What Can a Master of Public Health Do for Me? | Nov 16, 2016

In this webinar, students will be introduced to our new online program director, learn about the current state of the field of public health and the potential career paths and opportunities that exist for MPH degree-holders.

Transcript

UA ONLINE MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH – 53 minutes, 42 seconds

Julia: Hi, everyone and good morning or good afternoon and welcome to the University of Arizona online Master of Public Health information session. My name is Julia. I will be facilitating today’s presentation. Before we get started I just wanted to mention a couple of housekeeping items for you. If you need to contact me for any reason throughout the presentation, if you’re having any technical difficulties, um, or if you have any questions for our presenters throughout the presentation, please utilize the Q&A box that is located on the left hand side of your screen. We do have some time reserved at the end of our presentation for your questions and we will answer as many as time allows. We are also recording this session and we will be sending it out to everyone that has registered for your future reference here in the next couple of days. So thank you again for joining us and congratulations on your decision to continue your education. We’ve got a lot of great information to share with you today and know that you’re excited to hear from our speakers so let’s take a look at what our agenda includes. We’ll introduce you to our speakers. We will discuss the public health industry and learn a little bit about why this degree is in high demand now. You’ll learn about our program and what our curriculum could bring to you in your current and future roles. You’ll get a glimpse into the internship component of our program. One of our enrollment advisors will talk about their role and the support that you’ll receive as an online student in our program and then we’ll wrap it up with a quick Q&A session at the end, as I mentioned earlier. So let’s introduce you to our presenters.

Our first presenter today is Dr. Spencer Willis. Dr. Willis is our newly appointed Director of the Online MPH program and lecturer here at the College of Public Health. Dr. Willis’ responsibilities include coordinating the policy and procedures for the online MPA monitoring course development, tracking student enrollment and evaluating our program outcome. He also serves as faculty and internship advisor for the M – online MPA internship course.

And our second presenter – many of you may be familiar with already. Her name is Shernaz Kennedy. Shernaz is our Senior Enrollment Advisor for the Online MPH program. So now I would like to pass it over to Dr. Willis to talk a little bit about the public health industry.

Dr. Willis: Thank you, Julia. Good morning everyone or good afternoon, depending on where you are. We have a few moments of morning here in Arizona but I wanted to begin a discussion about the public health industry and how our online MPH program fits into the industry. Uh, so Public Health has a mission to create conditions in which people can be healthy and our main focus in public health is on the prevention of disease and injury rather than treatment. So it differentiates us from our clinical counterparts whereas the clinician would focus on the individual, public health practitioners would focus on the population or the community.

Uh, in our online MPH program we examine public health issues through a global lens with course content that’s based on up to date research and also current events and, uh, one of our courses are exploring the Zika virus right now so it’s very exciting information to learn, it’s a very exciting time to be in public health. So whatever you learn in this program, it can be directly impacted to lives across the world, which is very exciting. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of public health related careers is expected to increase by 21% by the year 2024 and that’s going to result in approximately 108,000 new jobs. So much of this growth is expected to stem from the health care system that’s going to see increase in the aging based boomer population or increased demand from their population and also with technology that allows us to live longer. So as we live longer, we’re gonna need more hospitals, more physicians, more clinics and also more public health practitioners – more competent public health practitioners.

So when we designed our online MPH program we designed it for working adults, um, and offered some flexibility. Our – our online course delivery allows students to learn from anywhere while they continue to work and it also allows them to apply newly – new knowledge in their current roles so they can, um, move the needle on their current projects and things of that nature based on what they gather from their course work – uh – in our online program. Our program is 42 credits long. We have three cour – three concentrations in our online degree program. We have epidemiology, health promotion and also health services administration. Our program is a modular program so it’s based on modules and our courses are 7 ½ weeks long and it’s a good thing because your courses are a little bit shorter than your normal semester so you’ll be taking two courses in a semester but the first 7 ½ weeks will be one course and the second 7 ½ weeks will be another course which allows the individual to focus on one course at a time and I know whenever we get old and we have more family responsibilities and we’re going back to school, it’s much easier to focus on one thing at a time rather than three to four courses in the same semester. So that’s a good thing.

