Master of Public Health [Year] (MPH) Preliminary Accreditation Self Study Report June 10, 2014

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1 Master of Public Health (MPH) [Year] Preparing leaders to promote the health of populations Preliminary Accreditation Self Study Report June 10, 2014 Prepared for: The Council for Education in Public Health (CEPH)

2 Self Study Contact Information: Pavani Rangachari, PhD Director, Master of Public Health (MPH) Program Associate Professor, Health Management & Informatics College of Allied Health Sciences Georgia Regents University 987 St. Sebastian Way Augusta, GA Phone: (706) Fax: (706) MPH Program Website:

3 Table of Contents Page Executive Summary... iii List of Tables and Figures... iv List of Electronic Resource Files... v Criterion I.0 Public Health Program 1.1 Mission Evaluation Institutional Environment Organization and Administration Governance Fiscal Resources Faculty and Other Resources Diversity Criterion 2.0 Instructional Programs 2.1 Degree Offerings Program Length Public Health Core Knowledge Practical Skills Culminating Experience Required Competencies Assessment Procedures i

4 2.8 Bachelor s Degrees in Public Health Academic Degrees Doctoral Degrees Joint Degrees Distance Education or Executive Degree Programs Criterion 3.0 Creation, Application, and Advancement of Knowledge 3.1 Research Service Workforce Development Criterion 4.0 Faculty, Staff, and Students 4.1 Faculty Qualifications Faculty Policies and Procedures Student Recruitment and Admissions Advising and Career Counseling ii

5 Executive Summary The Georgia Regents University Master of Public Health (MPH) Program, housed in the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS), was approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in The program admitted its first student cohort in fall 2005, and was accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in fall Since our last review, we have had changes in administration throughout the university, including a new campus President, Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and CAHS Dean. Furthermore, in January 2013, Georgia Regents University (GRU) was formed through a consolidation of Georgia Health Sciences University (formerly Medical College of Georgia MCG) and Augusta State University (ASU). Our consolidated health sciences and liberal arts university is now home to nine colleges; up from five colleges when we were still MCG. Over the last three years, the GRU MPH program has grown from an imph with a single major in Health Informatics, to an interdisciplinary MPH program with three concentrations: 1) Health Informatics (HI); 2) Health Management (HM), launched in fall 2012; and 3) Environmental Health (ENH), launched in fall The MPH Program is administered at a college level (within CAHS), while the three MPH concentrations are housed in two academic departments within the college. The MPH HM and MPH HI concentrations are housed in the Department of Health Management & Informatics (DHMI) in CAHS, and the MPH ENH concentration is housed in the Department of Clinical & Environmental Health Sciences (DCEHS) in CAHS. A search for Department Chair is currently underway in both departments. In addition to launching two new MPH concentrations, we have worked to streamline our curriculum to be aligned with national best practices. Our revised curriculum reduces the program s total credit hour requirement from 53 to 45, and offers elective courses for the first time. The enhanced curriculum structure consists of core MPH courses, interdisciplinary concentration courses, elective courses, an Internship (field experience), and a Capstone (culminating experience). This expansion has entailed the submission of three substantive change notices to CEPH since 2012; the development of ten new concentration courses; and the formation of three new MPH committees. Moreover, since 2011, our MPH Program has faced a growing number of applications, and has more than tripled its enrollment. Correspondingly, our primary faculty base within CAHS has increased from 8 to 10 faculty members, and our participating faculty base from other colleges within GRU, has also steadily increased: During our recent Self Study, an extensive review of the MPH Program by stakeholders resulted in a substantially revised mission, goals, and objectives (MGOs), compared to the initial Self Study in This report includes our revised MGOs and outcome measures. Additionally, based on stakeholder feedback, future plans for our MPH Program include: (1) developing a more seamless assessment structure and feedback process for our new MGOs; (2) implementing new student/alumni/employer surveys, and increasing student involvement in the program; (3) increasing career development support for students; (4) expanding MPH internship & capstone experiences; and finally, yet importantly, (5) increasing campus and community involvement in the MPH program through the development of joint degrees and certificate programs. iii

6 List of Tables & Figures TABLES Number Table Description Page 1.1.d Mission Based Goals, Objectives, and Outcome Measures a MPH Objectives, Data Sources, and Responsible Parties (Feedback Loop) b Changes Initiated to the MPH Program (Implementation of Feedback Loop) b.1 Specific Action Items from MPH Advisory Committee Meetings c Outcome Measures for MPH Program Performance Faculty Appointments in Program, College, and University Committees Sources of Funds and Expenditures by Major Category d Outcome Measures for Fiscal Resources Headcount of Primary Faculty Faculty, Students, and Student/Faculty Ratios (SFRs) by Concentration i Outcome Measures for Resources Diversity Data for Students, Faculty, and Staff Instructional Matrix Degrees & Concentrations Required Courses Addressing Public Health Core Areas b MPH Internships Courses and Activities through which MPH Core Competencies are MPH Concentration Specific Competencies b Outcome Measures for Student Assessment c.1 Degree Completion Rates: Students in MPH Degree, by Cohort c.2 Destination of MPH Graduates by Employment Type e Levels of Helpfulness of Competencies for Career c Research Activity of MPH Faculty d Outcome Measures for Faculty Research Activities Service Activity of MPH Faculty d Outcome Measures for Service Efforts b Continuing Education Offerings of MPH Program Current Primary Faculty who Support Degree Offerings of the Program Other Current Faculty Used to Support Teaching Programs d Outcome Measures for MPH Faculty Qualifications Data on Applicants, Acceptances, and Enrollment by Concentration Total Student Enrollment by Concentration f Outcome Measures for Enrollment of Qualified Student Body 154 FIGURES Number Figure Description GRU President and Direct Reports EVP for Academic Affairs (EVPAA)/Provost and Direct Reports MPH Program s Relationship to Other Components of the Institution Organizational Chart of the MPH Program 37 iv

