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Kent State University to Offer New Bachelor Degree in Public Health

Posted Oct. 28, 2009

Kent State University has received approval by the Ohio Board of Regents to offer a bachelor of science (B.S.P.H.) degree in public health. Kent State University is currently accepting applications for the B.S.P.H. program for fall 2010, and courses will be available this spring semester through the Experimental Programs (EXPR) Division. The College of Public Health is also planning an undergraduate certificate in public health.

This is the first degree program of Kent State’s newly created College of Public Health, Ohio’s second college of public health. The new college was established to help meet the demonstrated state and national need for public health professionals. In Ohio alone, the projected shortage of educated and trained public health professionals is estimated to be in excess of 10,000 workers by 2020. Kent State’s College of Public Health is also a response to the University System of Ohio strategic plan, which asks universities to leverage existing areas of excellence to improve education, research, service and economic opportunities across Northeast Ohio and the eastern half of the state.

“This new public health bachelor’s degree and our College of Public Health leverage our nationally recognized expertise in health and behavior, nursing, biopreparedness, and violence prevention,” said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “Kent State is ideally positioned to produce knowledgeable, well-trained public health professionals to help meet this growing workforce demand for Ohio and our nation.”

According to a February 2008 report by the Association of Schools of Public Health, America will need 250,000 more public health workers by 2020 – a well-educated, technologically savvy and multidisciplinary workforce that includes epidemiologists, biostatisticians, health educators, health program administrators, health policy analysts, public health physicians and nurses, and occupational and environmental health specialists.

“Public health has an important role to play in reshaping the U.S. health care system,” said Kent State Provost and Senior Vice President Robert Frank, who also is serving as acting dean of the College of Public Health. “The science of prevention, the study of disease causation, and the investigation into environmental and social determinants of health – all core to public health – will continue to inform the health care reform debate. Kent State’s College of Public Health will prepare students to meet the challenges future leaders in health-related professions will face. The college’s faculty will produce cutting-edge research to advance the knowledge of how to keep people safe, healthy and productive.”

Kent State’s College of Public Health currently has 15 faculty members specializing in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, social and behavioral science, and health policy and management. The college expects to have 25 full-time faculty members. In addition to the bachelor’s degree, Kent State’s College of Public Health plans to offer master’s and doctoral degrees beginning in 2010.
For more information on the College of Public Health and the new bachelor of science degree in public health, call 330-672-6500 or visit www.kent.edu/academics/publichealth.

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Media Contacts:
Ken Slenkovich, kslenkov@kent.edu, 330-672-6504
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595