Trustees Set in Motion College of Public Health
At its Jan. 30 meeting the Kent State University Board of Trustees approved, among other items, a resolution that paves the way toward creation of a new College of Public Health.
The board indicated Kent State will establish the new college to help meet demonstrated state and national need for public health professionals.
The action sets in motion a comprehensive implementation plan that will require five to six years to complete; take advantage of nationally recognized Kent State strengths in areas such as nursing, biopreparedness, sociology and violence prevention; and result in Ohio's second college of public health. There now are 40 accredited schools or colleges of public health in the U.S., and only one in Ohio, at the Ohio State University.
The new college is a major Kent State response to the University System of Ohio strategic plan, which asks universities to leverage existing areas of excellence to improve education, research, service and economic opportunities across Northeast Ohio and the eastern half of the state.
According to a February 2008 report by the Association of Schools of Public Health, America will need 250,000 more public health workers by 2020 — a well-educated, technologically savvy and multidisciplinary workforce that includes public health physicians and nurses, occupational and environmental health specialists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, health educators, health program administrators and health policy analysts. The report concludes, "Without enough public health workers protecting us where we live, work and play, we all are vulnerable to serious health risks."
Trustees explained that because of faculty expertise in public health issues such as violence prevention and obesity, Kent State is well positioned to play a key role in providing Ohio and the nation with a variety of public health professionals; provide students with a wide range of career prospects in high-demand areas such as biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy management, environmental health science, social and behavioral health; and facilitate a unique regional strength in public health education, research and services.
The college will offer graduate and professional programs, as well as undergraduate programs. The graduate programs will include five Master of Public Health degrees and three doctoral programs, most likely in epidemiology, social and behavioral health and health policy management. Planning for a baccalaureate program in public health is underway, with a goal of admitting students to the new major no later than fall 2010.
The proposal for the new college was approved by university curricular bodies, the university's Educational Policies Council and the Faculty Senate, and by the president and provost. It is being created under the guidelines and policies of the university and will focus on the health of populations and the community through instruction, research and service. Kent State's College of Public Health will take a highly collaborative approach as it draws on the wide regional reach of the university’s eight-campus system and on expertise from other universities, government agencies, hospitals and other health providers.
In response to student interest in a new and growing field, the board also established a music technology major within the Bachelor of Science degree program offered at Kent State's Stark Campus. The program, to be launched Fall Semester 2009, will be the only one of its kind offered by a state institution in Northeast Ohio.
Graduates of the new program will be prepared for a variety of careers in the music industry, which now requires both a strong traditional background in music and the technical expertise needed to use rapidly developing technologies related to recording and performing. The music technology curriculum will prepare students in computer technology, recording applications, audio engineering and music production. Students will develop instrument and/or vocal skills through one-on-one lesson training and ensemble rehearsal, and through performance experience in contemporary and traditional music.
Students in the new program, which will be housed in the School of Music within the College of the Arts, will be able to complete their degrees entirely at Kent State Stark or may opt to take some required classes at the Kent Campus.
The proposal for the new major was approved by the appropriate governance bodies in the university's College of the Arts, the university's Educational Policies Council and the Faculty Senate, and by the president and provost.