Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Accreditation
Accreditation is an important process of peer review to assess and verify the quality of institutions, programs and services, and to ensure continuous improvement. Schools and programs in public health are reviewed and accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the independent accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure the quality of education and training in public health. The University of Maryland School of Public Health was first accredited by CEPH in 2010 and is currently undergoing our reaccreditation review.
The school conducts and produces a self-study that comprehensively describes and evaluates the school’s organization, governance, resources, faculty, students, curriculum, research, and services within the context of specific criteria set forth by CEPH. An external peer review committee evaluates the resulting self-study, then visits the school and meets with a variety of stakeholders including faculty, students, staff, alumni, and external community representatives. This committee makes a recommendation to the CEPH Board on whether the school should continue to be accredited; the CEPH Board subsequently makes the ultimate decision.
About the Self-Study
The format of the document and many of the tables are prescribed by the CEPH Criteria and organized into four major sections: (1) The School, (2) Instructional Programs, (3) Creation, Application and Advancement of Knowledge, and (4) Faculty, Staff and Students. Like most accreditation documents, it is heavily process-oriented and supported by data and examples. In addition to the data tables in this document, an additional PDF of appendices includes key data tables referenced in the self-study document.
About the Site Visit
The on-site visit by a team of peer reviewers is an important component of the accreditation process. This affords the review team opportunity to validate the self-study document, and to elicit clarifying and complementary information from faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners. The UMD SPH site visit was held April 29 through May 1, 2015.
|12/1/2014||Preliminary Self-Study & Electronic Resource File Due to CEPH||✔|
|1/29/15||Receipts of "comments letter" from CEPH Preliminary Reviewers on Preliminary Self-Study||✔|
|1/29/14-3/29/15||All SPH constituents notified of accreditation review and opportunity to submit 3rd party comments to CEPH||✔|
|3/30/15||Final Self-Study Document Due to CEPH||✔|
|4/29/15-5/1/15||CEPH Official Site Visit||✔|
|10/22/15-10/24/15||CEPH Board of Councilors Meeting, accreditation decision made|
Receive official CEPH notification of accreditation decision
What are the Benefits of Accreditation?
CEPH accreditation serves multiple purposes for different constituents. In general, specialized accreditation attests to the quality of an educational program that prepares for entry into a recognized profession.
- For the public, accreditation promotes the health, safety and welfare of society by assuring competent public health professionals.
- For prospective students and their parents, accreditation serves a consumer protection purpose. It provides assurance that the school or program has been evaluated and has met accepted standards established by and with the profession.
- For prospective employers, it provides assurance that the curriculum covers essential skills and knowledge needed for today’s jobs.
- For graduates, it promotes professional mobility and enhances employment opportunities in positions that base eligibility upon graduation from an accredited school or program.
- For public health workers, it involves practitioners in the establishment of standards and assures that educational requirements reflect the current training needs of the profession.
- For the profession, it advances the field by promoting standards of practice and advocating rigorous preparation.
- For the federal government and other public funding agencies, it serves as a basis for determining eligibility for federally funded programs and student financial aid.
- For foundations and other private funding sources, it represents a highly desirable indicator of a program’s quality and viability.
- For the university, it provides a reliable basis for inter- and intra-institutional cooperative practices, including admissions and transfer of credit.
- For the faculty and administrators, it promotes ongoing self-evaluation and continuous improvement and provides an effective system for accountability.
- For the school or program, accreditation enhances its national reputation and represents peer recognition.