The mission of the MPH Program in the Department of Health is to enable students to develop skills and apply knowledge from multiple disciplines for the promotion and protection of health in human populations and to serve as effective practitioners and leaders in the fields of community health, health care management, environmental health, or nutrition.
Core Values of MPH Program
The core values of the Master of Public Health (MPH) program are shaped by the following two interrelated convictions:
- Health is central to human existence, as it impacts both the quality and quantity of life of all individuals.
- Public health is vital for enhancing the health of individuals and their communities.
To promote the health of individuals and communities, all public health professionals (students, staff, faculty, and others affiliated with the program) are invited to adopt and further the following core values:
- Seeking and sharing knowledge and wisdom.
- Lifelong learning for self and others.
- Taking responsibility for one's actions.
- Ensuring the highest personal and professional integrity.
- Cultivating deep compassion for those suffering from ill health.
- Committing to and supporting diversity of individuals, views, programs, and institutions.
- Respecting, always, human dignity and human rights.
- Promoting social justice and justice for all.
We believe the cultivation and practice of these personal and professional values translates into the following for our MPH Program:
- An academic model that values the integration of the scholarship of teaching, research, and community service.
- A commitment to student-centered learning.
- Shared governance of every aspect of the program.
- A learning environment characterized by objective, evidence-based knowledge.
- Meaningful, active experiential learning and community service.
- Collaboration and mentoring not only among the faculty but also between the faculty and our students.
- A global public health view.
- An engaged, seriousness of purpose to improve the health of individuals and the communities in which they live.
Competencies define what a successful student in the Master of Public Health program in the Department of Health at West Chester University should know and be able to do upon completion of the MPH core and track courses. The MPH Program has a set of competencies for the core courses and the program tracks. MPH core and track competencies are addressed throughout core and track courses. Students should become familiar with the core and track competencies as these are competencies provide the foundation for professional standards in the MPH Program.
MPH Program Core Competencies
All students regardless of their elective tracks need to meet the following MPH core competencies.
- Biostatistics: Apply the concepts of biostatistics in the collection, retrieval, analysis and interpretation of health data along with designing health related surveys/experiments and apply the concepts of statistical data analysis to community populations.
- Epidemiology: Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of epidemiology through the study of distribution and determinants of disease, disabilities and death in human populations, the characteristics and dynamics of human populations along with the natural history of diseases in community populations.
- Environmental Health: Interpret and analyze the impact of environmental issues including the biological, physical and chemical factors that affect the health of a community.
- Health Care Management: Understand the role of the health care delivery system in the organization, cost, financing, quality, policy issues and equity of health care along with the role of the health care delivery system in maintaining the health of populations.
- Social and Behavioral Aspects of Health: Demonstrate knowledge of the concepts of social and behavioral theories relevant to the identification and solution to public health problems.
- Research: Synthesize literature in an area of public health, including identification of gaps in knowledge and strengths and limitations in study design.
- Needs Assessment: Analyze and synthesize various available resources and data to determine the public health needs in a community setting.
- Planning and Evaluation: Demonstrate proficiency in design, development, implementation and evaluation of public health projects/programs in the community setting.
- Communication and Informatics: Collect, manage and organize data to produce information and present information to different audiences through information technologies or through media channels to demonstrate how information and knowledge can be utilized to achieve specific objectives.
- Professionalism: Subscribe to a professional code of ethics and apply ethical standards to public health issues along with demonstrating professional, culturally competent knowledge and practice.
*MPH Core Competencies are adapted from the MPH Core Competency Model from the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health (ASPPH).
To meet the needs of the individual elective track areas, each elective track has its own set of competencies. These competences have been adapted from each elective track's professional affiliations.
MPH Community Health Track Competencies
Upon completion of the Community Health Track*, graduates will be able to:
- Assess needs, assets and capacity for health education.
- Plan health education.
- Implement health education.
- Conduct evaluation and research related to health education.
- Administer and manage health education.
- Serve as a health education resource person.
- Communicate and advocate for health and health education.
*Community Health competencies are adopted from The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., Responsibilities and Competencies.
MPH Health Care Management Track Competencies
Upon completion of the Health Care Management Track*, graduates will be able to:
- Effectively transfer information in oral, written, and non-verbal form to others, including the ability to judge what needs to be communicated, when it needs to be communicated, to whom, how and how much, and where this communication should take place.
- Formulate the right questions and answers, think logically and independently, conceptualize and problem solve in an unstructured environment.
- Develop an understanding of planning and decision-making, organizing, leading, and controlling an organization's human, financial, physical, and information resources to achieve organizational goals in an efficient and effective manner.
