206297 Anything but standard: From national competencies and credentials to designing a curriculum for the future of public health

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:56 PM

Ian Lapp, PhD , Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Andrew Davidson, PhD, MBA , Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Public health education is struggling to innovate within the context of large-scale changes in health and society along with the tensions of profession-wide competencies (ASPH and Council on Linkages), credentialing that sets national standards (NBPHE), and expectations for accreditation (CEPH).

A promising approach to addressing these challenges involved a school-wide, ten-month strategic visioning process that identified key challenges and opportunities critical to the public's health today and in the future. This effort was followed by an ongoing implementation phase to redesign the MPH curriculum to align with the identified strategic priorities. This presentation will review the outcomes of the visioning process and address the implications for the national competencies and the traditional model of teaching the MPH core curriculum. Data will be presented from focus groups with over 150 students supplemented by quantitative-based student exit surveys. A discussion of the bridges and barriers to promoting curricular collaborations between constituents both within and outside of the school will be addressed. Examples of syllabi and innovative pedagogy that emerge from this vision will be shown.

The lessons learned from this "experiment in teaching and learning" and ongoing initiatives provide a framework for rethinking local curricular reform in an era of national standards. Additionally, outcomes to date of this initiative provide valuable insights for other schools of public health and the practice community in terms of the competing and mutually beneficial roles of education, research, and public service in a school of public health.

Learning Objectives:
List emerging public health challenges that MPH level professional education should consider in defining competencies, curriculum, and courses. Identify the bridges and barriers to promoting successful curricular collaborations between academic programs and the practice community Assess specific school and department structures that can be used more effectively to promote positive changes in curriculum development. Implement a strategy for moving from competencies and curricular themes to innovative educational practices that and a curriculum that meets the future health needs of communities locally, regionally and globally.

Keywords: Curricula, Teaching

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Associate Dean at a School of Public Health who is involved at the national and international level on public health education.
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.