7 List of Electronic Resource Files (ERFs) File Description ERF Number 2009 Initial Self Study to CEPH ERF 01 Strategic plans ERF 02 MPH recruitment materials ERF 03 MPH course syllabi and program competencies ERF 04 MPH schedule of classes by Academic Year (last three years) ERF 05 MPH student related materials ERF 06 MPH student handbook Curriculum summary sheets and course grids MPH Internship & Capstone Manuals Examples of MPH student work (including internship & capstone related) Student advising and career counseling MPH faculty related materials ERF 07 Listing of primary MPH faculty Faculty Curriculum Vitae (CVs) by MPH concentration CAHS Faculty handbook FADPT (Promotion & Tenure) guidelines Faculty bylaws MPH committee related materials ERF 08 MPH Advisory Committee Listing Meeting minutes Meeting materials MPH survey/evaluation instruments and summary of results ERF 09 Current Student Survey Graduate Exit Survey Alumni Survey Employer survey Course evaluations (including Internship and Capstone) Preceptor evaluation of interns Student focus group session MPH other materials ERF 10 Narrative of the feedback loop and other write ups relevant to Self Study MPH curriculum revision proposals under institutional review Floor plans of Jennings Building and Health Sciences Building ERF 11 Other Accrediting Bodies at GRU ERF 12 Opportunity for third party comment prior to CEPH site visit ERF 13 CEPH Data Templates ERF 14 v

8 1.0 The Public Health Program 1.1 Mission. The program shall have a clearly formulated and publicly stated mission with supporting goals, objectives and values. 1.1a. A clear and concise mission statement for the program as a whole. The mission of the Master in Public Health (MPH) Program at Georgia Regents University (GRU) is to prepare leaders who are proficient in applying and disseminating an interdisciplinary knowledge base and skill set, to prevent disease, improve the delivery of health services, and promote the health of populations. Students of various academic and career backgrounds are brought together to receive advanced education in disease prevention, health services management, and health promotion topics, with special emphasis on research, service, and practice, seeking to improve outcomes for diverse groups, organizations, and communities. 1.1b. A statement of values that guide the program. Consistent with the program mission, and with the ideals expressed in institutional value statements ( the GRU MPH Program seeks to implement the following six core values: Value 1: Collegiality: Provide a collegial and stimulating environment for didactic and practical experiences that foster student learning and professional development. Enable creative interdisciplinary collaborations to address emerging and continuing public health problems. Value 2: Compassion. Focus on community centered collaborations to promote the health and wellness of underserved populations. Reduce health disparities to promote health and prevent disease in communities. Partner with communities through the development of innovative education and research programs. Value 3: Excellence. Provide students with high quality graduate education in public health theory and practice. Impart a skill set that is essential for public health practitioners. Promote excellence in education and training by integrating academics with internship opportunities. Value 4: Inclusivity. Respect and promote diversity among faculty, staff, and students. Advocate for the inclusion of diverse values, beliefs, orientations, and cultures. Focus research on underserved and diverse populations. Value 5: Integrity. Constitute a community to help practitioners, faculty, and students act ethically by committing to standards such as personal integrity, collegiality, and excellence in teaching, scholarship, community service, and practice. Value 6: Leadership. Prepare leaders who promote the health of populations; train students to master public health skills, and develop new insights and innovative solutions for health problems. Foster student and faculty collaborations for conducting timely and relevant research in public health. 1

9 1.1c. One or more goal statements for each major function through which the program intends to attain its mission, including at a minimum, instruction, research and service. The GRU MPH Program strives to fulfill its mission by achieving excellence in instruction, research, and service, and by fostering an organizational setting that values collaboration, creativity, and excellence. Our goals under each major function are outlined below. 1. Goal for Instruction: To prepare leaders with an interdisciplinary knowledge base and skill set, to effectively prevent disease, improve the delivery of health services, and promote the health of populations. 2. Goal for Research: To partner with community health systems and public health stakeholders to design and conduct relevant, collaborative research. 3. Goal for Service: To serve as a valued resource in supporting the efforts of our community health organizations and university health system, in addressing their pressing challenges and priorities. 4. Goal for Program Leadership To develop organizational structures and processes that foster communication, collaboration, creativity, and excellence. 1.1d. A set of measurable objectives with quantifiable indicators related to each goal statement as provided in Criterion 1.1.c. In some cases, qualitative indicators may be used as appropriate. Measurable objectives to track progress towards each goal are outlined in Table 1.1.d. Table 1.1.d. Mission based goals, objectives, and outcome measures Note: Some outcome measures listed on Table 1.1d do not include quantifiable targets. For these measures, the quantifiable targets are indicated on Table 1.2.c. Goal 1: To prepare leaders with an interdisciplinary knowledge base and skill set to effectively prevent disease, improve the delivery of health services, and promote the health of populations. Objectives 1A. Recruit students with high academic capabilities and commitment to public health. 1B. Recruit a culturally diverse student body.* Outcome Measures 1A 1. At least 30 applications per fall admission cycle. 1A 2. At least a 3.0 average cumulative GPA and an average GRE score of 290 (prior scale: 900) for accepted students. 1A 3. At least 6 months prior work experience in a health field or strong interest in public health conveyed through a personal statement. 1B 1. At least 33% of accepted students are minority students. 1B 2. At least 50% of accepted students are women. 2