You also have a required internship as a part of the online MPH program and it’s six units long and it’s spread out over three semesters. So that would be your fall, spring and your summer session and this allows for working individuals to dedicate time to their internship if you’re not – if you’re not able to quit your job or if you’re doing it – if at your current employer you’re able to allot time to do that while not negating your other responsibilities which is awesome. Fifty percent of your course work would be concentration-based so you’re getting half your degree hours in the role or in the area that you want to specialize in, which is amazing. This degree program is going to truly model a competent public health professional. You’re going to have the breadth of your course work so you’re going to have a good working knowledge of all the components of public health and you’re also going to be able to specialize in a certain area, whether that be epidemiology, health promotion or health service administration. It’s going to give you truly breadth and depth into public health sciences. And then you also can complete your degree in as little as two years, depending on if you follow our _______(*7:35) and our modules accordingly so you won’t have any issues with that.

So working students bring from the online classroom into their current roles, as I mentioned before, the breadth and depth from the course work. Some students may be new to public health so you’re going to get new information and some students may have practical experience in public health, like work experience but don’t have the formal knowledge in it – you’re able to apply your new knowledge and your former knowledge to your practical experience and hopefully enhance it from there. You’re also going to be able to gather evidence-based skill sets from our students, from your peers and from the faculty that work in public health every day and with hopes of you taking that information back to your communities and back to your agencies to improve some of your projects. So that’s also amazing.

So to talk more about the internship, the internship is designed to help students gain valuable experience that’s going to help them prepare their career into the public health sector of their choice. During this internship you’re able to accumulate your evidence – accumulate evidence of your abilities and that can be either through a portfolio, you can prepare a manuscript at your internship, conference presentations – whatever you are going to do – are tangible that can be shown to employers that is going to showcase your skill set would be ideal. You’re able to make critical, professional contacts during the internship. Depending on your site and also some of your personal goals, you’re able to – and conferences, you’re able to work with some professionals that you wouldn’t have access to in any other world so it’s very important that you take advantage of the internship opportunity. That way once you graduate you can leave with a graduate degree but also some graduate-level experience and that’s going to speak really well with the potential employers. And also it will hopefully land you a full-time job or, if not a full-time job, something that’s more permanent such as an extended fellowship or some government-related appointment and things of that nature so it can be awesome depending on how well you plan it.

I mentioned earlier that the internship was three semesters long so there are six units each semester – oh, I’m sorry, two units each semester, six semesters long – three semesters long, I’m sorry. And then its 270 hours so you have plenty of time to complete the internship hours within those three semesters so some students may complete those hours earlier so they may only complete them in two semesters. It just depends on the individual and the site preceptor if they want to spread it out, if they want to condense it, that’s up to the student and the preceptor and we’re always available to work with those individuals in those circumstances. I think that’s all I want to say about the internship.

We have different opportunities based on the concentrations that are available online. As you see, epidemiologists – most of them would work as an epidemiologist in a variety of settings. It could be either government settings, nonprofit, private sector or the clinical setting depending on where employment opportunities are available. They can also work in environmental health science, infectious disease specialists or a clinical research coordinator. In health promotions you can work as a disaster emergency specialist. You work as a public health educator is also in the same sector as public, private, nonprofit, etc. And also with health service administration most of those are going to be in nonprofit and clinical settings but they can work in public sector, government settings as well. Health care managers, health policy associates, practice managers and training and development managers are some of the job titles for individuals with health service administration credentials.

And then we also have some of the opportunities and job titles from our MEZCOS alumni so the MEZCOS is Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health alumni. So some of my former Epi majors worked as investigators for the FDA, they work as a hospital infection preventionist, research analyst, asthma program evaluation manager, etc. Health promotion, they work with the city of Tucson, so that’s more specific to our area, bike and pedestrian program consultant, foodservice coordinator, bioterrorism, preparedness, information specialist. In health service administration they work as county public health planners, the work for the Girl Scouts as social justice coordinator for the Girl Scouts, quality improvement, data analyst – things of that nature. And now I think I’m going to turn it over to our enrollment advisor, Shernaz, to continue with the presentation.

