Mythbusters: Personnel Edition

Welcome to the next installment of CEPH’s mythbusters series. 

Staff hear of myths, questions, and urban legends about criteria related to faculty & staff. We are ready to put these myths to the test.


MYTH: Faculty members must have a specific public health degree to be qualified to be involved in our school/program.

TRUTH: Faculty should teach and supervise students in areas of knowledge with which they are thoroughly familiar and qualified by the totality of their education and experience. Faculty education and experience must be appropriate for the degree level (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral) and the nature of the degree (research, professional practice, etc.) with which they are associated. In standalone baccalaureate programs (SBP), the preference is for the designated leader to have formal doctoral-level training (e.g., PhD, DrPH) in a public health discipline or a terminal academic or professional degree (e.g., MD, JD) in another discipline or profession and an MPH.


MYTH: When determining faculty FTE, it matters where faculty pay comes from.

TRUTH: Faculty FTE is calculated based on time spent on activities related to the unit of accreditation. In the school of public health (SPH) category, faculty must have a 1.0 FTE in the school to be counted as primary instructional faculty (PIF).


MYTH: In an SBP, we can count the designated leader’s time toward the required 2.0 FTE for faculty.

TRUTH: The designated leader must dedicate at least 0.5 FTE to the program, which includes instruction, advising, administrative responsibilities, etc. IN ADDITION, the program must be supported by at least 2.0 FTE of qualified faculty effort each semester, trimester, quarter, etc. This means that an SBP must have a total faculty FTE of at least 2.5.


MYTH: We are required to have a minimum number of staff who fill specific positions.

TRUTH: Schools and programs must have access to staff and other personnel (may be fully dedicated to the unit or shared with other units) who are adequate to fulfill the stated mission and goals. While the stability of resources is a factor in evaluating resource adequacy, there is no specific number or positions required. Staff adequacy is evaluated in the context of each individual school or program.


MYTH: Internship preceptors must hold certain credentials and/or have served in their role for a minimum number of years to be eligible.

TRUTH: First, it’s important to remember that traditional internships with a preceptor are not required by CEPH (but may be required by individual schools and programs). If you choose to use preceptors, you should establish qualifications that make sense in your setting and consistently apply them.


Have you heard a myth that needs busting? Send it to submissions@ceph.org

--Written by: Kristen Varol, MPH, CHES