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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
Original Articles

Examining the Impact of a Distance Education MPH Program: A One‐Year Follow‐Up Survey of Graduates

Davis, Mary V. DrPH, MSPH; Sollecito, William A. DrPH; Shay, Saundra EdD; Williamson, William MPH

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Abstract

This article addresses the critical issue of measuring impact of a distance education Master of Public Health degree program on public health practitioners. It is based on an online survey of the 49 graduates of the Public Health Leadership Program at the School of Public Health of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The survey was carried out 1-year postgraduation and had a 73% response rate. Results indicated that graduates continued to have a high level of satisfaction with the program; 97% of respondents indicated they would recommend the program to others, and 75% said that their overall opinion about the program had increased since graduation. On a scale of 1 to 10, 79% of respondents rated the program with a score of 8 or higher in terms of the impact of the program on their ability to do their current job. Regarding new opportunities, 75% of respondents reported that they had new professional affiliations or service commitments, and 31% had job promotions since graduating. The methodology and results reported here may be a model for assessing the impact of a distance learning degree program for mid-career professionals. These results support the viability of a distance-education format for providing necessary training at the master's level for the public health workforce.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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