Graduate Faculty Committee Doc. No Approved November 17, 2008

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1 Graduate Faculty Committee Doc. No Approved November 17, 2008 RECOMMENDATION OF THE SUBCOMMMITTEE ON GRADUATE COURSE AND CURRICULUM AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH PLANNING COUNCIL FOR AN ENTITLEMENT TO PLAN A MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH DEGREE PROGRAM The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee requests entitlement to plan a Masters in Public Health (MPH) degree with five areas of concentration (Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Public Health Policy and Administration, and Social Sciences and Community Health). The MPH will be offered by the proposed School of Public Health. The proposed School and its list of proposed academic programs were approved by the UW System Board of Regents in June This interdisciplinary, professional degree program is designed to prepare students with the foundation necessary to build a career of leadership and excellence in public health. As the basic credential required for practitioners in the field of public health, the MPH focuses on the five core tenants of public health: environmental health, social and behavioral health, health administration, epidemiology, and biostatistics. This degree program will benefit from the involvement of faculty and researchers from departments, schools and colleges across the university in a truly interdisciplinary manner. To this end, a cross-campus UWM team, in collaboration with faculty and researchers from UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Medical College of Wisconsin, City of Milwaukee Department of Health, and University of Illinois-Chicago, has explored the feasibility, market, curriculum, and required resources for the development and implementation of this doctoral degree program. Following is a summary of the program in terms of Need, Curriculum and Learning Objectives, Relation to UWM Institutional Mission, Relation to Other Academic Programs, and Unique Resources. 1. Need The health and well being of populations depend to a great extent upon the strength of the public health infrastructure. Essential elements of public health infrastructure include a highly qualified workforce, research that examines root causes of public health disparities, the identification of strategies to improve overall health outcomes, and the analysis and development of policies to protect the health of the public. 1 There is a critical need to upgrade the knowledge and skills of the current public health workforce, and to train future public health workers as their numbers decline. Milwaukee and Wisconsin follow the national public health workforce statistics that indicate more than 50% of the public health workforce is aged 50 years or older, demonstrating a critical need to train new workers at both the baccalaureate and graduate level 1. In addition to needing new workers, it is estimated that as many as four out of five public health professionals lack formal public health training. 2 A MPH program at UWM with its five concentrations, as well as graduate certificate programs in public health, will be indispensable catalysts toward a trained and responsive public health workforce. These academic programs

2 Graduate Faculty Committee Doc. No p. 2 Approved November 17, 2008 will provide a broad conceptual overview of public health, and will ultimately enhance the performance and problem-solving abilities of these professionals. According to the Association of Schools of Public Health, there is a great increase in demand for public health education. Between 1995 and 2006, applications have virtually doubled, from 1,319 to 2,506. This demand is being satisfied to a certain degree by a commensurate increase in the number of accredited schools which in that time period grew from 27 to 39 (currently there are 40 accredited schools). 3 The Chronicle of Higher Education stated that the growth is fueled by the realization that in this era of globalization, health threats like AIDS, SARS, and avian flu transcend national boundaries, and students are committed to finding long-term solutions through public health studies. 4 Further, within Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin, stakeholders in the community and public health workers in particular have expressed significant interest in advancing education in the field of public health. Through a survey of its membership representing more than 500 public health workers, Milwaukee Waukesha County Consortium for Emergency Public Health Preparedness has determined that a huge gap exists in affordable and accessible public health graduate level education in Southeast Wisconsin. The survey found that 61% of respondents had a baccalaureate education and over 80% of those responding were interested in earning an MPH. The proposed MPH will be a key component in supporting the State Health Plan s goal of developing a competent public health workforce 2. Curriculum and Learning Objectives The public health professionals educated in the UWM SPH will play major roles in addressing myriad and complex health challenges. These challenges are best understood and addressed from an ecologic model perspective one that emphasizes the linkages and relationships among multiple factors (or determinants) affecting health. 1 The curriculum of this proposed MPH degree, with its required set of core courses, the concentration specific courses, and the field experience and capstone is built on an ecologic model framework. Further, the guiding principles undergirding this degree are social and environmental justice, health promotion/prevention/ protection, health equity, community connected/campus partnerships, and evidencebased public health policy. Figure 1. ASPH Core Competency Model for the MPH Degree Courses will be developed to fulfill learning objectives, or competencies, as outlined by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). Figure 1 illustrates a core

