What is the Council on Education for Public Health?

The Council on Education for Public Health is the one and only nationally recognized accrediting agency for higher educational organizations that offer public health degree programs.


An Introduction

The Council on Education for Public Health is recognized by the Department of Education as being the only accrediting agency that is empowered to certify universities that offer graduate-level public health degrees. The CEPH helps schools and private programs evaluate their educational system's research, service and curricula quality. Once these schools and programs meet standardized criteria, the Council grants official accreditation. The criteria basis for accreditation focuses on how the educational programs prepare graduates to become public health professionals who strive to enhance community health.

The Mission

All public health schools and programs share the identical objective of preparing individuals to become public health inspectors, researchers, practitioners and educations. These professionals must be competent enough to deal with a variety of public health issues within local, state and national settings. Therefore, the ultimate mission of the CEPH is to ensure academic excellence through demonstrative proficiency in public health practices. By focusing on competency, the Council successfully links learning with applied research and best practices. When graduates enter the workforce, they are prepared to deal with current problems and stay up-to-date with public health developments. Some graduates will be ready to pursue doctorate-level research degrees that focus on relevant community and public health problems. Additionally, the first requirement of the CEPH's accreditation process is for the school of public health to create a clearly formulated mission that includes values and goals.

Why CEPH Accreditation Matters?

There are three primary reasons why the CEPH accreditation matters. First, certain employment positions are only open to graduates of CEPH-accredited programs, such those offered by the U.S. military, the U.S. Public Health Service and local and state government agencies. In fact, the National Board of Public Health Examiners' (NBPHE) national credentialing exam is only available to graduates of CEPH-accredited schools. Almost all private employers prefer candidates who graduate from CEPH-accredited schools. Second, certain fellowships, scholarships, internships are only available to students attending a CEPH-accredited school. However, certain fellowships are offered through the related, yet independent Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). Third, there are certain benefits for students. CEPH-accredited programs guarantee students access to quality educational experiences and rigorously comprehensiveness curricula. Additionally, many CEPH-accredited schools offer their public health programs online with flexible dual degree programs.

Preparing for Accreditation

The accreditation process begins with a formal application and required documentation. Schools must submit documentation that illustrates the goals, which are measured through qualitative indicators, and the values, which are illustrated through the mission scope. College administrators must describe how all of these were developed, which stakeholders were involved and how the information was disseminated to students. College administrators must also include formal SWOT like evaluations that objectively present how the accreditation criterion is met. Once schools are accredited, they receive an inspection every one to two years. These informal audits are opportunities for the Council on EPH employees to meet first hand with students, faculty and college deans.

The Council on Education for Public Health is the premier accrediting body for public health Master and Doctorate degree programs.

Additional Resource: 50 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs 2015

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