- Recognize and analyze health system and sub-system properties, processes, and outputs, and the dynamic interactions within the system and with the external environment.
- Develop, implement, manage, and evaluate economic and financial models in order to plan and guide the organization to achieve its strategic goals and objectives.
*The competencies for the Health Care Management follow the criteria set forth by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
MPH Environmental Health Track Competencies
Upon completion of the Environmental Health Track, graduates will be able to:
- Identify illness and injury causing agents in workplaces, residences, health care facilities and other institutions, and the outdoor environment.
- Measure biological, chemical and physical disease agents in any environment and assess compliance with environmental regulations and professional standards.
- Analyze, interpret and evaluate toxicological, epidemiological and environmental exposure data.
- Quantitatively assess risk using mathematical models.
- Communicate risk information to the populations they serve.
- Plan and manage emergency preparedness programs.
- Integrate, implement and evaluate control strategies to reduce environmental risks.
- Lead, manage and administer environmental health programs.
- Apply appropriate research principles and methods in Environmental Health.
- Advance the profession of Environmental Health.
*The competencies for Environmental Health are an adaptation of the requirements for industrial hygiene practice set up by the American Board of Engineering Technology (ABET) which accredits industrial hygiene programs. These industrial hygiene concepts have been broadened to include the whole field of environmental health and some aspects of emergency preparedness.
MPH Nutrition Track Competencies
Upon completion of the Nutrition Track, graduates will be able to:
- Apply the science of food and nutrition to support optimal nutritional status in individuals, groups and populations.
- Manage nutrition care for diverse population groups.
- Assesses and prioritizes nutritional problems of individuals, groups and populations using appropriate nutritional assessment techniques.
- Develop, implement and evaluate effective community-based food and nutrition programs that promote optimal health and disease prevention.
- Utilize the nutrition care process with individuals and groups.
- Apply appropriate research principles and methods in community and public health nutrition.
- Communicates accurate, evidence-based nutrition information at levels appropriate for various audiences.
- Advocate for public policy at local, state and national levels in food and nutrition areas.
- Advance the profession of community and public health nutrition.
*Nutrition track competencies are adapted from the American Dietetic Association's, Public Health/Community Nutrition Practice Group guidelines and American Dietetic Association's knowledge, skills and competencies for community nutrition emphasis.
To provide students with relevant marketable skills that prepare graduates for successful careers in the field of public health.
- To recruit and retain qualified graduate students.
- Students will gain relevant public health knowledge and skills through MPH core/track courses and related practicum.
- Graduates of the MPH program will be valuable skilled professionals in the public health-related workforce.
Research Goal Statement
MPH faculty and students will engage in research and scholarly activity reflecting the theory and practice of public health.
- MPH faculty will participate in research and/or evaluation projects or other scholarly activities.
- MPH students will participate in Research Methods (HEA 648), Applied Learning Experience (ALE) and/or individual faculty led research projects.
To involve students and faculty in activities which promote and support service to the university, public health profession, and the community.
- MPH faculty will participate in service activities in the public health profession and the community.
- MPH students will have opportunities to participate in service activities in the public health profession, in the community and in the university.
- The MPH program will sponsor public health-related workforce professional development opportunities annually.
MPH Fiscal Resources
The MPH Program will have sufficient financial resources to support the program for each academic year as approved by the Dean, College of Health Sciences and the Department of Health Chair.
- The MPH budget reflects sufficient income to support the program activities designed to meet the mission, goals and objectives.
- The MPH Program will provide alternative workload assignments (AWAs) for program administration to the MPH Program Director and graduate workload assignments to MPH Coordinators (based on collateral duties and track enrollments) for fall and spring semesters.
- The Department of Health will provide resources for professional growth and development for each academic year for all MPH faculty members.
THe MPH Program will achieve a diverse complement of faculty and students.
- Students enrolled in the MPH Program will represent minority population groups.
- The majority of students enrolled in the MPH Program will represent women.
- Students enrolled in the MPH Program will represent international population groups.
- MPH faculty will represent minority and women population groups.
MPH Faculty Qualifications
The MPH Program will ensure that its faculty complement possess the requisite qualifications for the training of MPH-level public health professionals.
- Retain high quality faculty to support the continued growth and development of the MPH Program.
- MPH faculty will hold additional certifications/licensures beyond the doctoral degree.
- MPH faculty will demonstrate continued professional growth and development.
MPH Faculty and Other Resources
The MPH Program will provide personnel and other resources sufficient to fulfill its stated mission, goals and objectives.
- Retain sufficient faculty and staff resources to maintain the MPH Program.
- Retain sufficient resources for the growth and development of the MPH Program.