advanced skills in the following areas: Health Promotion and Prevention Research PhD Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 12/15/2006 1

2 applied behavioral analysis for population applications; qualitative and quantitative research methods; investigation of behavioral risk factors for health outcomes; design, application and evaluation of multidisciplinary health behavior interventions; research methods for the promotion of health and prevention of diseases; implementation and evaluation of policy initiatives addressing health-relevant behavior in individuals, organizations, and communities. The degree program will provide extensive mentored experience with research methodology relevant to the application of a social ecological model of behavior change in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention among rural, medically underserved and multicultural populations. Research experience will focus on methods and skills relevant to community-based participatory research, outcomes research, and translational research. Interests and expertise of department faculty are summarized in Table 1. DEGREE REQUIREMENTS The PhD Program will require a minimum of 66 semester hours distributed across 5 core content areas: Behavioral Science, Community Science, Quantitative Methods, Qualitative Methods, and Applied Research Methods. The curriculum is designed to build on basic core competencies in public health, behavioral science, and research methods developed through prior completion of an MS or equivalent degree in a health-related field. Applicants meeting admission criteria will enter the PhD program with an MS degree having completed at least one graduate-level course in each of four key areas: health behavior and education; biostatistics; epidemiology; research design. Applicants demonstrating exceptional potential for success who have not completed pre-requisite courses may be conditionally admitted to the PhD program, but will be required to complete required graduate level courses through available COPH course offerings with grades of B or better before registering for core required courses in the PhD program. Core Content Areas Students enrolled in the PhD program must complete: 6 semester hours of core required coursework and 3 semester hours of elective coursework in Behavioral Science; 6 semester hours of core required coursework and 3 semester hours of elective coursework in Community Science; 3 semester hours of core required coursework and 3 semester hours of elective coursework in Quantitative Methods; 3 semester hours of core required coursework and 3 semester hours of elective coursework in Qualitative Methods. In order to develop research skills required to function as an independent investigator, students must complete 27 semester hours of Applied Research Methods that includes didactic coursework, mentored research, and dissertation research Students also are required to take an additional 9 semester hours of elective coursework that may be chosen from any of the core content areas. Table 2 summarizes the distribution of required and elective courses across the 5 core content areas and identifies skills that will be developed through course work in each of these content areas. Area of Specialization During the first year of graduate study a Doctoral Advisory Committee will be appointed to assist the student in developing a degree plan that will best serve his or her professional and academic goals. In consultation with the Doctoral Advisory Committee, the student will identify didactic electives, mentored research experiences, and dissertation research comprising one of two areas of specialization: Behavioral Science or Community Science. In addition to coursework required of all students in each of the core content areas, the degree plan will specify 3 semester hours of didactic electives required in each of 4 core content areas (Behavioral Science, Community Science, Quantitative Methods, Qualitative Methods) and an additional 9 semester hours of didactic electives that may be selected from any of the 4 content areas. The degree plan also will include at least 6 semester hours of mentored research experience and a minimum of 18 hours of dissertation research comprising the Applied Research Methods core content area. The 21 hours of didactic electives and 12 hours of mentored research experience identified in the degree plan will establish a conceptual and practical foundation for the development of dissertation research. These 33 elective semester hours in conjunction with 12 or more semester hours of dissertation research comprise for each student a uniquely defined area of specialization in either Behavioral Science or Community Science. In Health Promotion and Prevention Research PhD Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 12/15/2006 2

