On July 1, 2012, the West Virginia University School of Public Health emerged as the first school to be created at WVU in more than 50 years. The School of Public Health (SPH) is now in the process of earning accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) through a rigorous, two-year, self-study process. CEPH accreditation will allow the School of Public Health to play on a bigger field. All of the School of Public Health programs are accredited through West Virginia University.
The new SPH was formed on the foundation of the former WVU School of Medicine Department of Community Medicine, which offered the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, already accredited by CEPH.
“What changes is that we are going through the process of becoming externally accredited as a full school,” Alan M. Ducatman, MD, Interim Founding Dean, said. “There are a few schools which are externally accredited, such as Medicine, Engineering, and Public Health. The process is much more rigorous. We are going for that status now for all of our programs, in addition to the founding MPH program.”
The Master of Public Health program is also recognized by the professional agency, the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).
“For the student, nothing changes. Our student placements have been excellent and it is our plan that they will stay excellent. What will change is the nature of the accreditation. This process will put the SPH programs under a single external umbrella,” Dr. Ducatman said.
“We will get more involved in national public health affairs. That will create some additional opportunities for the students. Our application will change as well. Students will fill out a national application which will enable them to designate us as one of the schools they are interested in. That won’t occur until we are fully accredited. It is not a huge change, but it will be different.”