West Virginia University has been accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) for a five-year term, extending through July 1, 2020.

"This national accreditation is another great example of how West Virginia University is leading the way in the important work of training public health educators, practitioners and researchers for the ultimate goal of improving the health of all West Virginians," said WVU President Gordon Gee. "Congratulations to our health sciences faculty, staff and alumni and to our state partners for being champions for this game-changing school."

CEPH is the only independent agency recognized to accredit graduate schools of public health and graduate public health programs outside schools of public health. In addition to establishing the School of Public Health in 2012, WVU underwent the rigorous two-year, self-study process required for full-school accreditation status.

“Reaching this milestone is a crucial step in implementing the vision of our school: to partner with communities to improve the health of West Virginians and to use innovation and technology to optimize the well-being of the people across the Appalachian region,” said Gregory Hand, Ph.D., M.P.H., dean of the School of Public Health. “National accreditation means West Virginia can be confident of the value of our academic degrees and that we will remain on the cusp of current public health theory and translation into practice.”    

“The accreditation process requires commitment from administrators, faculty, staff, students and other constituents,” said Laura Rasar King, executive director of CEPH. “The Council recognizes the efforts of West Virginia University to make ongoing improvements to ensure that students receive a high-quality education that advances them toward their career goals.”   

For purposes of CEPH accreditation, excellence in education relates directly to proficiency in practice. Public health schools and programs focus on the preparation of individuals who will serve as practitioners, researchers and teachers who are competent to carry out broad public health functions in local, state, national and international settings.

“Becoming an accredited school was an ambitious goal that was achieved through the efforts and support of many who deserve recognition. Special thanks go to Dean Hand and his faculty and staff; Drs. Jeffrey Coben and Alan Ducatman, who served as interim deans; the West Virginia Legislature and the Department of Health and Human Resources; public health champions like Senator Ron Stollings and Dr. Rahul Gupta, the commissioner for the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health; and the students, alumni and friends of the School,” said Clay Marsh, M.D., vice president and executive dean of the Health Sciences Center.    

View the press release: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2015/06/24/wvu-s-school-of-public-health-receives-national-accreditation.