10 1C. Offer a high quality educational program that equips students with the competencies needed to serve effectively as public health professionals. 1D. Build an infrastructure to ensure the retention and timely graduation of students. 1E. Be a champion in ensuring that graduates achieve their public health career goals. 1C 1. Offer a program that provides current core public health (discipline specific and cross cutting) competencies, and concentration specific competencies in Health Informatics (HI), Health Management (HM), and Environmental Health (ENH). 1C 2. Assess the alignment between program competencies and course learning objectives every two years, and make adjustments as needed. 1C % of students eligible for the internship will complete 2 credit hours of approved fieldwork. 1C 4. At least 75% of students will receive favorable competency based evaluations from their internship preceptors. 1C 5. At least 75% of students will positively assess their internship experience. 1C 6. Ensure timely selection of the Capstone project topic by students, in consultation with (their respective) academic advisors. 1C 7. At least 75% of students will receive a grade of B or higher on the competency based Capstone project. 1C 8. At least 75% of students will positively assess their Capstone culminating experience. 1C 9. At least 75% of responses on Current Student Survey, Graduate Exit Survey, Alumni Survey, and Employer Survey, regarding program competencies and quality will be favorable. 1D 1. Ratio of FTE students to FTE primary faculty should be at or below 9:1. 1D % of new students will be assigned to concentration specific academic advisors upon matriculation. 1D % of new students will be provided with an orientation, the student handbook, competencies, and curriculum completion guidelines, upon matriculation. 1D 4. At least 66% of all MPH courses will receive an overall course rating of 3.0/4.0 or higher. 1D 5. At least 75% of students will graduate as planned. 1E 1. The program will assess MPH Advisory Committee recommendations on student advising and career counseling services each year, and identify areas for improvement. 1E 2. The program will assess student/alumni feedback collected through surveys/focus groups each year, and develop action plans for improvement. 1E 3. At least 80% of all graduates will either be employed or will be pursuing higher education in their chosen field within 1 year. Goal 2: To partner with community health systems and public health stakeholders to design and conduct relevant, collaborative research. Objectives Outcome Measures 2A. Disseminate scholarly 2A 1. 50% of primary faculty members will publish at least one peer reviewed research articles in peerreviewed journals and 2A 2. 50% of primary faculty members will present their scholarly endeavors in at journal article (primary or co authored) each year. professional conferences. least one professional conference each year. 2A 3. 50% of primary faculty members will mentor at least one student each year by serving as the student s capstone project advisor. 2B. Collaborate with community partners to conduct relevant health services and communitybased research. 2B 1. 50% of primary faculty members will have at least 15 30% of effort assigned to research and scholarship. 2B 2. 10% of primary faculty members will initiate funded or unfunded communitybased research projects each year. 2B 3. 10% of primary faculty members will submit at least 1 research proposal for extramural funding each year. 3

11 2B 4. At least 50% of primary faculty members will produce research having applications that can directly benefit diverse communities and organizations. 2C. Recruit and retain 2C 1. Successfully recruit at least one new faculty member when a new MPH excellent faculty in MPH concentration is added. concentrations consistent 2C 2. All 5 public health core courses are taught by a qualified expert in that area of with the program mission. knowledge. 2C 3. All MPH concentration courses are taught by a qualified expert in the relevant area (i.e., HI, HM, and ENH). Goal 3: To serve as a valued resource in supporting the efforts of our community health organizations and our university health system, in addressing their pressing challenges and priorities. Objectives Outcome Measures 3A. Engage in community service partnership or activity. 3B. Maintain quality service to the University. 3C. Maintain leadership and service to the profession. 3A 1. 50% of primary faculty will have at least 20% effort assigned to service (including community service and practice engagements). 3A 2. The MPH Program will offer at least one community based educational seminar/workshop per year. 3B 1. 75% of primary faculty will serve on at least one MPH program committee. 3B 2. 50% of primary faculty will serve on at least one college level and/or university committee. 3B 3. The MPH program will collaborate with campus and/or community partners to discuss and develop joint degrees and certificate programs. 3C 1. 33% of primary faculty will serve as reviewers for scholarly abstracts, journal manuscripts, and/or research grants. 3C 2. At least 10% of faculty (during each 5 year period), will serve in leadership roles in professional associations. Goal 4: Develop organizational structures and processes that foster communication, collaboration, creativity, and excellence. Objectives Outcome Measures 4A. Encourage open 4A 1. At least one meeting of primary MPH faculty every 6 8 weeks. communication and 4A 2. Conduct regular meetings of MPH Committees (including Leadership teamwork. Committee; Accreditation Committee; and MPH Advisory Committee). 4B. Maintain adequate facilities to support quality teaching, research, and service. 4C. Foster an environment that values collaboration and creativity. 4B 1. Maintain designated classrooms and computer labs, with smart technology capability. 4B 2. Ensure the availability of dedicated IT staff to maintain lab equipment and provide scientific technical assistance to faculty. 4C 1. At least one public health seminar or presentation co sponsored annually by the MPH Program and/or CAHS. 4C 2. At least 25% of faculty members participate in interdisciplinary research or educational projects. 4C 3. At least 10% of MPH courses (and guest lectures) are co taught or taught by faculty from outside the program. 4C 4. At least 50% of faculty and 50% of staff members enroll in one professional development activity each year. *Section 1.8 includes a detailed discussion of targets related to racial/ethnic and gender diversity, among students, and the program s underrepresented populations. 4

