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ASPPH Presents Engaging Stakeholders in Undergraduate Curriculum Development

Originally scheduled for the 2017 Undergraduate Summit for Public Health and Global Health Education, this webinar featured two presentations::

  • Building Together: A Model for Building an Integrated Undergraduate Public Health Curriculum
  • Developing an undergraduate public health degree on a shoestring budget


Find out more about each presentation below.


Building Together: A Model for Building an Integrated Undergraduate Public Health Curriculum, presented by Margaret Chorazy, MPH, PhD, University of Iowa College of Public Health


Learning Objectives:

  • Identify at least one method for bringing together faculty, staff, and students to develop curricular goals
  • Identify at least one benefit of an integrated curriculum as compared to a non-integrated curriculum.


The University of Iowa College of Public Health has recently launched two undergraduate degree programs in public health. The Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Public Health will provide students with a basic understanding of the five core public health knowledge areas: biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, and occupational and environmental health sciences.

Over the course of a year, faculty, staff, and students participated in the development of our undergraduate curriculum through open forums, committee meetings, and individual and team development opportunities. The result of our efforts is an integrated public health core curriculum that is shared by both of our undergraduate degree programs and is entirely set apart from our existing graduate degree courses. The integrated curriculum allows us to break down departmental silos and to teach public health in a truly interdisciplinary manner. For example, Public Health Science: Inquiry and Investigation in Public Health is a first-year course that will provide a foundational understanding of the conceptual underpinnings of biostatistics, epidemiology, and evidence-based public health and the ways in which different scientific disciplines work together to address public health goals. Several of our courses were developed and will be taught by interdepartmental faculty teams. By choosing not to follow a departmental 101 course model (e.g., Epidemiology 101, Biostatistics 101, etc.), we have largely avoided curricular conflicts with our graduate degree programs.

This presentation will provide a model for the creation of an integrated core curriculum for undergraduate public health that includes faculty, staff, and students in the development process.


Developing an undergraduate public health degree on a shoestring budget, presented by Miranda Worthen, PhD, San Jose State University


Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how students, tenured, tenure track and adjunct faculty, alumni and prospective employers can be engaged through the development of a public health bachelors degree.
  • Map out the steps required to initiate and implement a major program change.


San Jose State University is a large, public university with a robust Health Science major with over 500 students and an MPH degree that has been continuously accredited since 1974. We are in the process of transitioning from offering a B.S. in Health Science to a B.S. in Public Health and seeking CEPH accreditation for this undergraduate degree. We describe here the steps we undertook to initiate and implement this substantial program change, which we did with very limited resources.

Undertaking a substantial program change benefits from proactive engagement with all stakeholders: administrators, tenured, tenure track and adjunct faculty, current students, alumni, and community partners who place interns and hire graduates. In a well-funded institution, proactive engagement may take the form of full-faculty retreats, facilitation by professional consultants, and a committee with a broad mandate and time allocated to this work. In a low resource setting, deep engagement necessarily looks different. We describe how we engaged key stakeholders throughout the process.

Our process included four phases. In phase one, we considered the CEPH criteria, analyzed curricula from approximately 70 other programs, and created a matrix of curricular components of accreditable programs. We compared our existing curriculum these criteria.

In phase 2, we collaboratively developed a proposed curriculum for a B.S. in Public Health with two concentrations – one in community health and one in healthcare administration. We developed new Program Learning Outcomes for the major and concentrations and mapped out how revised Course Learning Objectives support these PLOs.

In phase 3, we created a timeline for course revisions, course development, and implementation of the new curriculum, identifying clear pathways to graduation for students at different stages in their degree. In the final phase, we will complete the university requirements for implementing these changes and seek CEPH accreditation.

  • Featured Speakers

    Margaret Chorazy, MPH, PhD

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Director, Undergraduate Programs, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa

    Miranda Worthen, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Department of Health Science and Recreation, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, San Jose State University

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