GOAL I. INSTRUCTION
|Educate students to become well-grounded in the knowledge and skills of public health research and practice and to demonstrate their ability to apply these essentials through coursework, applied experiences, and the MPH Capstone Project.|
|Objective 1.||Recruit an academically prepared student body.|
|I.1.a.||At least 90% of Program applicants offered admission each year will have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.|
|I.1.b.||At least 75% of applicants offered admission each year will have GRE scores (Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing) at the 75th percentile or higher.|
|I.1.c.||The Program shall assess mean GRE scores (Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing) for applicants, applicants offered admission, and matriculating students each year.
Target: Mean GRE scores for applicants offered admission each year shall meet or exceed the following levels:
Quantitative: 630 (old score scale) or 150 (new score scale)
Verbal: 530 (old score scale) or 155 (new score scale)
Analytical writing: 4.5
|Objective 2.||Monitor student progress throughout the Program to ensure academic success.|
|I.2.a.||Program faculty directing core or required courses will evaluate overall student performance on Program competencies in their courses at the end of each semester, assessing in a general manner whether or not students addressed competencies at a level expected for the course and reporting results to the Director of Educational Programs.
Target: 95% of students receive a rating of 3 or higher on a 4-point scale, where 1=cannot do this at all; 2=have basic foundation, but am struggling; 3- somewhat capable but would like to hone skills; 4=fully capable. Faculty advisors intervene with students whose ratings are below 3.
Program faculty will conduct semi-annual reviews of individual student performance to ensure students’ competencies are increasing are that they are on track to complete degree requirements successfully and in a timely fashion according to the rubric for:
|Objective 3.||Through Program course work and applied experiences, students will develop competencies in public health as demonstrated by assessments of student performance on Program competencies.|
|I.3.a.||Aggregated results of semi-annual student self-assessments of knowledge of and abilities in Program competencies will indicate increasing scores (on a 4-point scale, where 4 is highest competency) for each cohort by assessment milestone over time.
Target: Mean self-assessment scores for each competency increase over time, with students attaining a score of at least 3 on a 4-point scale in their final assessment in the Program.
|I.3.b.||All students will document tasks/activities completed to address Program competencies in the MPH practicum and Public Health Internship.|
|I.3.c.||Students will attain no lower than a score of 3 on a 4-point scale evaluating performance on applicable competencies on the MPH Capstone Project.
Target: 100% of students receive a score of 3 or higher on a 4-point scale, where 1=cannot do this at all; 2=have basic foundation, but am struggling; 3- somewhat capable but would like to hone skills; 4=fully capable.
|Objective 4.||Through didactic and applied, experiential teaching, train students in the appropriate knowledge and skills required to perform as public health practitioners and/or researchers.|
Students will demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge of core components of public health and a more detailed understanding of the individual area of scholarship.
Students will demonstrate an appropriate familiarity with the research literature and the ability to evaluate publications as measured by the rubric.
Students will demonstrate an appropriate level of skill in the identification and selection of meaningful problems to be addressed in public health practice or research, including the ability to defend said identifications and to design and develop appropriate methods to solve said problems as measured by the course rubric.
100% of students will demonstrate the achievement of an appropriate level of oral communication skills with respect to the content, organization, logical flow, presentation and appropriate use of language incorporating the use of visual aids.
