MACON – Mercer University's Master of Public Health Program, housed in the School of Medicine, was recently granted accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health. Mercer's program is one of only three such programs in the state of Georgia to receive this prestigious accreditation.
"Achieving accreditation is an important milestone that positively reflects on the rigorous academic preparation of our graduates," said William F. Bina, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Master of Public Health Program. "Opportunities for employment and future professional growth and development are greatly expanded for graduates because of this achievement."
In order to be eligible for this high level of accreditation, a program must demonstrate excellence in education. Accreditation is a voluntary process initiated by the University, and is based on adherence to a set of standards set by the public health profession.
"The accreditation process involves a rigorous period of self-evaluation resulting in a lengthy self-study document, an on-site visit by a team of peer evaluators, and a decision by CEPH's 10-member Board of Councilors, who represent public health practice, public health academia and the general public," noted Laura Kasar King, CEPH executive director.
By the year 2012, health care professions are expected to grow by at least 36 percent in Georgia and 29 percent nationally. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that there are 450,000 people employed nationwide in public health. Less than one-fourth of those have formal academic preparation for their positions.
About Mercer University and the School of Medicine:
Mercer University's School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. The School only accepts Georgia residents into its medical degree program. Students entering Mercer University School of Medicine will be graduated from a school that utilizes a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School has two teaching hospitals: Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon and Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.
Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.