The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), officially launched on August 1, 2013. ASPPH represents schools and programs of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). ASPPH is the successor to the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH), which represented the 50 CEPH-accredited public health schools and eight associate members. As a new organization, this week’s e-newsletter will be ASPPH Friday Letter #1.
“This is a seminal moment in CEPH-accredited public health education,” says Dr. Harrison Spencer, president and CEO of ASPPH. “Representing both accredited schools and programs of public health gives the association and our members an opportunity to strengthen public health education, research, teaching, and practice.”
The move to bring schools and programs under one umbrella has been embraced by both CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. To date, more than one-third of the 101 CEPH-accredited public health programs have joined as founding members of ASPPH. Others are expected to sign on in the coming months.
CEPH is the independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the accrediting body for public health schools and programs. Accreditation is a rigorous peer-review process designed to assure quality education and training. The accreditation “seal of approval” means graduates are prepared to meet the demands of the 21st-century workforce.
The decision to create a new association came after a two-year “listening campaign” that included focus groups and in-depth conversations with representatives of both schools and programs. “It is clear they have much in common and will benefit by working closely together,” said Dean John Finnegan of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and chair of the ASPPH Board of Directors. “With the new membership of both CEPH-accredited schools and programs, we will be better able to deliver on our promise to be trusted advisors to our public health partners.”
Benefits of becoming an ASPPH member include one voice for accredited public health education, the centralized application service (SOPHAS), a strong representation on policy and advocacy, and data resources.
In coming months, a work group of CEPH-accredited schools and programs, led by Dean Gary Raskob of the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, and Dean Edward Lawlor of Washington University in St. Louis Brown School of Social Work, will refine the design for the new organization, including developing a governance structure and proposing membership services and strategies for collaborating.
For a list of founding members, click here.