|Objective 5.||Maintain a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1 or lower by assessing student-faculty ratio annually and documenting in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.|
|Objective 6.||Through assessment measures and feedback channels, evaluate the quality of the MPH curriculum annually to continually improve the Program.|
|I.6.a.||In end-of-semester course evaluations, all (100%) items related to general teaching skills will have mean scores no lower than 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) per evaluation item.|
|I.6.b.||Semi-annual (end of fall and spring semesters) student focus groups will be conducted to collect informal, qualitative feedback on the MPH Program curriculum and evaluate feedback for potential action for Program improvement, with results reported to the MPH Program Assessment Committee for review and identification of any issues needing follow-up.|
|I.6.c.||Ninety percent of Program graduates will complete exit interviews, and aggregate data will be presented to the MPH Program Assessment Committee annually for review and identification of any issues needing improvement and/or follow-up.|
|I.6.d.||Eighty percent of Program graduates will find employment or be pursuing further education within 6 months of graduation.|
|I.6.e.||The Program will annually survey alumni from the past 3 years for feedback on the usefulness of the MPH Program training in preparing graduates for careers and further education and present results to the MPH Program Assessment Committee for review and identification of any issues needing improvement and/or follow-up.|
|I.6.f.||The Program will annually survey employers of MPH Program graduates from the past 3 years for feedback on training needs in public health and performance of MPH Program graduates and present results to the MPH Program Assessment Committee for review and identification of any issues needing follow-up.|
Program administration and department chairs will mentor Program faculty as identified by the Program to optimize instructional Programs and improve teaching quality as reflected in course evaluations and focus group feedback.
I.6.g.2 Faculty receiving mean teaching evaluation scores below 3.0 will receive mentoring and/or training.
The Program will document annual faculty enrollment in workshops or other training designed to improve teaching and tabulate these data in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Sustain or increase the number of professional development (teaching) events that faculty attend from the 2009-10 baseline of 3.
|I.6.i.||The Program will summarize assessment efforts related to Program goals and objectives in an annual evaluation report and share this report, at a minimum, with the MPH Program Assessment Committee.|
GOAL II. RESEARCH
|Develop and expand innovative research ultimately focused on health promotion and disease prevention in diverse populations to advance discovery, foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and develop student scholarship.|
|Objective 1.||Recruit and retain well-qualified faculty members.|
|II.1.a.||Ensure that faculty hires meet appropriate minimum standards in training, instruction, and research for Program needs and that teaching assignments reflect faculty expertise as specified in University policy and Departmental faculty guidelines. Results will be reported to the MPH Program Curriculum Committee.
Target: 100% of new hires have (1) advanced training (e.g., terminal graduate or professional degree according to position description) in their specialty field and in the area of intended instruction, (2) prior teaching experience, and (3) demonstrated proficiency in obtaining funding.
|II.1.b.||The Public Health Department Chairs will ensure that Program faculty receive mentoring to help in the successful development of their individual research portfolios, through one-on-one mentoring or through resources such as the Academy of Mentors at the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research.|
|Objective 2.||Strive to increase or sustain funding for public health-related research.|
|II.2.a.||Total dollars in competitive grant applications submitted through the department each year will increase or be sustained, with results documented in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Monetary value of grant applications from DE faculty as PI increases or is sustained at baseline 2009-10 level of $11,981,995.
|Objective 3.||Sustain or increase the number of faculty-authored, peer-reviewed research publications and presentations annually and document results in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Sustain or increase publications and presentations at a minimum of a mean of 3 publications and 2 presentations annually per faculty member.
|Objective 4.||Foster student-authored publications and presentations.|
|I.4.a.||All students with a research-based Capstone Project will present their results in a formal research forum approved by the MPH Program, and all presentations will be documented in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.|
|II.4.b.||All students with practice-based Capstone Projects will present their Projects in appropriate forums, such as at their Capstone site or a formal research forum, and all presentations will be documented in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.|
|II.4.c .||Annually, at least 20% of students will collaborate with faculty to co-author publications and presentations, and all refereed presentations and peer-reviewed publications will be documented in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.|
GOAL III. SERVICE
|Contribute to the university and greater community through service to public health agencies, organizations, and community-based groups.|
|Objective 1.||Increase or sustain the number of discrete and continuing service events and activities in which faculty engage each year and document activities in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Sustain or increase number of faculty service activities from 2009-10 baseline of 20.
