Standalone Baccalaureate Programs – Frequently Asked Questions
- Where did these criteria come from? Why are you doing this?
- What is the timeline for accreditation of Standalone Baccalaureate Programs?
- Where is epidemiology and the rest of the ‘core’?
- The criteria refer to templates in the required documentation. Are these templates available for review?
- Will Standalone Baccalaureate Programs be considered a “second-tier” of CEPH accreditation?
- How do the criteria for Standalone Baccalaureate Programs (SBP) compare to the criteria pertaining to baccalaureate-level programs within an accredited School of Public Health (SPH) or Public Health Program (PHP)?
- My program is a community health education program and I don’t see community health education mentioned anywhere in the criteria. Is my program eligible for accreditation?
- I see that the faculty qualifications section of the criteria calls for the program leader to have educational qualifications and professional experience in a public health discipline. I have PhD in Health Education. Do I meet this standard?
- What if my program is SABPAC approved?
- Does CEPH accreditation cost more than SABPAC approval?
- Can I become a site visitor for standalone baccalaureate programs?
1. Where did these criteria come from? Why are you doing this?
For a comprehensive answer to this question, please see the History and Overview of Baccalaureate Accreditation.
2. What is the timeline for accreditation of Standalone Baccalaureate Programs?
The criteria were adopted in June 2013. We anticipate accepting the first applications in February 2014, meaning they would be due to CEPH from the program in early January 2014. The application will be ~15 pages and address eligibility requirements. The eligibility requirements are outlined in the draft Accreditation Procedures, which are currently out for public comment – they will be formally adopted in October, but programs wishing to start drafting their application now can use the draft as a guide. After an application is accepted, the self-study process begins. We will begin to offer consultation around timelines and other issues programs may have later this year (November/December 2013), but programs can anticipate that the earliest a self-study could be submitted is spring 2015 (site visit in the fall of the same year).
If you have questions about the criteria, the timeline, the application or anything else at all, please call CEPH. We would be happy to talk with you. In fact, we encourage you to call or email us to let us know if you are thinking about applying. Our goal is to help every applicant be successful and we work with programs to make that happen. Nicole Williams will be able to answer your questions or direct you to somebody who can.
3. Where is epidemiology and the rest of the ‘core’?
Program content outlined in Criterion 5.0 in the baccalaureate criteria are derived from the Critical Component Elements (CCEs) developed by a broadly representative group convened by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). Information about this process and the full list of CCEs is available at http://www.aspph.org/educate/models/undergraduate-baccalaureate-cce-report/. CEPH was an integral part of the group that developed the CCEs.
While it is true that the traditional “5 core areas” do not appear by name in the CCEs, the concepts do appear throughout the items. Keep in mind that YOUR program may choose to address aspects of the CCEs through a required epidemiology class while another program may choose to address the same CCEs in another class or combination of classes. This flexibility allows programs to pursue their own mission and purpose while ensuring that all students who graduate from an accredited program have at least the same basic, underlying foundation.
Also, please remember that addressing the CCEs in the curriculum does not require a designated course for each CCE. Programs may cover CCEs by focusing a class in that area, addressing a CCE or aspects thereof in multiple classes and/or adding content to existing classes rather than creating entirely new classes.
4. The criteria refer to templates in the required documentation. Are these templates available for review?
Now that the criteria have been finalized, we will begin to develop the self-study templates. We anticipate that they will be ready by fall 2013. Please refer to the accreditation criteria for information about what will be in the templates. Our templates are MS Word tables providing a format for what is specifically requested in the document itself.
If you would like to see what the templates look like for our graduate degrees, please visit our website www.ceph.org and click “Data Templates” under Quick Links on the home page.
5. Will Standalone Baccalaureate Programs be considered a “second-tier” of CEPH accreditation?
There is no “second tier” as far as accreditation is concerned. There are necessarily different criteria for baccalaureate and graduate public health degrees, but no levels, classes or tiers. There is no “gold, silver and bronze” when it comes to accreditation. All schools and programs accredited by CEPH have met the criteria specified for their unique organizational settings and their degree levels. All will appear on our list of accredited schools and programs.
6. How do the criteria for Standalone Baccalaureate Programs (SBP) compare to the criteria pertaining to baccalaureate-level programs within an accredited School of Public Health (SPH) or Public Health Program (PHP)?
CEPH already accredits baccalaureate-level programs which are administratively located in schools of public health or in the same organizational unit (ie, using the same faculty, administrative processes, etc.) as an MPH program. CEPH cannot provide a side by side comparison of the SBP, PHP and SPH criteria because some things do not translate in an undergraduate-only world. For example, there are certain criteria (eg, workforce development or research) which appear in the criteria relating to graduate degree programs because they are graduate degree programs. They are absent from the SBP criteria because we believe that they are not appropriate for all baccalaureate-only programs. Since undergraduate programs accredited in conjunction with graduate-level programs are integrated into schools or departments, CEPH looks at the whole unit of accreditation and addresses many criteria within that context.