3 Graduate Faculty Committee Doc. No p. 3 Approved November 17, 2008 competency model as developed by ASPH during its two-year Core Competency Model Development Project for the MPH Degree. The project was supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and vetted by ASPH membership representing 40 accredited schools of public health. 5 Core Courses The UWM MPH degree will require six 3-credit core courses. The first five of these courses (one each from the five core disciplines in public health) are those that are required by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) the accrediting agency for schools of public health. The sixth course is included to provide the broad understanding of the principles of public health. These courses will reflect the following areas: 1. Environmental and Occupational Health 2. Social Sciences and Community Health 3. Public Health Administration and Policy 4. Epidemiology 5. Biostatistics 6. Survey of Public Health Tracks Each student will be required to select one of the five tracks offered in the MPH program as described below. Each track will have a minimum of 42 credit hours (including the 18 credit hours for the core courses mentioned above and the field experience and capstone mentioned below) in keeping with the Council on Education for Public Health accreditation requirements. Environmental and Occupational Health: environmental factors including biological, physical and chemical factors and the built environment that affect the health of a community. Social Sciences and Community Health: concepts and methods of social and behavioral sciences relevant to the identification and solution of public health problems. Public Health Administration and Policy: planning, organization, administration, evaluation and policy analysis of public health programs and systems. Epidemiology: distributions and determinates of disease, disabilities and death in human populations; the characteristics and dynamics of human populations; and the natural history of disease and the biologic basis and determinants of health. Biostatistics: collection, storage, retrieval, analysis and interpretation of health data; design and analysis of health-related surveys and experiments; and concepts and practice of statistical data analysis. Field Experience & Capstone Experience A hallmark of the MPH degree program is intensive field training. MPH students expand their professional skills and competencies learned in the classroom to the realities of working with

4 Graduate Faculty Committee Doc. No p. 4 Approved November 17, 2008 organizations and the communities they intend to serve. Hence, all students enrolled in the MPH program are expected to complete a field/practicum experience in a community organization or agency that provides planning or services or conducts research relevant to public health. The capstone experience involves a substantial project focused upon practice or applied research relevant to public health disciplines. Often, but not exclusively, this capstone project is tied to the student s field experience. The field experience and the capstone experience may vary by track. 3. Relation to Institutional Mission The mission of the proposed UWM School of Public Health is to conduct rigorous public health research and scholarship; educate the current and future workforce; and influence the development of strategies and policies that promote health among diverse populations. This mission will be achieved through the academic programs (i.e. MPH and PhD degrees and graduate certificate), the research and public health practice in which the faculty and students are engaged, and the service provided to the communities in need. As affirmed in UW System Doctoral Cluster mission statement, the university must support activities designed to promote the economic development of the state. 6 The proposed MPH will contribute to the achievement of this mission by preparing students with the foundation necessary to build a career of leadership and excellence in public health, and who will directly address costly critical health needs and disparities. In alignment with UWM s Select Mission to meet the diverse needs of Wisconsin s largest metropolitan area, 7 the MPH will: Engage in academic and research activities in the recognized core disciplines of public health. Develop and enhance a diverse public health workforce through increased educational and professional development opportunities for current and future public health workers. Apply experiential learning in various settings through translational research and practical work experiences to gain a comprehensive understanding of the determinants of health for diverse populations. Collaborate with community, governmental, medical, and academic agencies to identify potential partnerships and research opportunities to promote the public health of Milwaukee and Wisconsin. 4. Relation to Other Academic Programs There are two masters programs in public health (MPH) available in the UW System, but they are not housed in accredited schools of public health: UW-La Crosse and UW-Madison. La Crosse offers an accredited MPH in Community Health Education for practitioners focused on improving health and well being through the use of community health education approaches. UW-Madison has recently developed a generalist MPH program for which it is seeking accreditation (in 2008). The proposed MPH at UWM, as part of the School of Public Health,

5 Graduate Faculty Committee Doc. No p. 5 Approved November 17, 2008 will afford the students a much broader public health educational opportunity including the possibility of pursuing the MPH in 5 different areas of concentration. In Milwaukee, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) offers an online MPH program focused on either community health or occupational health/medicine. The latter focus is part of an occupational medicine residency program. 5. Unusual Resources The MPH program will be supported by instruction provided by new faculty hired into the UWM School of Public Health, as well as faculty in other UWM schools and colleges, teaching courses relevant to this proposed degree. New faculty being hired into the SPH are being funded through (1) a grant from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health to the Center for Urban Population Health as well as (2) GPR dollars received by UWM through the DIN and anticipated in the and state budgets. References 1. Institute of Medicine. (2002). Who Will Keep the Public Healthy? Educating Public Health Professionals for the 21st Century. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (2001). A National Strategy to Revitalize Environmental Public Health Services. Washington, DC. 3. (As cited in) Alcabes, P. What Ails Public Health? Chronicle of Higher Education, November 9, Alcabes, P. What Ails Public Health? Chronicle of Higher Education, November 9, Calhoun, G., Ramiah, K., Weist, E., Shortell, S. (2008). Development of a Core Competency Model for the Master of Public Health Degree. American Journal of Public Health, September University of Wisconsin System. (2007). The Core Mission of the Doctoral Cluster. Retrieved August 27, 2008 from 7. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. (2007). UWM Select Mission Statement. Retrieved October 26, 2007 from

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