To examine the continuing education needs of and method of course delivery for American Public Health Association (APHA) members.
Methods (Design, Setting, Participants):
The APHA Education Board developed a list of 37 potential continuing education courses, 20 of which were linked to course competencies. An electronic survey of 22 104 APHA members was conducted to determine members' priorities. Survey data included age, gender, race/ethnicity, highest academic degree obtained, workplace setting, educational needs, and preferred method of course delivery. Data were primarily analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Main Outcome Measures:
Demographic data, educational needs, and preferred method of course delivery.
Respondents numbered 5058, with 3836 (75.8%) interested in continuing education. For those indicating an interest, approximately 6 course areas per person were identified. A number of specific course areas were emphasized, including Leadership and Systems Thinking Skills and Policy Development and Program Planning. More than 50% of respondents favored obtaining courses using an online or computer-based format. Of the 24% uninterested in continuing education, 78% were in the age range of 25 to 65 years.
Although this study identified continuing education needs of a wide cross section of APHA members, the response rate was low. Additional surveys should be conducted periodically to update course offerings and identify gaps in workforce training. Reasons for any disinterest in continuing education in public health should be explored.