Shernaz: Thank you, Dr. Spencer. Hello, everybody. I’m really happy that you were able to attend the Webinar today. I just wanted to thank you all for being here and I want to also talk about the steps that you have in terms of the broad range admissions, etc. I want you to meet our enrollment team. That is myself, Shernaz Kennedy, Jeanine Gordon and Sahar Shirazi. So when you go into the enrollment and admission process the first step that you take when you are interested in the program, you inquire into the program and we contact you on the basis of your inquiry. We will ask you for a couple of documents if you are truly interested in the program because you need to qualify you for the program and, uh, we will on the basis of those documents get you to qualify for the program and move you forward along the admission process. The GPA must be verified on the basis of your Bachelor’s degree and we require a case of 3 point or higher and a couple of prerequisite courses, one in Biology and one in Mathematics is what we will need from you.

Once we have approved you for application purposes you have to go into the SOPHAS application website which is a common application for all students applying to receive accredited schools of the council of Education on Public Health and its just like doing any other application but you’re doing one application on a common platform that you can use for different schools. Once SOPHAS has verified your application you can get moved on to the UA application. We will receive your information and the graduate college will review your file and then we will move on to giving you a seat on the program. So the process is actually very, very simple but, because it involves the SOPHAS application as well as the UA application it does take time and so if you are looking to apply for spring we would request you to start your process very soon because we don’t have much time, maybe six weeks maximum, in terms of the deadline coming up and the spring deadline according to SOPHAS, is November 15th. We would, however, like you to fill in everything and submit everything by the 4th of November simply because this is the time when there are holidays around Thanksgiving, there are holidays around Christmas when the school is closed and so generally speaking you have a little less time in terms of submission and if you kind of leave it to the deadline we cannot guarantee that you will have your review before the holidays so please keep that in mind and try and submit your application as soon as you can.

Can we go to the next slide? Okay. So, I just talked to you about all of these next steps and – go to the next slide now. If you have any questions, you can see the phone number on the screen. We all have extensions that you can contact us on and if you have any specific questions of an individual nature, of an individual situation, please do get in touch with us. Our rule here is to facilitate your due diligence and your decision-making process and we take our role as your support system very seriously and we would love to give you all the information on which you could base a good decision to come for your Masters of Public Health to the University of Arizona. Julia?

Julia: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Shernaz and Dr. Willis. Now it is time to open it up for those questions that you have. So just a reminder. Please enter any questions that you have for our presenters in that Q&A box on the left hand side of your screen and I will get started asking away here. So, Shernaz, this one looks like it would be for you. Is there a GRE requirement? And is there a possibility of it being waived?

Shernaz: Thanks for the question, Julia. The short answer is yes. The Health Services Administration and Management track does not have a GRE requirement but the other two tracks which are Applied Epidemiology and Health Promotion, there is a GRE requirement but you do have a couple of instances on which you could request for a waiver. For the Applied Epidemiology concentration, if the applicant has any other doctoral degree from any accredited educational institution in the U.S., he or she can request for a GRE waiver and it will be granted on the basis of that degree. For the Health Promotion concentration, if they do have a doctoral degree from any accredited U.S. educational institution they can also request for a waiver. For Health Promotion you can also request for a waiver if you have five plus years of paid work experience in the public health sector. You can show this on your resume and the review board will look at that if they feel you can get a waiver then they will give one to you. Go ahead, Julia.

Julia: Great. Thank you, Shernaz. Is there a minimum score or average score for the GRE requirement.

Shernaz: The GRE requirement does have what we call – what we would call a 50th percentile and currently that 50th percentile score for the _______(*20.58) section is at 151, for the Mathematics section it is at 154 and for the Analogical Writing you should get 3.5 out of 6 parameters.

Julia: Alright. Thank you for the clarification. Okay, so we’ve got some questions around the internship here, Dr. Willis. So first, would you be able to give us an idea of what the best type of inter – internship that a student should try to get?