12 1.1e. Description of the manner through which the mission, values, goals and objectives were developed, including a description of how various specific stakeholder groups were involved in their development. Our transition from an imph program with a single major in Informatics to an interdisciplinary MPH program with three concentrations, necessitated substantial revisions to our Program s Mission, Goals, Objectives (MGOs), and outcome measures. Our revised MGOs were developed over an 18 month period and they continue to be refined and enhanced based on input from our stakeholders. In spring 2013, we established three new MPH committees: 1) MPH Leadership Committee; 2) MPH Accreditation Committee; and 3) MPH Advisory Committee. The MPH Leadership Committee, which included the MPH program director, the concentration (track) coordinators and the CAHS Dean, initially met (in spring 2013) to discuss the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of the program and the growing interest of faculty in community partnerships, health services research, and population health outcomes. The committee felt that these changes needed to be reflected in the program mission. Accordingly, our mission statement was reworded to incorporate these considerations, and our entire outcome measure set was redeveloped to be meaningfully aligned with the new program MGOs. We chose to have a fewer number of goals/objectives coupled with a large number of outcome measures (under each goal/objective), to ensure transparency in program outcomes, and lay a foundation for continuous quality improvement. Concurrently, the MPH Leadership Committee also revised the program value statements to be consistent with the new mission, and to be aligned with the new institutional (GRU) values developed by university leadership ( Our revised MGOs, values, and outcome measures were discussed at our MPH Advisory Committee meeting in summer 2013, and finalized at an MPH Accreditation Committee/MPH faculty meeting in early fall 2013, kicking off the re accreditation Self Study process. Since then, we have sought input on our revised MGOs in all three surveys launched in fall AY (i.e., Current Student Survey, Graduate Exit Survey and Alumni Survey). Several community and institutional representatives have had the opportunity to review and comment on our MGOs during our Self Study preparation. Additionally, an MPH Graduate Employer Survey (instrument provided in ERFs), will be launched in summer 2014, and will be supplemented with results of an Employer Focus Group session to be held in fall We expect to continue refining our MGOs based on feedback from our stakeholders, and we plan to submit our final revisions to CEPH as part of our 2014 annual report. The relevant minutes from MPH Advisory Committee and MPH Accreditation Committee meetings are included in the Electronic Resource Files. 1.1f. Description of how the mission, values, goals and objectives are made available to the program s constituent groups, including the general public, and how they are routinely reviewed and revised to ensure relevance. Our revised MGOs and values have been made available to the general public through our web site at Additionally, they have been included in the MPH Student Handbook, and physically posted at the entrance to both academic departments in CAHS which house the three MPH concentrations. Our revised goals and objectives continue to be refined and enhanced based on feedback from our stakeholders. They were reviewed at our fall 2013 & spring 2014 MPH faculty meetings and at the summer & fall 2013 MPH Advisory Committee meetings. These reviews will be repeated annually. We also launched three new surveys in AY : 1) the Current Student Survey; 2) the Graduate Exit Survey; and 3) the MPH Alumni Survey, to obtain input on our MGOs from students, graduates and alumni. These surveys will be conducted annually. Additionally, in early fall 5

13 2013, a newly formed MPH Accreditation committee comprising MPH faculty and institutional representatives reviewed our MGOs and made minor revisions to ensure all objectives were measurable and aligned with quantifiable indicators (targets) as seen in Table 1.1d. The revised MGOs and outcome measures were reviewed by the MPH Advisory Committee in late fall A focus group was also conducted with current MPH students in spring 2014 to obtain qualitative input on various aspects of the program, including MGOs, competencies, curriculum, learning objectives, orientation & advising, and practical and culminating experiences. A summary of results from the three surveys and student focus group are included in the Electronic Resource Files. 1.1g. Assessment of the extent to which this criterion is met and an analysis of the program s strengths, weaknesses and plans relating to this criterion. This criterion is met. Strengths: The GRU MPH Program has a clearly formulated and publicly disseminated mission, with supporting goals and measurable objectives that are guided by a set of public health core values. As our program has expanded in concentrations, and also grown in faculty, we have formed new committees to monitor and evaluate the MPH mission, values, goals and objectives. The Program s ongoing evaluation process includes the assessment of data from various constituent groups (as discussed in Section 1.2). Weaknesses: Although our new MGOs and values have been developed, we believe there are opportunities for improving our evaluation and measurement processes to focus our goals and objectives for the future, and ensure attainment of outcome targets. The program will be updating its goals and measurable objectives (based on feedback from key stakeholders) for submission to CEPH in the December 2014 Annual Report. The MPH Accreditation Committee (established in AY ) will play a key role in reviewing and updating the Program s evaluation plan, including data collection tools and processes. Based on committee recommendations, the Program will develop and disseminate a comprehensive MPH Annual Summary Report on outcome measures to key stakeholders. We will use this report each year to implement changes and continuously improve the quality of our MPH Program. 6

