246862 Using community partners to develop an MPH culminating experience that reflects community health education professional practice

Monday, October 31, 2011

Edward Mamary, DrPH, MS , Health Science Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Valerie J. Rose, DrPH, MPH , Consultant, Oakland, CA
Kevin T. Roe, MPH , Consultant, San Francisco, CA
Accreditation criteria established by the Council on Education for Public Health require MPH students to complete a culminating experience demonstrating public health knowledge and competencies obtained from curricular elements across the MPH program of study. Although many academic programs offer a thesis or research project as an option, neither is feasible for students wishing to complete an MPH degree within two years. Consequently, comprehensive exams become the expedient option. Although they can effectively assess whether students have mastered adequate public health knowledge, comprehensive exams are limited in their capacity to assess proficiency in required competencies across the MPH program of study. A community advisory group was convened to develop a culminating experience designed to meet accreditation expectations by requiring students to demonstrate their proficiency in synthesizing and integrating knowledge and applying theories, concepts, and principles in a situation approximating community health education professional practice. With community partners, we developed a three-day comprehensive exam to model an enhanced response for proposals that delivers theoretically-based community interventions on a timely topic of interest. We will discuss how our comprehensive exam assesses traditional community health education competencies of community problem and needs identification; program design, implementation, and evaluation; and data analysis; while assessing the core values and principles of our program, which include: engaging community participation and inclusion, identifying community assets, conceptualizing solutions to eliminate health disparities in a social ecological framework, incorporating ethical considerations, and working with communities in a culturally competent manner.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain the community participatory process of creating a culminating experience that assesses advanced competencies in community health education. Describe an innovative comprehensive exam that assesses traditional community health education competencies, while assessing the core values and principles of our community health education program

Keywords: Competency, Public Health Curricula

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the MPH program director at my institution.
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.