Dr. Willis: Okay, there’s gonna depend on their major and their interests – career interests. So, uh, it depends on if they’re able to get access to an agency or a setting where they might want to find employment afterwards, then I would seek opportunities there. Uh, if they work for an agency that offers those types of opportunities then I would work with the individual and the agency to get – to serve as my preceptor. Uh, students have to be aware that most of the time that they seek internship opportunities outside the work agency, it may not be paid and although we want, you know, our students to be paid for their work, this is something that we have to be – take into consideration. So I guess to answer the question, it would depend on the student’s interest and if they have access to those agencies in their local area.

Julia: Great. So then kind of a follow-up question to that is does the university help, uh, place students in their internships or is it their responsibility to find.

Dr. Willis: So it’s their responsibility to find, uh, but I’m here to help you find sites as well. So we have deadlines where students will have to submit documentation stating that they’ve identified a preceptor and a site and in some cases students have difficulty finding that and I’m here to do research on my end to see what’s available in your area, to see what your research – not research engines but what your career goals are and seeing what’s available in your area and what’s going to work well for you in terms of a setting and preceptor-wise. So yes, the student is responsible but we’re also here to help.

Julia: Okay, wonderful. And as far as the placement, can students use their current position as the internship or something similar to what they’re doing in their internship?

Dr. Willis: Yes, students can use their current employers as their internship site. However they cannot use their supervisor – their current supervisor as their internship preceptor. So ideally we want individuals who work for the CDC or for a state health department to work on a different project that’s not related to their current job description and also report to another individual as their preceptor, if that makes sense.

Julia: Great. Thank you. It does. Alright, let’s see. Next question here: Do you accept transfer credits into the program?

Shernaz: I can answer that question, Julia. Until not very long ago there was absolutely no transfer of credits into our online program. However that situation has changed slightly. If you have done any non-degree or certificate course work within the University of Arizona’s Public Health Master offerings, you can request for a transfer of those credits into your Master’s program. As far as external schools are concerned, so long as you have done your credits at the SEEP accredited university you can request for a transfer of credits, maximum of 9 credits and this will be solely on the discretion of the faculty. The transfer of credits should be requested only after acceptance into our program and the faculty will review and give you the transfer of credit only if the course curriculum is similar and has not undergone any major changes from the SEEP curriculum. So we are happy to say that the “no” that we had to say earlier has now become a “maybe.” Julia?

Julia: Great. Great. Thank you. Okay, next question is in regards to starts per year. So can students start in a summer term or are there only fall and spring starts offered? Shernaz, want to take that one?

Shernaz: Absolutely. So we have three start dates in a year as we have three semesters, we have spring, summer and fall for students who are looking for the first start of next year, the start day is on the 9th of January and the deadline is on the 15th of November of this year. We also have a summer start date. The courses start on the 8th of May and for the summer start the deadline will be the 15th of March and we also are looking to have the fall session, the start date will be on the last Monday in August which I believe is the 28th of August, 2017. So we do have three start dates in a year.

Julia: Alright, wonderful. Thank you. Okay, uh, next question, as a student in the online program what kind of support will I have throughout the program? Shernaz, you want to take a stab at that?

Shernaz: Absolutely. So at the University of Arizona all our students, especially those in the MPH program, receive a high level of support, especially when they’re in the online environment. It all starts with us, the team of enrollment advisors, myself, Shernaz Kennedy, and my colleagues Jeanine Gordon and Sahar Shirazi. We will support you with information throughout your due diligence and discovery process. We will assist you in your decision-making process by answering all your questions. We want you to make the decision to join us based on good information and once you decide to apply, we will assist you and help you to keep on top of your admissions process. We will keep you motivated and help you to get accepted into the program in a stress-free environment and once you are accepted into the program for the start date of your choice, our support doesn’t just end there. We have whole new department, the Student Services Department where we will help you to transition over to that department and the Student Services team along with your Student Services coach – her name is Erin ______(*29.21) – will take care of you from there on. She will assist you with your online course registration, your tutorials and you will receive a welcome call that will equip you with all that you need to start your MPH program successfully. So yes, we do have a high level of support for all our students and the Student Services Department is there to take care of you throughout your two years or your tenure with the Public Health Masters Degree. And please take advantage of our support system. Julia?