3 addition to consulting with the student in the development of a degree plan, the Doctoral Advisory Committee also will approve the initial dissertation proposal as well as the final written dissertation and oral defense. The dissertation must address a scientific question relevant to the application of behavioral and public health sciences either through secondary analysis of an existing data set or by collecting and analyzing new data. Successful defense of the dissertation will demonstrate competence in the selected area of specialization. Students who complete all coursework and successfully propose and defend a dissertation are awarded a PhD in Health Promotion and Prevention Research. All students will develop the full range of core competencies endorsed by the Association of Schools of Public Health. Students developing an area of specialization in Behavioral Science will emphasize the development of competencies promoting their ability to: 1) Identify basic theories, concepts and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice; 2) Identify the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect health of individuals and populations; 3) Describe the role of social and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems; 4) Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of social and behavioral science interventions; and 5) Specify multiple targets and levels of intervention for social and behavioral science programs and/or policies. Students developing an area of specialization in Community Science will emphasize the development of competencies promoting their ability to: 1) Identify individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources and deficits for social and behavioral science interventions; 2) Identify critical stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions; 3) Describe steps and procedures for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions; 4) Describe the merits of social and behavioral science interventions and policies and; 5) Apply ethical principles to public health program planning, implementation and evaluation. Doctor of Philosophy Candidacy Exam. Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must pass a candidacy examination administered after approximately one year of study in the doctoral program. Results of the examination will be submitted to the Graduate School Office immediately following the examination. After the student has passed the Doctor of Philosophy Candidacy Examination, the student must register for at least one credit hour of dissertation for each semester and one credit hour of dissertation for each summer session until the degree is awarded. Registration for a minimum of eighteen semester credit hours of dissertation is required of doctoral degree candidates. Time Frame for Completion of Degree. Student in the program will maintain full time enrollment status during each semester (12 hour minimum) and each summer term (9 hour minimum). A maximum allowable course load is 15 hours. It is possible to complete the proposed curriculum within a three-year period of full-time study. After passing the candidacy examination the degree must be completed within seven consecutive calendar years. Grade-Point Average to Receive a Degree. In order to receive a degree, a candidate must present a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on all graduate courses required for the degree. Failing to earn such an average on the minimum number of hours, the student is permitted to present up to six additional hours of graduate credit in order to accumulate a grade-point average of 3.0; but in no case shall a student receive a degree who is obliged to offer more than six additional hours of credit beyond the minimum. In the computation of grade point, all courses pursued at this institution for graduate credit that are part of the degree program (including any repeated courses) and the thesis (if offered) shall be considered. A student who repeats a course in an endeavor to raise his grade must count the repetition toward the maximum of six additional hours. Doctoral Advisory Committee. A Doctoral Advisory Committee must be appointed within the first year of graduate study. This committee will assist the student in developing a degree plan that will integrate didactic electives, mentored research experiences, and dissertation research reflecting an area of specialization in either Behavioral Science or Community Science. The committee must review and approve the degree plan, the initial Health Promotion and Prevention Research PhD Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 12/15/2006 3

4 dissertation proposal, and the final written dissertation and oral defense. At the time the committee is appointed, notification of the committee membership must be forwarded to the Graduate School Office. The committee will include no fewer than five (5) UAMS Graduate Faculty members, one of whom will be designated as chair to the Graduate School Office. Three members of the committee must hold primary faculty appointments in the COPH. With a program s submission of an outside member form and CV to the Graduate School office, and approval of the UAMS Graduate Council, one person who is not a UAMS Graduate Faculty member may serve as a required committee member but not as chair. Approval of Dissertation. A public defense is required along with approval by 80% of the Doctoral Advisory Committee for acceptance of the dissertation. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS Applicants who have earned an MS or equivalent degree in a health-related field from a regionally accredited institution in the United States, or from a foreign institution with similar requirements for the MS degree, are eligible to apply for admission to the Doctoral Program in Health Promotion and Prevention Research. Students who have not earned an MS or equivalent degree may petition the Admissions Committee to consider an exception to this eligibility requirement. All applicants (with or without an MS or equivalent degree) must demonstrate basic core competencies in public health, behavioral science, research design, and statistical methods in order to be considered for admission. Competencies in these areas may be demonstrated through the award of an MS or equivalent degree in a health-related field, successful completion of relevant course work at a regionally accredited institution of higher education or documented practical experience demonstrating the application of relevant skills. Individuals determined by the Admissions Committee to have demonstrated strengths in multiple core competencies may be considered for admission. All applicants must have completed at least one graduate-level course in each of four key areas: health behavior and education; biostatistics; epidemiology; research design. Individuals demonstrating exceptional potential for success who have not completed pre-requisite courses may be conditionally admitted to the PhD program, but will be required to complete required graduate level courses through available COPH course offerings with grades of B or better before registering for core required courses in the PhD program. Applicants master s theses should address a scientific question relevant to the application of behavioral and public health sciences either through secondary analysis of an existing data set or by collecting and analyzing new data. Master s-level course work and research experience will be evaluated and approved prior to admission to the PhD program. Application. Any individual desiring admission to the Graduate School must submit a fully completed application form to the Graduate School Office. Contact the graduate school for information about submitting application forms and other materials. Transcripts. It is the applicant s responsibility to request that two official copies of the applicant s academic record be sent directly to the Graduate School Office from EACH college or university that the applicant has previously attended. The academic record should include all courses, grades, credits attempted, and degree(s) earned Official transcripts should show completion of at least one graduate-level course in each of four key areas: health behavior and education; biostatistics; epidemiology; research design. Courses must have been completed within the 5 years immediately preceding the requested semester of admission. Applicants who have not completed these courses, but whose applications show exceptional potential for success, may be conditionally admitted to the PhD program, but will be required to complete the courses through available COPH course offerings with grades of B or better before registering for core required courses in the PhD program. A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.70 (A=4.00) or better on all undergraduate and graduate coursework attempted at a regionally accredited institution of higher education is required. Should an applicant Health Promotion and Prevention Research PhD Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 12/15/2006 4

