CEPH assures quality in public health education and training to achieve excellence in practice, research and service, through collaboration with organizational and community partners.
Excellence in public health education for a healthier world
The Council's focus is the improvement of health through the assurance of professional personnel who are able to identify, prevent and solve community health problems. The Council's objectives are:
CEPH protects the interests of students and the public by supporting the development of successful public health schools and programs. We value the following:
Graduate education in public health began in the early 1900s and formal accreditation was initiated in the mid-1940s when 10 schools of public health were recognized by the American Public Health Association (APHA), the nation’s largest individual public health membership organization. From 1945 to 1973, APHA carried out accreditation of graduate professional education in public health, at first centered almost exclusively in schools of public health but later including other college and university settings.
In 1974 the independent Council on Education for Public Health was established by APHA and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH), the national organization representing deans, faculty and students of accredited schools of public health. ASPH became the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) in 2013. Responsibility for the evaluation of schools of public health was transferred to CEPH which initially limited its focus to school accreditation. In the late 1970s CEPH responded to requests from practitioners and educators to undertake accreditation of community health/preventive medicine programs, and to a request from APHA to assume the additional responsibility for community health education programs. In 2005, these separate programmatic categories were combined into a single category of public health programs.
The Council is supported by a combination of fees and contributions from the profession and the academic community.
CEPH and its board members, staff and volunteers as well as the schools and programs accredited by CEPH must abide by a variety of policies in conducting the work of the agency or presenting accreditation status to the public. The following policies are most relevant to and useful for external audiences.
CEPH’s logo represents the collaborative, systems approach that is so highly valued in the public health profession. The three interconnected rings are reflective of CEPH's many relationships within public health and higher education.
Some examples of these relationships include the following:
CEPH is recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit within the United States schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health, at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels, including those offered via distance education.
CEPH has been an active member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) since its inception in 1993. ASPA provides a collaborative forum and a collective voice for the community of organizations in the United States that assess the quality of specialized and professional higher education programs and schools. ASPA represents its members on issues of educational quality facing institutions of higher education, governments, students and the public. ASPA advances the knowledge, skills, good practices and ethical commitments of accreditors and communicates the value of accreditation as a means of enhancing educational quality.