Julia: Great. Thank you. Nice to know that, you know, you’re not alone. You may be taking the class online and, you know, your office at home but you have that person to contact and help you through the program, so thank you very much.

Shernaz: Absolutely.

Julia: The next question is about tuition. So can you talk a little about what the tuition looks like, Shernaz?

Shernaz: Sure. So our program currently is approximately at $950 per credit hour and since the program has 42 credits that are taken over the two year period the approximate cost to the student is about $40,800 over the two year period, the entire tuition cost. Now, having said that, students can apply for financial aid from the Federal government. There are, of course, certain eligibility criteria and if you do qualify for financial aide then you can get the entire tuition cost of $40,800 from your federal financial aid and you can decide the term of repayment. You can choose anytime between three years to tenderness years. Of course, I don’t advise you to take that long to, you know, return your loan because that would mean a lot of interest fees. But the financial aid is available to you if you need it and the program cost is very competitive to look at the cost of MPH programs for schools that are in the same tier as we are.

Julia: Alright, thank you, Shernaz. Um, going back to a little bit more around the curriculum, Dr. Willis. Can you – there’s a question about the concentrations and if there’s any focus around mental health?

Dr. Willis: Yes, so we have three different concentrations, Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Health Service Administration and you could focus on mental health in either of those concentrations, depending on the content. So – and also depending on how you want to approach mental health. So if you want to look at it as an epidemiologist’s perspective or social epidemiology then that’s one where you can do it if you’re interested in planning and evaluating programs for mental health patients or mental health awareness, you can do that with promotion or if you’re looking for funding and how to improve clinical processes for mental patients – for mental health patients, then it would be done through the Health Services Administration concentration. So we may not have specific course work to it but you’re learning to content that can be applied to the mental health sector.

Julia: Alright, wonderful. Thank you. Alright, the next question is can you define the format of the 7 ½ week classes? Are students required to be logged into their computers on specific days and times or is it kind of a more work at your own pace type of format?

(Several voices at once)

Julia: Go ahead, Dr. Willis.

Dr. Willis: Well, I would say that the program is not self-paced but it is asynchronous. So you have to log in daily. There are deadlines and once you’re enrolled you’ll find it out – the information out from the course syllabus but it’s definitely not self-paced. So there are deadlines that you have to meet and if you don’t meet those deadlines then it’s going to reflect in your grade. Um, but yeah, you should definitely have time in the day to devote to studying and to logging in daily and communicating with your peers and also your instructor.

Julia: Okay, great. And then, uh, next question is in relation to that. About how many hours would you say in a typical week that a student is studying or working on projects, um, for the program?

Dr. Willis: I would say about 6-10 hours depending on the student’s current load and their past experience with Public Health. Some students may be familiar with some – with some concepts because of their work experience so they may not need as much time to devote to studying and reading and logging onto the platform but yeah, I guess for a safe range I would say about 6-10 hours a week. And Shernaz can add anything if she wishes – sees anything different.

Shernaz: Well, it all depends on the student and you know their ability to grasp the subject. Averagely when a student asks me, I will tell them that you will get from the program what you put in so if you put in more hours you will get more out of the program. And averagely students can easily manage 15 hours a week because these are asynchronous hours and they can find the time to devote about 15 hours to the program.

Julie: That would be great. Great, thank you. So the next question is kind of a long one so I’ll read it. It says: “I am highly interested in working with nonprofits. I volunteer work with three medical/dental clinics during undergrad and helped organize them as well. How would an MPH or, more specifically, the Health Services Administration concentration benefit me over a Masters in, like nonprofit management?”

Dr. Willis: So the MPH is going to provide more, uh, uh, leverage and more breadth than a Masters in nonprofit management because the nonprofit management degree is so specific to just nonprofit management whereas the MPH you’re going to learn, or you’re going to have cross-work in nonprofit management or in management of systems as well. So you’re able to learn from different perspectives and apply it in private and different settings so you’re not just holding yourself only to nonprofit management. So with the MPH program you’re going to learn the science behind – or health disease that you mentioned in the question. I think she mentioned “or health disease” or working with a dentist, vision, you’re going to learn the science, how to calculate the rates and know what – know truly how to identify the program and the need and then also gain knowledge about nonprofit management, health systems management, health systems improvement, program evaluation, etc. So you’ll really be more well-rounded with the MPH, in my opinion.

