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Master of Public Health program to start in fall

A Master of Public Health program will be offered this fall after previous attempts to get the program running failed. 

The new program was approved by the health sciences department in 2013 and by Academic Senate in 2014. It was stalled from starting last fall because the college had difficulty finding a program director and other faculty. 

Program director Joseph Inungu started at Central Michigan University on April 4 after taking a sabbatical in Africa. He previously taught at CMU from 2001 to 2007 in the community health department. 

“All of the faculty are concerned about maintaining and promoting public health,” Inungu said. “CMU is a growing university, so we felt it was time for us to put forward a Masters of Public Health to contribute to the training of future health professionals.”

Salma Haidar, School of Health Sciences faculty member, served as the interim program director while Inungu was away.

The program will begin in the fall of 2016. Applicants are being accepted for next fall. 

Haidar is reviewing student applications for the program. Admission requirements include a cumulative 3.0 grade point average or better and an official standardized graduate-level test score.

“There is a lot of interest on a daily basis. I get emails from students daily about the masters program and meet with students,” Haidar said.

Inungu said 30 students have applied as of April 6, and roughly 12 of those students meet the criteria for acceptance. 

Faculty will meet to discuss whether to admit students that are on the edge of meeting criteria, such as taking a prerequisite class the same semester they are admitted. 

New classes will be offered in  Public Health Environmental Science, Biostatistics, Health Planning and Assessment among others. All new classes were approved by the curriculum committee and by the College of Health Professions. Students need 47 credit hours to earn a degree in Public Health. 

“I would like to see the program on campus and online,” Haidar said. “The benefits of being on campus are we get to elevate education and work alongside the graduate students. (The) benefits of online (programs) are that international students can learn from our program.”

The community health field is projected to grow at a rate of 25 percent until 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Public Health is a growing field. It educates us as a healthier society,” said Thomas Masterson, dean of the College of Health Professions.

The environment in the public health field is to get into preventive medicine and to improve the health of a population. It looks at statistics and analyzes a population to find the case of illness and disease.

Flint junior Cora Hickey is getting her bachelor’s degree in Public Health and is considering getting her Master’s degree.

“Public Health is becoming more popular and it’s smart for the school to invest in a master’s program,” Hickey said.