14 1.2 Evaluation. The program shall have an explicit process for monitoring and evaluating its overall efforts against its mission, goals and objectives; for assessing the program s effectiveness in serving its various constituencies; and for using evaluation results in ongoing planning and decision making to achieve its mission. As part of the evaluation process, the program must conduct an analytical Self Study that analyzes performance against the accreditation criteria defined in this document. 1.2a. Description of the evaluation processes used to monitor progress against objectives defined in Criterion 1.1.d, including identification of the data systems and responsible parties associated with each objective and with the evaluation process as a whole. The GRU MPH program is administered at a college level, within the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS). The MPH Program Director directly reports to the CAHS Dean, and has a dotted line to the Dean of the Graduate School 1 (TGS). The three MPH concentrations, i.e., Health Informatics (HI); Health Management (HM); and Environmental Health (ENH), are housed in two academic departments within CAHS: 1) the Department of Health Management & Informatics DHMI (which houses the HI and HM concentrations); and 2) the Department of Clinical & Environmental Health Sciences DCEHS (which houses the ENH concentration) 2. The MPH Program has a dynamic process for monitoring and evaluating its overall efforts in the context of its MGOs, for: 1) assessing program effectiveness; 2) serving its key stakeholders; and 3) using the evaluation results for ongoing planning and decision making to achieve our mission. Program Leadership: The MPH Program Director plays a central role in coordinating program evaluation & planning, by overseeing data collection on outcome measures; facilitating the ongoing review of Program outcomes by key stakeholders; integrating recommendations for improvement; identifying priorities for improvement; ensuring effective implementation of action items; and reporting on actions undertaken on an ongoing basis. The MPH Leadership Committee, which includes the CAHS Dean, the MPH Program Director, the ENH Program Coordinator, the HI & HM Program Coordinators and the MPH Educational Specialist, plays a crucial leadership role in program evaluation by 1) reviewing outcomes data; 2) assessing stakeholders recommendations; and 3) integrating outcomes data with stakeholder recommendations for ongoing planning and decision making to achieve program mission, goals, and objectives. Program evaluation and planning take place through a continuous review of data on program outcomes collected throughout the year. Evaluation data are collected and compiled on an ongoing basis by the Program Director and the MPH Educational Specialist, with input and support of the MPH Leadership Committee. These data are in turn reviewed on an ongoing basis by program faculty, MPH Advisory Committee representatives, MPH students/alumni, and institutional administrators. Recommendations can be made by any of these stakeholders. The MPH Leadership Committee works to integrate Program 1 TGS has oversight over the quality of all graduate academic programs within the institution. 2 A search for Department Chair is currently underway in both DHMI and DCEHS. 7

15 outcomes data with key stakeholder recommendations to identify improvement priorities and develop action plans (as applicable), to implement changes, and/or to address any unmet targets. Data for program evaluation & planning are systematically collected from various constituent groups (program stakeholders), outlined later in this section. Table 1.2.a below, provides a crosswalk of program objectives, data sources, and responsible parties, and thereby serves to summarize the feedback loop associated with MPH program evaluation and planning. Table 1.2.a. MPH Program Objectives, Data Sources, and Responsible Parties (Feedback Loop) Objective Data sources Responsible parties 1A. Recruit students with high academic capabilities and commitment to public health. (Measures 1A 1 1A 3). 1B. Recruit a culturally diverse student body. (Measures 1B 1 and 1B 2) 1C. Offer a high quality educational program that equips students with competencies needed to serve effectively as public health professionals. (Measures 1C 1 1C 9). 1D. Build an infrastructure to ensure the retention and timely graduation of students. (Measures 1D 1 1D 5). 1E. Be a champion in ensuring that graduates achieve their public health career goals. (Measures 1E 1 1E 3). 2A. Disseminate scholarly research articles in peerreviewed journals and professional conferences. (Measures 2A 1 2A 3). 2B. Collaborate with community partners to conduct relevant health services and community based research. (Measures 2B 1 2B 4). 2C. Recruit and retain excellent faculty in MPH concentrations consistent with the program mission. (Measures 2C 1 2C 3). 3A. Engage in community service partnership or activity. (Measures 3A 1 and 3A 2). 3B. Maintain quality service to the University. (Measures 3B 1 3B 3). 3C. Maintain leadership and service to the profession. (Measures 3C 1 and 3C 2). 8 Crystal Reports Application & Admission Data Crystal Reports Survey results; course evaluations; internship preceptor evaluations; miscellaneous program reports. Curriculum completion plans; Crystal Reports; and DegreeWorks. Meeting minutes; survey results; miscellaneous program records. Faculty CVs; GRU SciVal Faculty Profiles; and Capstone course records Faculty CVs; Faculty effort reports; GRU Sponsored Program Administration records Faculty CVs and and HR records Faculty CVs; Faculty effort reports Faculty CVs; Program records; Meeting minutes Faculty CVs MPH Leadership Committee; Department Chairs; MPH Advisory Committee; MPH faculty MPH Leadersip Committee; Department Chairs; MPH Admissions Committee MPH Leadership Committee; MPH faculty; Department Chairs; MPH Accreditation Committee MPH Leadership Committee; MPH faculty; MPH Advisory Committee MPH Leadership Committee; MPH faculty; MPH Advisory Committee MPH faculty; MPH Leadership Committee; Department Chairs MPH faculty; MPH Leadership Committee; Department Chairs MPH Leadership Committee; Department Chairs MPH faculty; MPH Leadership Committee; Department Chairs MPH faculty; MPH Leadership Committee; Department Chairs MPH faculty; MPH Leadership Committee;

