Innovative HPM MPH Programs Accelerate
Two of the college’s innovative MPH programs – the fully online MPH and the MPH with a focus on leadership and organizational change – are gaining traction and adding cohorts. Both are designed with flexibility in mind, to appeal to students with major work or family commitments that would inhibit a full-time, traditional MPH education in Health Policy & Management (HPM).
Kent State is offering the first fully online HPM MPH program available from an Ohio university and one of only a handful nationwide. While the college will officially launch the program in Fall Semester 2015, a nine-student cohort has already enrolled and is taking classes.
The new program is coordinated by Willie H. Oglesby, PhD, assistant professor, HPM. “The online MPH has all the excellence and rigor of the college’s full- and part-time face-to-face programs. We’re serving a number of new audiences, including tech-savvy millennials looking for an alternative learning environment and working professionals who want to advance in their careers, but find it too difficult to schedule traditional in-person classes,” says Oglesby, who has the most online teaching experience among the college’s faculty.
In the ramp-up to the official launch, three 15-week courses are being offered this semester: Health Care Systems, Financial Management for Public Health Organizations and Public Health Administration. Oglesby is teaching Health Care Systems, Philip Weintraub is the instructor for the financial management course, and Ken Slenkovich and Jonathan Van Geest, PhD, are faculty for Public Health Administration.
The online courses are open to any Kent State student in addition to those enrolled in the online degree program. Starting next fall, students will take one seven-week class at a time, completing the degree in six or seven semesters.
Everspring is the university’s partner in designing and marketing online courses and degree programs. The firm will be conducting a national marketing campaign for Kent State’s online MPH. Further information about the curriculum and extensive FAQs are available on the College of Public Health website.
Leadership and Organizational Change Cohort
The college’s two-year-old MPH program in a weeknight offering has expanded to two locations this semester. Class meetings for the cohort program, which focuses on leadership and organizational change, are offered on Tuesdays at the Twinsburg Regional Academic Center and on Thursdays at Kent State Trumbull from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Nine students in first Twinsburg cohort graduated in August. Eighteen students are enrolled in the second-year cohort in Twinsburg, and 13 new students started their first year there. At the Trumbull campus, 10 students have formed the initial cohort this semester.
“The students represent a wide variety of organizations and functions, including health departments, health systems and companies serving the health industry,” observes Professor Ken Zakariasen, PhD, DDS, director of the leadership and organizational change cohorts. “Functions represented include management, communication, accounting, technology, billing, dentistry, pharmacy, imaging, nursing and more,” he says.
Two 2014 graduates, Suzanne Krippel and Frank Migliozzi, are teaching in the program, guest lecturing this fall in Public Health Administration. “They have 38 years of public health experience between them,” says Zakariasen. “The students love them for the practical experience they bring to the class and how they engage in interactive learning,” he adds.
Of the college’s approximately 160 master’s students, about half are in HPM degree programs, and about half of those students are enrolled in one of the leadership cohorts. “We’re offering what students are not able to get elsewhere, in terms of training and flexibility,” says Zakariasen. “Students come because we meet their needs. Our programs fit into their balance of work, family and school,” he concludes.