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WKU Public Health, Cohort Programs offering 2 new online degree programs

The demand for professionals in the fields of public health and healthcare administration is on the rise. WKU will help students meet this demand through two new 100 percent online degree programs: the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration/Long-Term Care Administration Certificate (HCA/LTCA) and the Master of Public Health Generalist Concentration (MPH) program.

The two programs are offered through a partnership between the Department of Public Health and WKU Cohort Programs and are designed to fit the needs of working professionals by offering online coursework to fit their busy schedules.

“Public health and healthcare administration are both high-demand fields, nationally and globally,” said Crissy Priddy, program coordinator of Cohort Programs at WKU.

The HCA/LTCA program’s goal is to prepare students for management and administrative positions in various types of healthcare facilities, organizations and agencies such as hospitals, nursing homes, group medical practices, health maintenance organizations, public health agencies and clinics. To prepare students to enter graduate programs in health care administration.

“We are excited to offer this unique program online, making it more convenient for students who don’t have the schedule flexibility to take face-to-face courses,” said Dr. Gregory Ellis-Griffith, HCA program director.

“This program will prepare graduates for numerous healthcare careers in a way that no other program does.”

Graduates from the program receive a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, as well as a long-term care administration certificate, which offers an additional area of expertise in dealing with the aging population and qualifies graduates to sit for the Licensed Nursing Home Administrator board exam.

It’s the only online program of its kind in Kentucky, as well as the only one in the state accredited by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrative Board (NAB). It’s also the only online program of its type at a public institution.

The MPH program’s goal is to prepare competent public health practitioners through instruction, research and service. In contrast to medicine, which focuses on diagnosis and treatment of illness, public health focuses on prevention, public health is about creating healthy communities.

“The MPH degree opens the door to multiple career opportunities in a variety of public, private, non-profit, and academic settings,” said Dr. Grace Lartey, Director of Undergraduate and Master of Public Health Programs. “WKU’s MPH allows students to customize their program to meet individual career goals in a completely online format.”

Lartey said the program will also offer research opportunities and practical experience with real-world application.

The MPH is the only online program in Kentucky and the only program in the state accredited by the National Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

According to the Public Health Online website, “The CEPH-accredited Master of Public Health (MPH) is largely recognized as the standard professional degree among leaders in local, state and federal public health agencies and healthcare organizations.”

The site states that public health offers a wide range of job opportunities, from health commissioner or environmental health director to epidemiologist or chief medical officer – and many others.

“By offering the flexibility and convenience of online learning, we are able to make these programs more accessible to students who work full-time or have other commitments,” Priddy added. “We are thrilled to add these to the many high-quality online programs available at WKU.”

For information about the HCA/LTCA online bachelor’s program, visit wku.edu/cohort/hca-ltca. For additional details about the online MPH program, visit wku.edu/cohort/mph/index.php.

Department of Public Health is part of the College of Health and Human Services; WKU Cohort Programs is a unit of Extended Learning & Outreach.

Contact: Crissy Priddy, (270) 745-2162 or crissy.priddy@wku.edu

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