Title

MPH Program Adaptability in a Competitive Marketplace: The Case for Continued Assessment

Abstract

In the last several years, the number of Master of Public Health (MPH) programs has increased rapidly in the US. As such, MPH programs, particularly smaller-sized ones, need to critically examine how their programs are meeting the needs and preferences of local public health practitioners. To assist in this necessity, the University of New Hampshire conducted a comprehensive educational assessment of its effectiveness as a smaller-sized, accredited MPH program. The aim of the assessment was to review the MPH program from the perspective of all stakeholders and then to agree on changes that would contribute to the fulfillment of the program’s mission, as well as improve program quality and reach. The program’s stakeholders examined the following components: policy development and implementation; target audience; marketing strategies; marketplace position; delivery model; curriculum design; and continuing education. Though assessment activities explored a wide array of program attributes, target audience, curriculum design, and delivery strategy presented significant challenges and opportunities for our smaller MPH Program to remain competitive. The effort put forth into conducting an in-depth assessment of the core components of our program also allowed for a comparison to the increasing number of MPH programs developing regionally. Since public health practice is changing and the education of public health practitioners must be adaptable, we propose that a routine assessment of an institution’s MPH program could not only meet this need but also assist with keeping smaller, unbranded MPH programs competitive in a burgeoning marketplace.

Publication Date

6-2010

Journal Title

Journal of Community Health

Publisher

Springer

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1007/s10900-010-9225-x

Document Type

Article