5 fail to meet this requirement, the program may petition on behalf of the applicant the Dean of the Graduate School to consider an exception to this requirement. Masters Thesis. All applicants must submit a copy of their master s thesis or a written report demonstrating a comparable level of research experience and expertise that has been prepared in a manner consistent with publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The thesis or research report will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee to evaluate the relevance and quality of the applicant s research experience. The review will specifically consider: relevance and adequacy of literature review; significance and specificity of a well defined hypothesis or research question; appropriate and effective application of experimental methods; selection and description of appropriate intervention and assessment methods; description and application of an appropriate data analysis plan; presentation and interpretation of results; discussion and integration of results within the public health literature. Graduate Record Examination. A minimum combined score of 1200 on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required. The GRE must have been taken within five years immediately preceding the requested semester of admission. Programs may petition the Dean of the Graduate School, on behalf of the applicant, to consider an exception to this requirement. Supplemental Materials. Applicants also must submit a curriculum vitae or resume, a personal statement of interest ( words), and four (4) letters of recommendation from persons who may be contacted for academic and professional references. Requirements for Admission of International Applicants. 1. All international applicants, including resident and non-resident aliens, whose native language is not English and who do not have a bachelor s or master s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, are required to achieve a minimum score of 550 on the paper based written Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 213 is required on the computer-based version of the examination. (Programs have the option of setting higher score requirements.) The test must be taken within the two years immediately preceding the requested semester of admission. Programs may petition the Dean of the Graduate School, on behalf of the applicant, to consider an exception to this requirement based on the program s interaction with the student. 2. All international applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Programs have the option to petition the Dean of the Graduate School on behalf of the applicant to substitute other official test scores on a case by case basis. 3. All international applicants who are in the U.S. in a non-resident alien status must have documentation of an appropriate status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Applicants who are currently out of status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will have no action taken on their application. 4. Students who are not U.S. Citizens must have on file at all times in the Graduate School Office current documentation of an appropriate status with the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Individuals who are out of status with the I.N.S. will be denied initial enrollment, and individuals who become out of status during a period of enrollment will be denied future enrollment. The PhD Admissions Committee will consider the sum total of the applicant s work, educational experience, research experience, recommendations, and other application data and will not allow a single factor to outweigh others in making recommendations for admission. Health Promotion and Prevention Research PhD Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 12/15/2006 5

6 Faculty Table 1 Interests and Expertise Warren Bickel, PhD Professor, Director of Interdisciplinary Program on Tobacco Carol Cornell, PhD Professor, Interim Chair Department of Health Behavior and Health Education Mel Fratzke, PhD Professor Paul Greene, PhD Professor, Director of Doctoral Training, Associate Director for Research in Cancer Prevention and Control Karen Kim, PhD Assistant Professor LeaVonne Pulley, PhD Associate Professor Jim Raczynski, PhD Professor and Dean, College of Public Health Jan Richter, PhD Assistant Professor, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Christine Sheffer, PhD Assistant Professor Katharine Stewart PhD Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Alan VanBiervliet, PhD Professor Delia Smith West, PhD Professor, Director of Interdisciplinary Program on Obesity Tobacco and other addiction disorders; nature of addiction, behavioral and pharmacological treatments Cardiovascular behavioral medicine; Community-based interventions for chronic disease risk reduction; program design and evaluation Improving leadership in rural areas; improving academic leadership in the health care professions; faculty evaluation; Health care administration; strategic planning (mission, vision, values); rural health leadership; assessment of health behaviors Adherence to behavioral and medical treatment regimens; smoking cessation, cancer control, behavioral interventions to reduce health risk; behavioral and biological processes in chronic illness; grant preparation Faith-based interventions; community-based participatory research; health disparities, psychosocial aspects of health; Health behavior and health education theory and practice Intervention methods among ethnic minority populations; health communications; survey research methods Cardiovascular behavioral epidemiology; primary prevention of chronic diseases; health promotion & disease prevention among ethnic minority populations; Behavioral research designs; clinical & community trial intervention methods; grant preparation Adolescent Health; Behavioral interventions for health promotion in the school setting; Program Planning and Evaluation; Theories of Health Behavior and Health Education; Health Promotion in the Worksite; Health Promotion in the School Setting; Advanced Concepts of Human Sexuality Tobacco cessation; systems changes; chronic pain; Tobacco use & chronic disease; health behavior interventions; Health behavior theory & practice Improving outcomes in chronic disease; behavioral interventions to improve adherence to medical recommendations; Health behavior theory; developing behavioral interventions; improving outcomes in chronic disease Public Health and Consumer Health Informatics; Development, implementation and evaluation of ehealth technologies; Use of information technologies for community development; Use of technology for persons with disabilities; Public health workforce development; applied behavior analysis Obesity, diabetes, chronic disease; behavioral interventions for health promotion; women s health; health behavior theory & practice Health Promotion and Prevention Research PhD Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 12/15/2006 6

