CEPH Accreditation: The Benefits for Our Graduate Public Health Students and APUS

By Dr. Samer Koutoubi, Program Director, Public Health

I am pleased to announce that the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) has accredited our Master of Public Health (MPH) program, making APUS the first fully-online institution to have its program so recognized.

Who is CEPH and what does this specialized accreditation mean to our public health program? CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit both schools of public health and programs offered by other academic institutions. Our program offers high-quality instruction with proven excellence in teaching, research, and service through various collaborations with different organization and community partners. Receiving this distinction therefore validates our rigorous academic standards and further enhances credibility for our program, School of Health Sciences and APUS itself.

According to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), CEPH accreditation offers the following key benefits to students:

  • Comprehensiveness: Accredited schools and programs provide undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in a number of areas.
  • Rigor: Schools and programs undergo a rigorous accreditation process on a regular basis to assure students of a quality educational experience.
  • Flexibility: Many accredited schools and programs offer online, dual-degree and executive programs.
  • Qualification: Eligibility to sit for the Certified in Public Health exam, administered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE).
  • Opportunity: Eligibility for internships and fellowships sponsored by various federal agencies, as well as student assistance resources available only through accredited schools and programs.
  • Recognition: Because accredited schools and programs are peer-reviewed, students can be sure their institution has met CEPH standards.

In addition to graduate eligibility for the NBPHE Certified Public Health credential, APUS students who have completed or are currently enrolled in the graduate-level core may also be eligible to sit for the exam and be provisionally certified until graduation.

How did this significant accomplishment come about? APUS’s accreditation process began several years ago with submitting an application, then an intense self-study and, finally, a site visit by CEPH officials. The self-study provides clear explanation of key criteria and provides the opportunity to align and ensure compliance of programs’ current practices with CEPH’s documented best practices, and for potential deficiencies to be eliminated or corrected before the official site visit. I worked with program leadership and faculty, university staff and CEPH investigators to evaluate and assess the depth and breadth of our program to identify and rectify potential pitfalls.

I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all who were part of and contributed to this important APUS milestone, especially School of Health Sciences Dean Dr. Brian Freeland, VP of Assessment and Accreditation Dr. Jennifer Helm and Associate VP of Specialty Accreditation Julie Atwood.

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