16 4A. Encourage open communication and teamwork. (Measures 4A 1 and 4A 2). 4B. Maintain adequate facilities to support quality teaching, research, and service. (Measures 4B 1 and 4B 2) 4C. Foster an environment that values collaboration and creativity. (Measures 4C 1 4C 4) Program Stakeholders: Meeting minutes; program records IT and instructional support services Faculty CVs; Registrar s records; miscellaneous program and college records. Department Chairs MPH Leadership Committee; Department Chairs MPH Leadership Committee; Department Chairs MPH Leadership Committee; Department Chairs MPH faculty members: MPH faculty members play a key role in evaluation and planning through their participation in various MPH Committees, including but not limited to: the MPH Admissions Committee; MPH Curriculum, Internship, and Capstone Committee; MPH Accreditation Committee, MPH Advisory Committee, and other ad hoc MPH committees. Additionally, the MPH Leadership Committee organizes full faculty meetings every six to eight weeks, to 1) facilitate review of the alignment of course syllabi and learning objectives with competencies; 2) discuss results from student/alumni surveys and input from other key MPH stakeholders; and 3) review progress associated with the MPH Self Study Report. The meetings also provide opportunities to discuss teaching, research, and professional activities, and obtain feedback on MPH Program s mission, goals, objectives, and curriculum. In spring 2013, an MPH Accreditation Committee (comprising faculty, staff, and other campus representatives) was formed to provide a more structured mechanism to assess objectives related to program effectiveness each year. This committee is expected to play an ongoing role in reviewing program outcome measures; assessing stakeholder input and concerns; and making recommendations to the MPH Leadership Committee for revisions to program policies, curriculum, learning objectives, competencies, internship & capstone experiences, and the mission, goals, and objectives of the Program. MPH Advisory Committee: This broad, interdisciplinary 12 member committee includes representatives from the community, faculty, and university (GRU campus). Additionally, students and alumni are invited to participate in MPH Advisory Committee meetings on an ad hoc basis. The Committee meets 2 to 3 times a year, and individual members also engage in ongoing planning and evaluation of the Program. The committee offers advice and input on priorities for action based on a review of program outcome measures. Outcome measures of relevance to the committee include enrollments, student retention, graduation rates, curricula, competencies, student advising, career development services, and assessment of students practical and culminating experiences. A listing of MPH Advisory Committee members is provided in the Electronic Resource Files. The MPH Program presently has two main mechanisms for involving the community 1) the MPH Advisory Committee and 2) the Internship Course. As discussed in Section 1.2b, we have recently incorporated several improvements to our Internship course. Efforts are also underway to enhance the Capstone culminating experience by involving practitioners and experts from the community as Capstone Project Mentors. MPH Students and Alumni participate on an ad hoc basis in MPH Advisory Committee meetings. Current and former students of the program can also provide feedback about the Program through the following mechanisms: 1) Engage in ongoing conversations and meetings with MPH Program representatives and MPH faculty; 2) provide input and share concerns of fellow students during MPH Advisory Committee 9