7 Course Title Core Required Courses HPPR 9023 Advanced Behavioral Theory (3hr) HPPR 9053 Behavioral Research Methods (3hr) Electives HPPR 9413 Tobacco Use and Cessation (3hr) HPPR 9433 Obesity Seminar (3hr) HPPR 9663 Behavioral Aspects of HIV (3hr) HPPR 9563 Cancer Control (3hr) HPPR 9453 Women s Health and Behavior (3hr) Core Required Courses HPPR 9103 Community Program Design and Eval I (3hr) HPPR 9113 Community Program Design and Eval II (3hr) Electives HPPR 9353 Social/Cultural Determinants of Health (3hr) PBHL 5683 Social Epidemiology (3hr) HPPR 9423 Public Health Informatics (3hr) HSRE 9643 Adv. Meth. Health Disparities Research (3hr) HSRE 9313 Adv. Meth. Health Services Research (3hr) Core Required Course BIOM 5023 Biometric Methods II (3hr) Electives BIOM 5033 Biometric Methods III (3hr) BIOM 5093 Linear models in experimental design (3hr) BIOM 5113 Selection of models and methods (3hr) BIOM 5183 Etiologic research, causal inference (3hr) HPPR 5773 Survey Research Methods (3hr) Core Required Course HPPR 9343 Qualitative Research Methods (3hr) Electives NUSC 6233 Qual. Meth. in Nursing Research (3hr) NUSC 6003 Qual. Data Analysis Theory & Practicum (3hr) Core Required Course HPPR 9123 Grant Writing (3hr) HPPR 960V Mentored Research (6 hr) HPPR 980V Dissertation Research (18 hr) Electives are chosen from courses listed above. The combination of 9 hours of electives and 12 hours of coursework selected to meet content area requirements establish an area of specialization Total Coursework Required: 66 hours Table 2 Core Content Areas and Related Skills Skills developed through courses in core content areas Behavioral Science (9 hrs required) Select and define variables relevant to public health problems Identify cultural, social, and behavioral determinants of health and illness Assess factors influencing population health and the use of health services Collaborate with community partners to promote population health Communicate programmatic and scientific information to professional and lay audiences Community Science (9 hrs required) Establish and maintains linkages with key stakeholders Facilitate communication with internal and external groups to ensure collaboration Develop approaches to problems that address cultural differences Apply the basic public health sciences in the management of acute and chronic illness Partner with communities to attach meaning to collected quantitative and qualitative data Quantitative Research Methods (6 hrs required) Identify relevant and appropriate data and information sources Develop information systems to facilitate the use of data for decision-making Conduct cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, and cost-utility analyses Evaluate the integrity and comparability of data and identifies gaps in data sources Apply ethical principles to the collection, management, analysis, and dissemination of data Qualitative Research Methods (6 hrs required) Define community needs and assets Collect, summarizes, and interprets information relevant to public health issues Identify the role of public and private organizations within a community Analyze internal and external issues that may impact delivery of essential public health services Use data to illuminate ethical, economic, political, and scientific issues relevant to public health Applied Research Methods (27 hrs required) Define critical public health problems Identify and retrieve current relevant scientific evidence Develop and implement appropriate research methods Establish working relationships with academic collaborators, public health practitioners, and community partners Prepare and submit proposals for funding from external sources Present research methods and outcome data tailored for scientific meetings, professional organizations, and community functions Disseminate findings through peer reviewed publications, scholarly reports and implementation of programs and policies Electives (9 hrs required) Skills will be developed in accordance with content area of selected coursework Health Promotion and Prevention Research PhD Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 12/15/2006 7

8 TUITION AND FEES (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) General registration fee for Graduate School each semester $2, Non-resident tuition, each semester $5, Late registration fee $25.00 Student Health Fee $50.00 Student Technology Fee $37.50 Graduation fee $ Summer session students or students who enroll for nine hours or less in a regular semester pay limited registration fees as follows: Resident students, per credit hour $ Non-resident students, per credit hour $ For additional information contact Paul Greene, PhD Professor, Director of Doctoral Training Department of Health Behavior and Health Education Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 4301 w. markham, Slot 820 Little Rock, AR Voice- (501) Fax- (501) Health Promotion and Prevention Research PhD Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 12/15/2006 8

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