We are CEPH accredited
What does it mean to be accredited?
Accreditation is a process of validation in which colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning are evaluated. The standards for accreditation are set by a peer review board whose members include faculty from various accredited colleges and universities.
To learn more about the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, and the CEPH accreditation process, listen to the July 31 edition of the OHSU Week Podcast here.
Why is accreditation important?
Accreditation is important because it determines that we meet or exceed minimum standards of quality. It will put the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health on the map with the nation’s 50-plus accredited schools of public health. This help us recruit students and faculty as they will be able to identify our School of Public Health as an acceptable institution for enrollment. It will help us achieve our vision to become the premier destination in Oregon for students of all backgrounds who want to enter the health field and improve lives in their communities.
- For the public, accreditation promotes the health, safety, and welfare of society by assuring competent public health professionals.
- For prospective students CEPH accreditation serves a consumer protection purpose. It provides reassurance that the school or program meets accepted standards.
- For prospective employers, it provides assurance that the curriculum covers essential knowledge and skills needed for today’s jobs.
- CEPH accredits 59 schools of public health, which is the de facto benchmark for public health degree programs.
CEPH requires accredited schools to produce a self-study report for each seven-year accreditation review, including the initial accreditation. The self-study report is used by an external committee that visits the school and meets with stakeholders, including faculty, students, staff, alumni, and external stakeholders. This committee recommends to the CEPH Board whether the school should be accredited. Our self-study document is a comprehensive description of the organization, governance, resources, faculty, students, curriculum, and research in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. On April 24, 2015 the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health Initiative (SPH) submitted the accreditation application and was approved by CEPH June 17, 2015 to begin the accreditation process for a School of Public Health. On April 28, 2016, the preliminary self-study document was submitted to CEPH, and the final document was submitted on August 26, 2016.
How is accreditation of a program different from the accreditation of a school?
For more than 20 years, CEPH has accredited the Oregon Masters in Public Health (OMPH) program to offer programs leading to an MPH degree. In 2010, the presidents of OHSU and PSU led a strategic planning process focused on leveraging the assets of both universities to serve the Portland urban area. A steering committee comprised of faculty and administrative representatives from both OHSU and PSU met regularly to develop the collaborative model and infrastructure for the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. In the last two years, we implemented the action plan to address the requirements for CEPH school-level accreditation. We completed the following:
- Implemented three new MPH programs by splitting the biostatistics/epidemiology into two separate programs and creating a new program in environmental systems & human health to unite with the existing programs of health management & policy, health promotion, and primary health care & health disparities; all new MPH programs graduated students;
- Folded the four existing baccalaureate concentrations in health studies under the OMPH umbrella in 2015-16 (aging studies, community health, health sciences, and school health); developed a new BS program in applied health & fitness in 2016;
- Pulled in the existing academic masters programs in biostatistics and physical activity & exercise into the School; and
- Created three new PhD programs in community health, epidemiology, and health systems & policy; three doctoral students graduated from health systems & policy program;
In contrast with the accreditation for the OMPH program, school-level accreditation also covers the research and scholarship activities of our combined faculty and staff.
Previous CEPH Accreditation Documentation
The Oregon MPH Program has been accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) since 1996. Our Current, full seven-year accreditation term extends to July 1, 2021.
On September 23, 2013 we submitted our Oregon MPH Program Self-Study and associated resource files to the CEPH for reaccreditation review.