CEPH & Technical Assistance

Over the last 15 years, one of my main goals has been to ensure that CEPH participates as a positive and responsive partner with the public health academic community to improve educational quality in accredited schools and programs. In fact, the founders of CEPH envisioned the agency as being more than just a “regulator;” our Articles of Incorporation specify two purposes.

  1. “Improving the quality of education in public health schools, institutions and programs through, accreditation, certification, approval and other related activities which publicly attest compliance with defined standards;” and
  2. “Otherwise encouraging the improvement in the quality of education in public health through conduct of research, provision of consultation, distribution of publications, support of demonstrations, definition of standards, development of sanctions, sponsoring of examinations, and other appropriate means related to accreditation, certification and approval activities.”

There are, of course, some activities provided for in the Articles that we simply will not do, for example, certification of individuals is off limits – the same agency doing the accreditation and certification would be a clear conflict of interest (they didn’t know this in the early 1970s).

One of the main ways that we contribute to the second goal is through our educational programming. We have built it over the years. When I became the executive director in 2005, we were doing only one, face-to-face site visitor training each year. Back then, we let program directors and deans attend that training whether they would ever be a site visitor or not because there was no other available offering for them to learn the accreditation process. In the following years, we added the Accreditation Orientation Workshop for staff and faculty undertaking the accreditation process, Technical Assistance Sessions in conjunction with the APHA Annual Meeting, webinars, and finally, this year, our first day-long conference, the Accreditation & Education Forum.

Early this year, due to improved collection of attendee and evaluation data, we conducted our first comprehensive summary evaluation of our educational offerings in calendar year 2018 and I wanted to share some of the highlights.

  • CEPH conducted five in-person events and 22 online training and technical assistance events.
  • These events reached 94% of accredited SPH, 93% of accredited PHP, and 46% of accredited SBP.
  • There were a total of 1,091 attendees, representing 612 unique individuals (we have many repeat customers!) and 286 academic institutions (including accredited, applicant, and prospective applicant).
  • About 78% of the total participants attended a free online event.
  • Our most popular webinar last year was “Case Studies on the New MPH Curriculum” with 150 attendees, followed by “Backward Design Principles for Public Health Curricula” with 115 attendees. Both of these webinars featured presenters from accredited schools and programs highlighting the great work that they have done to modernize their curriculum. The best news is that if you missed any of these great webinars, you can access them on our website any time at https://ceph.org/constituents/schools/faqs/pres/

We had another fantastic year of programming in 2019, culminating in the Forum in November and we are already looking forward to 2020. If you have ideas for future programming, send them – and we’ll see you at a future event!

Written by Laura Rasar King, EdD, MPH