|Objective 2.||Assure that students participate in community service through service-learning, student-sponsored service events, or student participation in organized service events.|
|III.2.a.||Ensure that all students complete a minimum of 20 hours of community-based service-learning and document completion of this requirement in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.|
|III.2.b.||Ensure that all students complete the required Public Health Internship, monitor the organizations and type of work completed in the community each year, and document internship host sites in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.|
|III.2.c.||Support and monitor the student-initiated (e.g., Public Health Student Association) service events , sustaining or increasing the number of events each year, and document these activities in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Sustain or increase number of student-initiated events from 2009-10 baseline of 4.
|Objective 3.||Provide training for professionals in the public health workforce.|
|III.3.a.||Increase or sustain the continuing education offerings provided each year, including a minimum of 2 Program-organized events, and document these activities in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Number of continuing education offerings is sustained or increased each year from the 2009-10 baseline of 5, with the Program developing at least 2 workshops or events.
|III.3.b.||Annually collect information from professionals in the workforce on training needs, through surveys, informational interviews, focus groups, or similar methods; document these activities in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report; and use the data collected to design future continuing education offerings.|
GOAL IV. Diversity
|Foster learning and working environments that value a sense of inclusiveness and respect for all individuals by embracing diversity and equity.|
|Objective 1.||Within the limits of the available applicant pool, strive to increase or maintain the proportion of students from under-represented racial/ethnic groups (URREG) who meet Program standards who are offered admission to, matriculate in, and graduate from the MPH Program. Document these data in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Thirty-five percent of qualified applicants with diverse backgrounds will be offered admission, with a goal of 30% of matriculated students from diverse backgrounds.
|Objective 2.||Within the available applicant pool, strive to increase or maintain the proportion of URREG in Program faculty and document these data in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Sustain or increase proportion of URREG in core faculty; at least one URREG faculty member recruited every 3 years.
|Objective 3.||Within the available applicant pool, strive to increase or maintain the proportion of URREG in long-term, full-time, and part-time Program staff. Document these data in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Sustain or increase proportion of URREG in staff; at least one URREG staff every 3 years.
Ensure representation of faculty and students from URREG participating in Program governance (committees) and document diversity of committee composition in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
GOAL V. Program DEVELOPMENT
|Continually improve the Program by providing appropriate resources for learning, research, and service; promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and faculty development; and responding to evolving trends in public health research and practice.|
|Objective 1.||Increase or sustain financial resources for the MPH Program and document resources in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Sustain or increase resources at the prior year’s level.
|Objective 2.||Provide designated space and equipment for teaching, research, administration, and service.|
|V.2.a.||Through feedback from exit interviews and focus groups, ensure that students have appropriate space for learning, study, and work responsibilities.
Target: Sustain or increase facility space from 2009-10 baseline level of 6,800 squarefeet.
Through assessment of resources, data from exit interviews, course evaluations, and focus groups, ensure that available classroom resources serve the Program’s instructional needs.
|Objective 3.||Encourage interdisciplinary and cross-departmental training.|
Encourage dual degree Program enrollment through annual support of public health interest groups and recruitment efforts.
|V.3.b.||Expand relationships within and outside of the University to develop and sustain partnership resources available to Program faculty and students and document grant collaborations, interdisciplinary public health seminars, community collaborations, and similar activities in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report.
Target: Sustain or increase the number of external relationships established by Program faculty from the 2009-10 baseline of 28.
|Objective 4.||Within Program means, foster faculty development through annual support for professional meetings designed to enhance faculty skills and knowledge and document faculty attendance at such meetings in the MPH Program Annual Evaluation Report. Target: Sustain or increase number of Division of Epidemiology faculty training events from mean of at least one annual professional meeting per faculty member.|
|Objective 5.||Through annual focus groups or information sessions with public health professionals, assess the changing needs of public health practice and, as faculty resources permit, revise curricula to meet those needs.
Target: Hold at least one session every year for feedback on trends in public health and related training needs.