Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Accreditation

We invite you to read and comment on our draft self-study reaccreditation document.

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 Process

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.

Get Involved

All parties, including students, alumni, faculty and the practice community, can submit their comments on the self-study draft or the school’s programs in general directly to the school at sphaccreditation@umd.edu. Part of this process includes gaining input from all our stakeholders, so your voice is important.

Written input can also be submitted directly to the accrediting agency. Anyone who feels that he or she has relevant information may submit a third-party comment, including individuals who are also participating in the self-study and site visit. Written third-party comments will be accepted by CEPH until March 29, 2015, 30 days before the on-site visit begins. Written comments can be directed to:

Kristen Varol, MPH, CHES
Communications Director and Accreditation Specialist
Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 220
Silver Spring, MD  20910-5660
Phone: (202) 789-1050
Fax: (202) 789-1895
Email: kvarol@ceph.org

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.

Timeline

Date Milestone  
 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  
Nov. 2015

Receive official CEPH notification of accreditation decision 
(Within 30 days of CEPH Board of Councilors Meeting)

 

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.