La Salle University’s Public Health Programs of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences have been accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The Council is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs across the country. Accreditation certifies that La Salle’s programs meet the standards of public health education to equip students with competencies required to be an effective public health practitioner.
“What accreditation means for La Salle students is the confidence that their degree is from a program that is nationally recognized as one that is comprehensive and academically rigorous,” said Zupenda Davis-Shine, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, director and assistant professor of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health Program. “It also makes our students eligible to participate in public health internships and fellowships sponsored by various federal agencies. Additionally, there are career opportunities that are only open for graduates of accredited programs.”
“With several public health programs in the area, the accreditation status recognizes La Salle’s programs as competitive and high quality,” said Candace Robertson-James, DrPH, MPH, director and assistant professor of the Master of Public Health Program at La Salle University. “Our MPH program focuses on urban health disparities and seeks to promote social justice as we address the needs of underserved, vulnerable, and marginalized populations.”
With this recognition, all of La Salle University’s programs under the School of Nursing and Health Sciences are accredited. The initial accreditation date is February 22, 2014, meaning that any student who graduated after this date can state that they graduated from an accredited program in public health.
La Salle’s Masters of Public Health Program was founded in 2010 and the Bachelor of Science in Public Health Program in 2013. La Salle has graduated 43 students from the MPH Program and 65 from the BSPH Program.
The accreditation process took three years to complete. Once the University’s application was accepted and approved, program directors prepared a full self-study that outlined criteria on structure and governance; resources; diversity; degree offerings; research, service, and workforce development; faculty qualifications; student recruitment and admissions; and advising and career counseling. Upon submission of the self-study, La Salle hosted an on-site visit which allowed CEPH to meet with program directors, faculty, and administrators of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences as well as the Provost, President, preceptors, alumni, advisory board members, students and community members.
The CEPH acknowledgement is one of the most sought after accreditations for schools and programs in public health. Schools that wish to become CEPH accredited must meet the proper criteria, including a high level of academic excellence and the ability to prepare students for careers after graduation.