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Oglesby Leads National Dialogue on MPH Practicum Standards

Posted Aug. 2, 2012
OglesbyKent State is having robust influence on the discussion regarding emerging national standards for the MPH practicum in accredited schools of public health.  The work of Assistant Professor Dr. Willie H. Oglesby is guiding the discourse on the subject. 

As one of the founding faculty members, Oglesby is responsible for creating the college’s MPH practicum, a course that gives students supervised practical application of previously studied theory.  “It’s designed to polish skill sets so graduates are job-ready, and it’s required for all accredited MPH degrees,” he explains. 

Wanting to understand what leading accredited colleges of public health were doing “so we could be better,” Oglesby reviewed level of coordination, prerequisites, credit hours granted, contact hours required, contact time documentation, form of final products and student assessment methods, among other areas.  He found there was conspicuous variation.  “While the accreditation bodies have been at work on other aspects of standardization, they have not yet addressed the MPH practicum,” he says. 

Buzz among peers about his findings led to him delivering a June 27 Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) webinar that drew 70 chairs, deans and faculty leaders. “We’re not even accredited yet, and all the audience members were from accredited institutions,” he says.  “My research calls for national standards of practice to be established – standards that will cascade to hundreds of schools.  It’s my hope to lead the process under our college,” he says.