193855 How smaller MPH programs can stay adaptable in a competitive marketplace: Evidence for routine program evaluation

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rosemary M. Caron, PhD, MPH , Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Holly Tutko, MS , Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
The number of MPH Programs has increased rapidly in the US. As such, MPH Programs, particularly smaller-sized ones, need to critically examine how their Programs are meeting the needs and preferences of local public health practitioners. To assist in this necessity, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has conducted a comprehensive educational assessment of its effectiveness as a smaller-sized, accredited MPH Program. Qualitative research methods, including survey and meeting interviews, were utilized with the Program's major stakeholders (e.g., graduate students and teaching faculty, MPH Program Committee, MPH Advisory Council) to examine the following components of the MPH Program: curriculum, policy development and implementation, delivery model, professional and community alliances, marketing strategies, program strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, continuing education series, target audience and commuting distance, and the recently developed Public Health Certificate Program. The effort put forth into taking the time to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the core components of the UNH MPH Program proved timely as it allowed us to compare our MPH Program to the increasing number of MPH Programs developing regionally. This information helped us develop broader marketing strategies, explore the feasibility of offering the Program in different delivery models and investigate interest in dual degrees. Since public health practice is changing and the education of public health practitioners must be adaptable, we propose a routine evaluation of an institution's MPH Program could not only meet this need but also assist with the re-accreditation process and keep smaller, unbranded MPH Programs competitive in a burgeoning marketplace.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to: Describe the recent growth in MPH Program development nationally. Detail one process for evaluating an MPH Program. Discuss the importance of reviewing an MPH Program.

Keywords: Public Health Education, Public Health Careers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director for the University of New Hampshire's MPH Program and I conducted the research for this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.