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UNC Certificate Program in Core Public Health Concepts: Lessons Learned

Davis, Mary V. DrPH, MSPH; Plaisted Fernandez, Claudia DrPH, MS, RD, LDN; Porter, Janet PhD; McMullin, Katherine MPH

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: May/June 2006 - Volume 12 - Issue 3 - p 288–295
Article

Objectives: Public health workers need to be trained in the core public health sciences. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health created a Certificate in Core Public Health Concepts to meet the training needs of public health workers, primarily those working in state or local public health agencies.

Methods: This article examines the demographic, educational, job classification, and workplace characteristics of certificate program applicants from the first 3 years of the program. In addition, this article assesses student performance and graduate satisfaction with the program

Results: Among the 273 applications reviewed, the majority were from females. They worked in a variety of job classifications: 19% were public health agency workers, 64% were public health system workers, and 17% worked in other occupations. Nearly all students received High Pass or Pass grades on courses. Initial data on graduate satisfaction with the program are positive.

Conclusions: Implications of the findings for training the public health workforce are discussed.

This article examines the demographic, educational, job classification, and workplace characteristics of participants in the first 3 years from a Certificate Program in Core Public Health Concepts of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. In addition, this article assesses student performance and graduate satisfaction with the program. Implications of the findings for training the public health workforce are discussed.

Mary V. Davis, DrPH, MSPH, is Director of Evaluation Services, North Carolina Institute for Public Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Claudia Plaisted Fernandez, DrPH, MS, RD, LDN, is Director, Kellogg Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Health, Southeast Public Health Leadership Institute, North Carolina Institute for Public Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Janet Porter, PhD, is Associate Dean for Executive Education, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Katherine McMullin, MPH, is Coordinator, Process and Systems Improvement, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.

The authors thank Karl Umble, PhD, MSPH, and Jennifer Horney, MA, MPH, for reviewing article drafts.

Corresponding author: Mary V. Davis, DrPH, MSPH, Campus Box 8165, North Carolina Institute for Public Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (e-mail: Mary_Davis@unc.edu).

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.