Julia: Wonderful. Thank you. Alright, next question is: “I have a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences with 20 years of research in medical virology. What is the path for somebody like me who wants this Masters Degree to expand my career?”

Dr. Willis: So, if you – it depends on what you want to do with the degree. It seems like maybe the – I don’t know the area that you want to go in but, uh, with Biomedical Sciences maybe Epidemiology may be a good marriage between that and you can, uh, really learn practical techniques on how to measure disease, how its distributed throughout the population and what determines the disease and you can compare or integrate that with whatever you learned in the Biomedical Sciences and hopefully, uh, help move the needle on some disease or injury – I don’t think it has to injury – but I guess it depends on what you want to do with the MPH degree. Do you want to go into more teaching, because the MPH doesn’t focus a lot on research. It focuses a lot more on practice so if you’re looking to – looking for faculty appointments in public health or if you’re looking to just expand your role, if you want to get on grants and you need public health credentials then that’s always a helpful way to do so. But I guess it would depend on the individual and where you want to go with public health.

Julia: Okay, great. So maybe for that student we would probably recommend calling in, talking to that a little more with an enrollment advisor.

Dr. Willis: Yes.

Julia: Okay. Alright. Uh, next question, Shernaz, looks like it will be for you around admissions. “I have a lower undergrad GPA. Is there an alternative, such as work experience, or are there additional courses that can be used as qualification instead?”

Shernaz: So that’s exactly why we will ask you to send us your transcript so that we can take a look at the – you know, how close to the borderline you are and then suggest different options to you. You can take the route of doing non-degree courses to bump up your GPA or, if you have already done a few Masters credits, say about 15 or so, we would – we might use those to see where you stand on the GPA. So it all depends on the individual person’s transcripts and what they have done previously in terms of the admission requirements. So if you have a GPA that’s not – that’s below the required GPA, don’t be discouraged. Make sure that you give us a call and check with us and send the transcript over so that we can give you a few options, if you really do want to do our program we will – we’re here to help you.

Julia: Okay, great. Thanks. Another question around the GRE: “Does the GRE need to be completed before starting the program or may it be taken concurrently?”

Shernaz: No, Julia. It’s very clearly stated in all our information that the GRE is an admission requirement so the GRE has to be completed and a score of at least the 50th percentile has to be posted along with the admission application.

Julia: Thank you. Next question is in regards to, uh, course tests. “Is the testing done online or are students required to go to a designated testing center?”

Dr. Willis: From my understanding the tests are done online and, uh, I’m not familiar – I’m familiar with the testing centers but I don’t know if we’re using testing centers at the moment but I know some courses may require that students log in with the web counselor so they can know that the student is taking the course but, uh, again, I’m not so certain right there but I know that the testing is done online.

Julia: Wonderful, thank you. And for that student we will confirm that and get back to you about the testing centers. Alright, let’s see here. We’ve got just a few minutes left here so we’ll get to some other questions. “Is there an option to change concentration after I’ve started the online MPH? So if I start in Epidemiology and want to switch to like Health Services Administration, would I have to reapply to the program or would the credits transfer? How does that work?”

Shernaz: I’ll take that question, Julia. Generally speaking, we – the reason why we have a separate track is that we want the student to be absolutely sure of the curriculum that they want to take in the MPH program. And, so we want you to choose your track when you do the application. Now the first year of the program covers all the core public health courses so if a student for any particular reason wants to switch from one to the other they would have to make sure that they meet all the admission requirements and it would be something that they would have to discuss with their Student Services Department and see whether the faculty will allow them to make that switch. It is not something that we deal with at the admissions level. At the admissions level we want you to choose your track and do your application according to that particular choice.

Julia: Alright, wonderful. Thank you. Okay. “What is considered full-time student status and is it possible for me to take four classes per semester to finish my degree earlier?”

Shernaz: I could take that question, Julia.

Julia: Thank you.

