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The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century
accredited schools of public health: Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine.
Although originally designed for CDC staff, the GCP was later opened to all interested public health professionals. Core courses in epidemiology, health policy, health management, biostatistics, behavioral sciences, and health education were typically delivered in the first half of the program. In the later phase, students focused on one of the following specialty tracks: epidemiology and surveillance, health policy and management, or community health. The Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health began in 1996 and ended in January 2001, leaving programs with no resources to continue the training program.
In recent years, schools of public health have made praiseworthy efforts to form critical links with practice and community sectors. Most schools of public health now require practicums of their students; the development of collaborations and partnerships has received increasing emphasis (discussed below in the section Service); practice-based research efforts have been expanded (discussed in the section Research); and certificate programs and distance-learning programs aimed at providing lifelong learning to practicing public health workers have grown.
Development of certificate programs that emphasize core public health concepts is one response to the 1988 recommendation for programs aimed at educating the current workforce. This type of certificate is an abbreviated version of the MPH. The content of the program tends to emphasize the concepts from the five core content areas of knowledge basic to public health taught in MPH programs. Some schools also offer certificate programs that follow courses of study in the specific content areas of public health. Admissions standards and completion requirements vary with each certificate program. Courses within certificate programs generally must be taken for academic credit. The certificate is issued by the sponsor upon satisfactory completion of course work.
Academic institutions also offer summer institutes and courses aimed at the current workforce. A variety of subjects are covered in this manner, from basic biostatistics, epidemiology, and geographic information system applications to management and administration for middle to upper managers. Such programs can range in length from a 1-day course to weeklong offerings. At present, the majority of students pursuing degrees in professional public health programs are educated via classroom-based instruction. Such face-to-face contact in teaching is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that these close and continuing relationships help break down racial, cultural, and class barriers and promote trust and a sense of community (Citrin, 2001). Additionally, most planning and