College of Public Health Launches Three New Graduate Certificates

The College of Public Health is proud to announce the launch of three graduate certificates created in direct response to community healthcare needs. The LGBTQ+ Public Health, Healthcare Compliance, and Clinical Research certificates will begin in fall 2023.

Certificates can be completed 100 percent online, providing access to all students and professionals interested in advancing their career and making a real difference in their fields. The new graduate certificates are between 12 to 15 credit hours and can be taken as stand-alone programs or combined with other graduate programs including a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.

LGBTQ+ Public Health Certificate

The 13 credit hour LGBTQ+ Public Health graduate certificate is for those individuals who strive for healthcare equity. The program addresses foundational topics and complex issues that contribute to public health and individual health inequities affecting sexual and gender minorities through community and systems-level strategies that promote health and healthy behaviors.

Jehlani White, a first year MPH graduate student (pictured below, right) with a social and behavioral sciences concentration, enrolled in the certificate program to pursue their passion for championing and providing care and resources to the LGBTQ+ community, addressing health disparities. “It’s important to show up for LGBTQ+ people,” White states. “Thanks to the certificate, I hope to learn all of the skills I can to be a better advocate and researcher. After earning my MPH and LGBTQ+ Public Health graduate certificate, I aspire to work in the nonprofit sector and create programming, resources, and/or services for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and LGBTQ+ individuals,” White adds.

Photo of a group of CPH students.

“This certificate was created for those who share a passion for healthcare equity and aspire to make a difference in the lives of sexual and gender minorities,” said Andrew Snyder, RN, MPH, outreach program director at the College of Public Health. 

This certificate can be started in the Fall or Spring semester.

Healthcare Compliance Certificate

The 15 credit hour Healthcare Compliance graduate certificate is for individuals interested in the growing field of healthcare compliance. The curriculum prepares students to navigate complex laws and regulations, identify potential risk areas, develop policies, train staff, evaluate program effectiveness and conduct investigations. The program has been submitted to the Compliance Certification Board and is currently pending review and approval for CCB University Accreditation. CCB waives the work experience requirement for graduates of accredited programs. This benefit allows candidates a much quicker path to sit for the Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) exam. 

According to Thomas W. Brewer, Ph.D, M.Jur., CHC, associate professor of Health Policy and Management with Kent State’s College of Public Health, the demand for healthcare compliance professionals is at an all-time high. Organizations across the industry face significant financial, and potentially criminal penalties, for lapses in fraud, waste, and abuse enforcement. Compliance professionals work in an incredibly dynamic space between legal, clinical, and administrative staff to, ideally, prevent compliance problems in the first place, but investigate and respond to issues if they arise. 

According to Brewer “currently, there are no other colleges of public health that are accredited by the CCB–it’s mostly law schools. Kent State’s program will be an attractive option as the new certificate fits perfectly into our existing online MPH concentration in Health Policy and Management.” Students can start with the certificate and stay for the MPH. “Another benefit is that our program has the lowest cost-per-credit-hour tuition which makes it a fantastic value” Brewer continues. 

This certificate can be started in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters.                                                                                                             

Clinical Research Certificate

The 12 credit hour Clinical Research graduate certificate is for clinicians who need more training on research methods or those who strive to be clinical researchers. This program addresses industry best practices, clinical epidemiology study designs, Good Clinical Practices, regulatory affairs that guide clinical research, research ethics and HIPAA. With clinical trials on the rise, you can be ready to address the research needs of hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, and both university and medical schools.

According to Melissa Zullo, Ph.D., MPH, associate dean and professor of Epidemiology, who coordinates the clinical research programs in the College of Public Health, jobs in clinical research are on the rise and nurses or other healthcare providers who want to move into clinical research and complete the graduate certificate will receive the training necessary to become competent members of a clinical research team. “The graduate certificate can be taken as part of the MS in Clinical Research or as a stand-alone certificate. Either way, students will come away with the foundational skills necessary to secure jobs in hospitals or other research organizations,” said Zullo.

This certificate can be started in the fall semester only.

Tuition for the new graduate certificates is approximately $695 per credit hour. All certificates can be completed in two to three semesters and financial aid and scholarship support is available for students enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours. 

To learn more about the new graduate certificates, plan to attend a live, interactive information session. An information session for the LGBTQ+ Public Health certificate will be held on Tuesday, July 18, from 6 - 7 p.m., and an information session for the Compliance certificate will be held on Wednesday, July 19, from 7 - 8 p.m. Click to register for either information session. Read more details about the certificates on our website or contact Gretchen Thomas, College of Public Health coordinator of recruitment and retention, at

POSTED: Monday, June 26, 2023 11:31 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 29, 2023 09:26 AM