The standalone criteria are specific to baccalaureate-only programs, but they are not less rigorous – they are simply different. If you want to read the criteria for the associated programs, they are easily accessible on our website through “Quick Links” on the home page. Keep in mind that programs must address their baccalaureate program as they answer each criterion throughout – as well as the specific criterion relevant to curriculum.
7. My program is a community health education program and I don’t see community health education mentioned anywhere in the criteria. Is my program eligible for accreditation?
Yes! CEPH views community health education as an integral component of public health. In other words, community health education would be considered your program’s “focus” or “specialty” within public health. Community health education programs would need to meet the same CEPH curricular requirements outlined in Criterion 5.0, but may also specify other requirements applicable to the focus area – for example, the NCHEC competencies. Many of the NCHEC competencies overlap with the CCEs and can be addressed simultaneously. A curriculum map (competencies and CCEs on the vertical axis and courses on the horizontal axis) will show you where any gaps may be. CEPH staff would be happy to talk with you about this and work with you on the best way to portray your focus in accreditation documents.
8. I see that the faculty qualifications section of the criteria calls for the program leader to have educational qualifications and professional experience in a public health discipline. I have a PhD in health education. Do I meet this standard?
Yes! On page 12 of the SBP Criteria, CEPH provides a glossary of terms. A “public health discipline” is defined as:
“a degree entitled “public health” or a degree in a public health concentration or specialty area. These areas may include, but are not limited to, fields of study such as health education/promotion, global health, health services research, maternal and child health, health economics, epidemiology or public health nutrition. This set of examples is not intended to be exhaustive.”
Again, CEPH views health education as an integral component of public health. We have a long history of considering health education as a public health discipline.
9. What if my program is SABPAC approved?
*Note: This FAQ was developed in conjunction with SABPAC
SABPAC will soon be phased out and CEPH will assume responsibility for accrediting standalone undergraduate community health education programs. CEPH will begin accepting in fall 2013, with due date of January 7, 2014 for a February 2014 Board decision. The self-study process will follow a favorable application decision.
SABPAC will no longer accept applications for SABPAC review of new or re-approval of undergraduate community health education programs after January 7, 2014.
- SABPAC-approved programs due for re-approval during 2013 will follow the usual procedures outlined in the SABPAC Manual.
- SABPAC-approved programs due for re-approval in 2014, will be permitted to submit their self-study and complete the full review/approval process during 2014 if they submit an application letter to SABPAC, indicating their intent to submit a self-study for review and approval in 2014, by January 7, 2014.
- Those programs due for re-approval in 2015 through June 30, 2016 will be encouraged to seek CEPH accreditation.
- Those who submit an application for CEPH accreditation and are approved to proceed by the CEPH Board in February 2014, will have their SABPAC approval status extended to spring 2016. This will prevent a lapse in approval/accreditation status for programs.
- Those programs due for SABPAC re-approval after June 30, 2016 will be encouraged to seek CEPH accreditation prior to the end of their SABPAC approval period.
For more details on SABPAC’s approval procedures going forward, contact Ellen Capwell.
10. Does CEPH accreditation cost more than SABPAC approval?
*Note: This FAQ was developed in conjunction with SABPAC
Many undergraduate community health education programs are concerned about the cost of accreditation, when many have experienced challenges obtaining adequate funds from program budgets for SABPAC approval. While CEPH accreditation will be more expensive than SABPAC approval has been, it should be noted that higher education administrators tend to place higher value on accreditation. Programs are encouraged to explore options for funding from higher levels within their institutions, e.g. department, college, or university levels. The CEPH fee schedule for 2017 is located here.
11. Can I become a site visitor for standalone baccalaureate programs?
We are very excited and encouraged by the high level of interest from potential SBP site visitors. However, because of the structured procedural timelines accreditation requires, we will not need any site visitors until late 2015.
The first few site visits will be conducted by current, experienced CEPH site visitors who have expertise in undergraduate public health programs.
- ACADEMICS: We will begin by inviting very experienced academic site visitors from our pool. The goal is peer review, so as programs become accredited, program leaders from accredited SBPs will be invited to attend site visitor training and then to serve as academics on our site visit teams.
- PRACTITIONERS: We will be recruiting a limited number of practitioners who hire recent undergraduates in public health.
CEPH plans to have a small, targeted site visitor training in 2015 for those first SBP site visits scheduled in fall 2015. As our numbers grow, so will our need for site visitors, so stay tuned for more information over the next couple of years.
If you do not see your question answered here, or would like to suggest a question for this page, please email Samantha Dickenson at email@example.com for further assistance.