17 meetings and any student focus group meetings that are held periodically; 3) Participate in any or all of the three surveys that the MPH Program has created specifically to gather student/alumni feedback regarding program effectiveness, i.e., MPH Current Student Survey, MPH Exit Survey and MPH Alumni Survey. Current students also provide valuable feedback by evaluating the quality of instruction through end of semester course evaluations. Department Chairs for MPH Concentrations: The MPH Program is administered at a College level within CAHS and the MPH Program Director reports directly to the Dean of CAHS. The three MPH concentrations are housed in two academic departments within CAHS: 1) the Department of Health Management & Informatics DHMI (which houses the HI and HM concentrations); and 2) the Department of Clinical & Environmental Health Sciences DCEHS (which houses the ENH concentration). Correspondingly, the Chairs of the departments housing MPH concentrations are involved in Program planning by setting goals and objectives as part of the strategic planning process and allocating resources to market & promote the MPH program and recruit & develop MPH faculty. Since primary MPH faculty in the three concentrations report to the two Department Chairs, the latter individuals play a key role in the selection, recruitment, and development of MPH faculty within their respective concentrations. Chairs are also responsible for maintaining an organizational culture that embraces the mission, goals, and values of the MPH program. Chairs are expected to maintain this culture through leadership, rewards, and dedication of resources to infuse public health values into departmental activities. Chairs are involved in Program planning activities through participation in regular MPH faculty meetings and the newly formed MPH Accreditation Committee. The MPH Leadership Committee leverages these platforms to communicate with Chairs, and the Chairs in turn, have ample opportunity to contribute to MPH planning efforts through these meetings. Additionally, the CAHS Dean plays a key role in communicating MPH Program goals & objectives to Chairs (during the monthly Chairs Council meetings), and in encouraging the latter to plan departmental instructional, research, and service activities in ways that: 1) ensures sensitivity to the needs of public health students and the community; and 2) combines educational excellence with applicability to the world of public health practice. Institutional Effectiveness: The College of Allied Health Sciences, the Graduate School, Academic Affairs, and the University are involved in Program planning by setting goals and objectives as part of the strategic planning process, establishing policies & procedures, and allocating resources to the Program. The MPH Program is administered at a college level, and is supported by CAHS Dean Andrew Balas, who reports to the Provost/EVPAA. Funds for all requests for new faculty, staff, space or equipment to support the MPH Program are approved by the Dean. In addition, the Program is reviewed and evaluated each year as part of the annual review process for all academic programs. Institutional leaders are kept apprised of the progress of the MPH Program and are very supportive of its recent successes. Additionally, since the MPH program is overseen by the Graduate School, it directly benefits from GRU Institutional Effectiveness (IE) structures and processes. The redeveloped IE maintains the inventory of Degrees and Programs approved and offers assistance with the academic program planning effort. Ensuring that each program has well defined, measurable student learning outcomes that link to the program s curriculum is critical. IE works with the academic program directors to ensure compliance with SACS standards, and to connect program directors with internal and external peers for the purposes of crafting and refining student learning outcomes in a measurable manner. Correspondingly, the academic programs, respective student learning outcomes, assessment methods, and improvement activities are all recorded in the institutional effectiveness system. 10

18 1.2b. Description of how the results of the evaluation processes described in Criterion 1.2.a are monitored, analyzed, communicated and regularly used by managers responsible for enhancing the quality of programs and activities. Table 1.2.b provides a summary of changes initiated to the MPH program over the past three years. It includes a bulleted description of the change initiated; the measurable objectives of relevance to the change; and the timeframe of implementation. In effect, Table 1.2.b depicts the implementation of the feedback loop summarized in Table 1.2a. Table 1.2.b.1 (which follows Table 1.2.b) outlines specific recommendations and action items from MPH Advisory Committee Meetings. A detailed narrative of the feedback loop, i.e., changes implemented over the last three years is included in the Electronic Resource Files. Relevant meeting minutes are also included in the Electronic Resource Files. Table 1.2.b. Changes to the MPH Program over Last 3 Years (Implementation of Feedback Loop ) Description of change initiated Related Objectives and Measures Timeframe of Implementation Curricular changes: Objective 1C. Offer a high quality Fall 2011 Fall 2013 Launched two new MPH concentrations (MPH HM and MPH ENH), and ten new concentration courses. educational program that equips students with the competencies needed to serve effectively as public Streamlined curriculum to be aligned with national best practices. health professionals. Measures: 1C 1 and 1C 2 Revised MPH competency matrix. Assessed and modified course syllabi to ensure alignment between learning objectives and MPH competencies. Developed curriculum revision proposal to expand internship (MPHC 8722) from 2 to 5 credit hours (currently under institutional review). Quality improvement initiatives: Initiated several improvements to the practical experience (Internship) and the Capstone (culminating) experience. Implemented improvements to student academic & career advisement services. Established three new MPH Committees. Initiatives to improve recruitment and admission processes and ensure a qualified student body Tripled enrollments while maintaining a qualified student body (AY 2012 AY 2014) Developed new promotional materials Launched new MPH website Enhanced application review and admission processes Launched spring admission to program in spring Objective 1C. Offer a high quality educational program that equips students with the competencies needed to serve effectively as public health professionals. Measures: 1C 3 1C 8 Objective 1A. Recruit students with high academic capabilities and commitment to public health. Objective1B. Recruit a culturally diverse student body. Measures: 1A 1; 1A 2; 1A 3; 1B 1; 1B 2 Fall 2012 Ongoing Fall 2012 Ongoing 11

