132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

An alumni-based evaluation of the first 10 years of a graduate program in health communication: Results of a survey on coursework, competencies, and careers

Timothy M. Edgar, PhD, Department of Marketing Communication, Emerson College, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116, (617) 824-8743, timothy_edgar@emerson.edu and James N. Hyde, MA, SM, Department of Family Medicine & Community Health, Tufts University School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111.

As of December 2003, 131 students have graduated from the Masterís Program in Health Communication offered in collaboration with Emerson College and the Tufts University School of Medicine. Begun in 1994, the program was the first of its kind to offer a health communication graduate curriculum combining the educational resources of a traditional communication department and a school of medicine. The data presented here are the first formal attempt to gather in-depth information from the alumni. Participants responded to survey questions on career choices since graduation and how the knowledge and skills gained in the program added to their professional development. We used a two-part, IRB approved, on-line survey. Part one was for personal contact information and job history data. Part two was anonymous and asked for an assessment of specific program elements. The data collection began in early December 2003 and lasted six weeks. Eighty percent (N=105) of the 131 eligible graduates responded. We obtained detailed information on: (1) employment history; (2) value of specific courses for careers in health communication; (3) salary expectations for individuals with graduate degrees in health communication; (4) overall satisfaction with the curriculum and program; and (5) emerging trends in the health communication field. The data provide detailed insight into the types of careers possible for people trained in health communication, an assessment of salary expectations in the field, and a review of the core competencies necessary for success in health communication professions.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participants will be able to

Keywords: Health Communications, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Emerson/Tufts Master's Program in Health Communication
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Employment

Innovations in Teaching, Researching, and Applying Health Communication

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA