Public Health in the National News – The College of Public Health announces the launch of new online programs at the University of Nebraska. These programs will address a growing workforce demand for more public health professionals. A master of science in emergency preparedness and professional certificates in public health and emergency preparedness can now be obtained fully online through the University of Nebraska’s Online Worldwide website. All are graduate-level programs offered by the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The programs aim to strengthen the public health workforce in order to meet the health needs of the U.S. and global populations. The Association of Schools of Public Health estimates that 250,000 more public health workers will be needed by 2020. Compounding this challenge is the fact that 23% of the current U.S. public health workforce—almost 110,000 workers—are eligible to retire this year.
The certificate in public health includes 18 credit hours (six courses) focused on the core areas of health behavior, environmental health, biostatistics, epidemiology, administration, and global health. Students may be able to apply the coursework toward a master’s degree in public health.
The certificate in emergency preparedness is also an 18-credit hour program. The federal Department of Homeland Security’s core focus areas—prevent, protect, respond, and recover—form the structural basis for the program. The master of science in emergency preparedness, a 36-credit hour program, is designed to teach professionals how to plan for and respond to events such as natural and man-made disasters, terrorist attacks, or infectious disease threats.
The College of Public Health recognizes that working professionals have many commitments in their lives. While the academic rigor of our online courses is the same as our on-campus versions, the convenience and flexibility of online learning is appealing to many working professionals. “Learning online is very convenient. You can collaborate and communicate in groups, exchange files, discuss topics with the class, track your progress in the course, and access electronic resources. I particularly like the use of multimedia in my classes,” said Junmin Zhou, a student taking a core course online. Courses are divided into weekly modules where students access learning materials and complete assignments by specific dates. Everything that the student needs is located in one place and accessible through an Internet connection from anywhere in the world.
This article was written by Sergio Costa, PhD, director of distance learning in the UNMC COPH Office of the Dean. Adapted with permission from Online WorldWide, University of Nebraska.