MPH Committee's New Focus: Designing Core Courses

Monday, January 7, 2019

UPDATE: The UW Curriculum Committee has approved the syllabi for the new MPH core curriculum, which will start in Fall 2020.

Plans to re-envision the UW School of Public Health’s MPH continue to move forward, with faculty-led groups now drafting syllabi for the MPH core courses.

Six faculty teams began meeting in December to draft syllabi for the MPH Re-envisioning Steering Committee. The drafts will be presented to department curriculum committees in February and to the school-wide Curriculum and Education Policy Committee (CEPC) in March.

“Faculty members from across the School are working hard to design some really exciting new courses,” said Carey Farquhar, chair of the MPH Steering Committee and professor of global health and epidemiology. “The goal is to produce a set of five core courses that provide our students with a solid foundation in public health practice and research.  The Common Core will also ensure all MPH students meet required competencies set by the School and CEPH (Council on Education for Public Health).”

In addition, faculty members are seeking to include active learning principles; issues of equity, inclusion and social justice; input from a wide range of stakeholders; and interdisciplinary approaches. The core courses would make up the foundation of the re-envisioned MPH, which aims to better prepare graduates for an ever-changing public health landscape by creating an integrated practice and research degree. Students would be exposed to broad perspectives on public health while gaining the analytic and professional skills key to success in a public health-oriented career. The new degree program would start in the fall of 2020.

The MPH continues to seek input from its stakeholders, and future outreach will include more open houses and listening sessions. "We love it that our students, staff and faculty, as well as our alumni and public health practice partners, are engaging with us in crafting the major re-envisioning of our flagship degree," said Senior Associate Dean Shirley Beresford, a member of the Steering Committee. "Keep the excellent ideas coming!"

Additionally, an MPH Administration Workgroup co-chaired by Health Services Chair Jeffrey Harris and Assistant Dean Uli Haller are examining a range of questions, including how many tracks or concentrations are needed, how the practicum integrates into the new program, and how other courses will be affected by the new curriculum.

“Thanks to both faculty and staff for serving on these committees,” said Dean Hilary Godwin. “Staff input regarding administration going forward is particularly valuable because they are often the people who are working directly on these issues.”

Here are the MPH workgroups:

Foundations of Public Health (PHI 511): Carey Farquhar, Shirley Beresford, Joana Cunha-Cruz, Stephen Gloyd, Tania Busch Isaksen, Wendy Barrington and Victoria Gardner

Analytic Skills for Public Health (PHI 512): Brandon Guthrie, James Hughes, Amanda Phipps, Joel Kaufman, Michelle Garrison, Noah Simon and Victoria Gardner

Analytic Skills for Public Health (PHI 513): Brandon Guthrie, James Hughes, Anjuli Wagner, Kristjana Asbjorndottir, Todd Edwards and Victoria Gardner

Determinants of Health (PHI 514): Donald Patrick, Scott Meschke, Anjum Hajat, India Ornelas, James Pfieffer, Jeremy Hess and Victoria Gardner

Implementing Public Health Interventions (PHI 515): Donald Patrick, Scott Meschke Christine Khosropour, Marissa Baker, Nancy Puttkammer, Peggy Hannon and Victoria Gardner

Public Health Practice (PHI 516): Janet Baseman, Kurt O'Brien, Stephen Gloyd, Tania Busch Isaksen and Victoria Gardner

Other staff and faculty members of the Administration Workgroup, in addition to Uli Haller and Jeff Harris, are Carey Farquhar, Lurdes Inoue, J. Scott Meschke, Clarence Spigner, Janet Baseman, Ann Lund, Bruce Weir, Trina Sterry, Julie Beschta and Donna Porter.

Read the School’s proposal for a re-envisioned MPH.

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