The School of Public Health (SPH) has successfully completed the accreditation process for the Master of Public Health (MPH). The Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation (APHEA) assessed the program, and it has achieved renewed the accreditation status, continuing to make the MPH at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) the only APHEA accredited program in Canada. The accreditation process involved the preparation of a self-study report followed by a site visit by APHEA evaluators, conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, who met and interviewed faculty, students and external stakeholders of the school.
“Accreditation is very important to us because it provides assurance to our faculty, our students, and the USask community and stakeholders (including potential employers) that our MPH program provides a high-quality public health education, and adequately prepares students for the public health workforce” said Dr. George Mutwiri (DVM, PhD), SPH interim executive director. “Further, the accreditation process helps identify areas of improvement and also new areas of growth.”
APHEA accreditation provides external validation of the quality of the SPH educational program and ensures it meets international standards, meaning that graduates are able to find employment anywhere in world. This is an important consideration when potential students are choosing which school to attend.
“When I was applying to MPH programs, I only looked at accredited programs.” Said Janessa Tom, a student in the MPH program. “Having external oversight over the program by an accreditation body means that there’s a standard that the curriculum and level of teaching much meet, which was a big draw for me.”
The accreditation document received by the school clearly outlined that strengths of the program included the multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary nature of the faculty and student body to enhance the student experience and the fact that the curriculum and practica were aligned to the seven categories of competences outlined by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
“I extend a thank you to every faculty, staff and student who participated in the accreditation process.” Said Mutwiri. “Public Health can be a very rewarding career and completing an MPH degree provides a mechanism for entry into the field of public health. We have seen an increased interest this past year, partly because of the ongoing public health crisis, and people would like to be a part of the solution to this global challenge.”