19 Initiatives to ensure student retention and timely graduation Implemented new student orientation processes. Introduced concentration specific advisement processes. Launched two new surveys (current student survey and alumni survey) and revised the graduate exit survey in Developed employer survey instrument for implementation in late summer This will be supplemented with an employer focus group discussion in fall All survey instruments are included in the ERFs. Initiatives to develop partnerships within the campus and the community: MD MPH joint program proposal currently under review for institutional approvals. Faculty & staff recruitment initiatives Hired two faculty members on the tenuretrack. Dr. Vivian Dicks joined us in July 2013 (in the MPH ENH concentration); and Dr. Vahe Heboyan joined us in April 2014 (in the MPH HM concentration). One new staff member came on board in August 2013 (Ms. Tran Nguyen MPH Education Specialist). Expanded MPH participating faculty base to include faculty from other colleges on campus. Increased efforts to promote research, service, and professional development. Objective 1D. Build an infrastructure to ensure the retention and timely graduation of students. Objective 1E. Be a champion in ensuring that graduates achieve their public health career goals. Measures: 1D 1 1D 5; 1E 1 1E 3 Objective 3B. Maintain quality service to the University. Measure: 3B 3 Objective 2C. Recruit and retain excellent faculty in MPH concentrations consistent with the program mission Measures: 2C 1 2C 3 Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Spring 2013 Ongoing Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Table 1.2.b.1. Specific Action Items from MPH Advisory Committee Meetings # Recommendation (Timeframe) Follow up action (Timeframe) 1. Pursue joint degrees and certificate programs with campus & community partners (Summer 2013 & Fall 2013) Our final MD MPH joint degree proposal is currently under institutional review (summer 2014). 2. Improve marketing and promotion of the program to emphasize areas of concentration (Summer & Fall 2013) 3. Expand and improve Internship and Capstone experiences to develop student portfolios and career opportunities (Summer 2013) Launched new MPH website and concentration specific brochures to promote and market our interdisciplinary & inter departmental MPH program to a wider, diverse audience (Fall 2013). Substantially enhanced MPH Internship and Capstone manuals and made them available on the program website for easy access and reference by students (Fall 2013). Refined internship processes to: 1) improve communication amongst the internship 12

20 4. Improve academic & career advisement services for students (Summer 2013). 5. Involve & engage faculty members and practitioners from the campus and community to teach in/contribute to the MPH program (Summer 2013). coordinator, the preceptor, and the student; and 2) provide students with a comprehensive listing of potential internship sites at the outset (Fall 2013 ongoing). Refined Capstone processes to: 1) enable timely submission of the initial project abstract (in advance of the Capstone semester); 2) currently exploring prospects of offering students the option of selecting an expert practitioner (from the campus or the community) as their Capstone project mentor, to serve in conjunction with their faculty advisor (Fall 2013 ongoing). New campus student orientation session offered to complement comprehensive online orientation. Students assigned to concentration specific academic advisors at the time of orientation. Comprehensive orientation materials including curriculum completion guidelines, Student Handbook and Student Checklist provided to students at the start of the program. Increased frequency of communication with students in regard to program activities, milestones, website updates, volunteer & internship opportunities, professional development opportunities and scholarly abstract submission deadlines (Fall 2013 ongoing). Increased collaboration with the GRU Career Center (on Summerville campus) to improve marketing, promotion, and academic advisement services for MPH students. Arranged for Savannah River Site (SRS) representatives to visit GRU in spring 2014, and provide a panel presentation to MPH students on careers in environmental health & safety. MPH participating faculty base expanded to involve faculty colleagues from Medical College of Georgia, Pamplin College of Arts and Social Sciences, College of Science and Mathematics, and College of Nursing (Fall 2012 ongoing). Efforts underway to expand Internship credit hours, and launch an MD MPH program, are expected to increase campus and community involvement and engagement in the program (fall 2013 ongoing). Efforts underway to engage campus experts and community practitioners in serving as mentors for student Capstone projects (Fall 2013 ongoing). 13

21 Narrative of the feedback loop Please refer to the Electronic Resource Files ( MPH Other Materials ) for a narrative on the implementation of the feedback loop (summarized in Table 1.2.b): Curricular changes Quality improvement initiatives Initiatives to improve admission processes and ensure a qualified student body Initiatives to ensure student retention and timely graduation Initiatives to develop partnerships within the campus and the community Faculty & staff recruitment and development initiatives 1.2c. Data regarding the program s performance on each measurable objective described in Criterion 1.1.d must be provided for each of the last three years. Table 1.2.c. Outcome Measures for MPH Program Performance between and Objective 1A. Recruit students with high academic capabilities and commitment to public health. (Data Source: Crystal Reports Application and Admission Data) 1B. Recruit a culturally diverse student body. (Data Source: Crystal Reports). Outcome measure 1A 1. At least 30 applications per fall admission cycle. 1A 2. 1A 2. At least a 3.0 average cumulative GPA and an average GRE score of 290 (prior scale: 900) for accepted students. 1A 3. At least 6 months prior work experience in a health field or strong interest in public health conveyed through a personal statement. 1B 1. At least 33% of accepted students are minority students. 1B 2. At least 50% of accepted students are women. Target per fall admission cycle GPA 3.0 GRE months work exp. or strong P.H. interest 33% 50% 33 (13 accepted; 10 enrolled) /13 5/13 (38%) 8/13 (62%) 17 Unmet (8 accepted; 6 enrolled) /8 4/8 (50%) 6/8 (75%) 40 (18 accepted; 16 enrolled) /18 4/18 (22%) Unmet 9/18 (50%) 42 (21 accepted; 19 enrolled) /21 13/21 (62%) 17/21 (81%) 14

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