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Colorado School of Public Health receives accreditation

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Written by Vicki Hildner on September 6, 2016

The Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH), the first school of public health in the Rocky Mountain West, has been reaccredited through July 1, 2023, by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

CEPH is an independent agency directed by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs.

2015 School of Public Health graduating class Colorado School of Public Health Dean David Goff surrounded by 2015 spring graduates

Founded in 2008, ColoradoSPH, which comprises students and faculty from CU Anschutz, Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado, is the only school of public health in the region and the only accredited multi-university collaborative school of public health in the nation. CU Anschutz is the lead and largest campus.

“I am so proud of the incredible team effort that went into reaccrediting the Colorado School of Public Health,” said David Goff, Jr., MD, PhD, dean of the school. “We are quickly becoming a world-class school of public health and a leader in education, research, community outreach and practice.”

Accreditation review

The accreditation review began in 2013 and included a self-study process by school constituents, the preparation of a document describing the school and its features in relation to the criteria for accreditation and a visit in September 2015 by a team of external peer reviewers.

The final accreditation made note of many outstanding facets of school’s programs including:

  • “The school actively recruits a diverse student body and focuses on the retention and graduation of those students.”
  • “The school conducted employer interviews in 2015, and the manager of career and employer relations engages in outreach with potential employers to gather data on the needs of the field and to determine when updates of competency sets are warranted.”
  • “The majority of the school’s research is initiated through the 12 programs and centers. These are collaborative by nature and cut across several campuses and schools.”
  • “A number of service activities have been organized for students by the Office of Student Affairs, and many students choose to perform additional community service outside of the structured school environment.”

ColoradoSPH has more than 600 degree-seeking students, more than 1,400 alumni and more than 200 faculty members. Included among many successful alumni is Larry Wolk, MD, MSPH, executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Among many areas of public health education and research, the school addresses issues of American Indian and Alaska Native health, cancer prevention and control, diabetes and obesity prevention, global health, maternal and child health, and worker health and wellness.

National recognition since it was founded

In the eight years since it was founded, the school has achieved national recognition for a variety of programs.

  • In partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado, the school’s Center for Global Health was recently re-designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Promoting Family and Child Health.
  • ColoradoSPH is the state-designated training center for ongoing education for regional public health practitioners.
  • Its Center for Health, Work and Environment is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-funded Total Worker Health Center of Excellence.
  • Its Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center is one of 10 U.S. Health & Human Services Administration’s HRSA regional public health training centers in the United States.
  • In partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the school is home to the Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence, one of six national centers designated by the CDC.

Students and faculty have established long-standing relationships throughout the Rocky Mountain West, serving the public health needs of six states including Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota as well as 32 tribal nations on reservations in that region.

CEPH currently accredits 59 schools and 109 programs. In addition to the United States, accredited schools and programs are located in Canada, Mexico, Lebanon and the West Indies. Read CEPH’s full report as well as the ColoradoSPH self-study on their website at coloradosph.ucdenver.edu.

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