Posted 8 a.m. Friday, July 14, 2023
Online master’s program seeks to address critical need
UW-La Crosse is offering public health workers the chance to earn their master’s degree and grow in their career — all without leaving the comfort of home or the security of their current job.
The application window for UWL’s new online Master of Public Health program opens Tuesday, Aug. 1, with classes set to begin in January 2024.
Designed for working professionals with a focus on community health education, the program allows students currently employed in public health to complete applied projects within their existing role. In the process, students will develop leadership and coordination skills conducive to career advancement.
“We are working closely with online Teaching & Learning experts and utilizing community partnerships to design an online program that will give students the knowledge, skills and confidence to take on advanced public health professional roles,” says Anders Cedergren, assistant professor and academic director of the program.
This offering will also bolster Wisconsin’s public health workforce at a crucial time.
Over the past three years, Wisconsin health departments have seen a significant number of retirements and career changes, leaving 71 of the state’s 85 local and tribal health departments without a health officer.
The online nature of UWL’s master’s program allows it to reach public health workers throughout the Badger State and beyond, including those from rural and traditionally underrepresented communities.
“I think proof of the need for a strong public health workforce is all around us, every single day,” Cedergren explains. “We need public health leaders who have a passion for the field, who are able to apply evidence as well as empathy in their practice, and who will prioritize community-owned initiatives for sustainable change. This is exactly the type of professional we aim to nurture in our program.”
The two-year, 42-credit program is aligned with latest industry standards, including the Council on Education for Public Health learning domains, as well as the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Eight Areas of Responsibilities for Health Education Specialists.
It is offered by UWL’s Department of Public Health and Community Health Education, and coordinated by UWL Graduate & Extended Learning.
About UWL Graduate & Extended Learning
UWL offers more than 20 graduate programs, including online, on-campus and blended programs in the areas of business and management; higher education; K-12 education; science, engineering and math; clinical fields; and health and wellness.