Shernaz: But if you do – if you want to take four courses per semester then its not going to work out for you in the online format because that would require at least 40 hours of study per week and if you are a working professional and that’s the reason why you’re doing the program online, you would not be successful taking four courses in a semester. Now, in terms of what is considered full-time, the word full-time is used when you’re looking at financial aid and financial aid is provided to students by the federal government for students that are doing more than five credits in a semester. So our program has six credits per semester and for that reason it is considered to be a full-time program for financial aid purposes. However, if you actually look at the time, then your time is basically 15, maximum 18 hours a week and so if you’re looking at the amount of time you’re putting into the program, then you would consider that to be a part-time program. But if you want to do four courses per semester then you should consider the on-campus program.

Julia: Alright, thank you, Shernaz. Next question looks like maybe Dr. Willis you could take a stab at this. “Is this degree good for people that already have experience in the public health field or can it be a good place to start for someone that’s just coming into the field?”

Dr. Willis: It’s actually for both. So for individuals who have current public health experience, once they earn their MPH it can excel their career for advancement so individuals can seek supervisors – supervisory roles in their agency. They may be able to apply for other jobs that have more administrative roles or things of that nature – whatever they want to advance to in their career. And therefore individuals who are like traditional students this will be a great opportunity for you to learn more about public health and also the internship will be an opportunity for you to practice what you learn in the course work and then hopefully securing some entry level employment.

Julia: Great, thank you. Next question is um, in regards to career advancement as well. So the question is: “If I was going – if I was to go into RN Case Management, would a public health degree in Health Administration be the appropriate concentration for me?”

Dr. Willis: Yes, it depends on what you want to do. If you want to be in a case manager without the administrative roles or responsibilities, then it probably would not help if you have career goals of being an administrator one day or a supervisor over the case managers or executive director over certain nonprofits that offer case management services, then the MPH in Health Services Administration would be ideal for you. So if a Masters Degree in Public Health is going to help advance your career then I would say go for it but if you’re only wanting to stick with case management right now, I don’t see a need for you to get additional degrees if this is all you want to do, unless its just a personal goal.

Julia: Okay, great. Thank you. Okay, we’ll wrap it up here with just two more questions. Uh, next question is around the course work and the format of the classes so. “Are there live class discussion or are most of the classes like prerecorded or on demand – how does that work?”

Dr. Willis: So there are live, um, live sessions each week. It depends on the instructor. Um, most of the lecture is recorded and, uh, the student will – will listen to the lecture and go through the module as planned and then the student – I mean then the instructor will have a live session each week or maybe more frequent or maybe less frequent depending on their – on their availability. But they will have a live session where students can log in and ask questions and answer – and get questions answered in real time format and those live sessions are also recorded so if you cannot attend a live session and you had a question, hopefully someone else has the same question and your question was answered in that session. So the platform is very user friendly and we haven’t had many complaints about students having access to their instructors. That’s one of our main goals is to make sure that our students have a sense of community while they’re enrolled at the U of A.

Julia: Awesome. Thank you. Okay, so last question, and this might be for Shernaz. “Are there any breaks within the program or does one class end and then the next one begins like the next day?”

Shernaz: Well, the way the program is designed is that we have two courses per semester and usually the courses start on a Monday and end on a Wednesday so when you finish the course around 7 ½ weeks you’ll have a few days of break before the next course starts on the Monday. Uh, the school is closed for certain holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas but most work it would depend on, you know, what the start date and end date of those courses are. And when you become a student of the school and you get accepted into the program you will have your entire whole year’s schedule with you so you will be able to see when you have the breaks and when you don’t.

Julia: Great, thanks Shernaz. Alright, so that about wraps it up for the big Q&A portion. Again, if we didn’t get to your question or if maybe your question was very specific to your circumstance, we will have either Shernaz or Jeanine or Sahar follow-up with you here after the Webinar. I did want to mention if you are interested in starting in the spring, um, our application deadline is rapidly approaching. It’s crazy to think about but its November 15th and as Shernaz stated she is here to help you get all your materials together by that date and make the application process as smooth as possible for you. So, thank you again for joining us, everybody. I hope you found this session helpful and we hope to speak to you soon. Have a great day.

Shernaz: Thank you.

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