New criteria for accreditation to chart updated course for public health education


With a goal of graduating public health students ready to practice from day one, the Council on Education for Public Health recently announced revised accreditation criteria that represent the biggest change to public health curricula since the 1940s.

Officially rolled out in conjunction with APHA’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo in Denver in October, “Accreditation Criteria for Schools of Public Health and Public Health Programs, Amended October 2016” introduces a new framework for assessing the quality of public health education, shifting the traditional accreditation focus from core curricula to core competencies.

Laura Rasar King, MPH, MCHES, executive director at CEPH, noted that while the U.S. Department of Education requires accrediting agencies such as CEPH to regularly assess and revise their criteria, the 2016 revision marks a major turning point in public health education. In particular, King said the revision addresses a reoccurring thread that she and her colleagues had been hearing from stakeholders and employers — that public health students are graduating with excellent technical knowledge, but without the competencies to translate that knowledge into effective day-to-day practice.

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