MPH Functional Certificate: Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation

Assessing community needs and resources, program design and implementation, and evaluation are core functions of public health practice. This 16-credit certificate equips students with the essential tools and knowledge base to conduct effective community-based health promotion activities with a diverse array of populations and health issues. Special emphasis is placed on acquiring skills for anti-oppressive, culturally humble public health practice and strategies for developing authentic partnerships that amplify sustainable political and social power in marginalized communities.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Plan and conduct systematic community health needs assessments, integrating multiple sources of data and community and stakeholder input.
  • Synthesize the published evidence base with information identified through community needs assessment to create a comprehensive public health intervention plan which responds appropriately and effectively to key identified priorities.
  • Formulate an implementation and sustainability plan designed to engage community members, policymakers, practitioners, funders, and researchers.
  • Design a program evaluation, including formative, process, and impact evaluation, and be able to articulate a plan for evaluation using a standard logic model.
  • Apply strategies for equitable, collaborative partnerships with communities, based on common recognition of sources of structured social privilege and disadvantage and a shared goal of seeking to expand community assets and power to improve health outcomes.

Course Requirements

  • Choose one of the following needs assessment courses:
    • SPH PH 851 Needs Assessment (4 cr)*
    • SPH SB 820 Assessment and Planning for Health Promotion (4 cr)
  • Choose one of the following intervention/implementation courses:
    • SPH GH 744 Program Design for Global Health (4 cr)
    • SPH GH 887 Planning and Managing MCH Programs in Developing Countries (4 cr)
    • SPH SB 806 Communication Strategies for Public Health (4 cr)
    • SPH SB 821 Intervention Strategies for Health Promotion (4 cr)
  • Choose one of the following evaluation courses:
    • SPH GH 745 Monitoring and Evaluation of Global Health Programs (4 cr)
    • SPH PH 854 Program and Policy Evaluation (4 cr)*
    • SPH SB 822 Quantitative Methods for Program Evaluation (4 cr)
  • Choose one of the following community partnership/equity courses:
    • SPH MC 750 Disability Justice through the Life Course: Programs, Policies, and Turning Advocacy to Action (4 cr)
    • SPH MC 775 Social Justice and the Health of Populations: Racism and Other Systems of Oppression in the United States (4 cr)
    • SPH MC 776 Advanced Practice and Research Methods for Public Health Equity (4 cr)
    • SPH MC 802 Implementing Community Health Initiatives: A Field-Based Course in Leadership and Consultation (4 cr)
    • SPH PH 801 Community-Engaged Research: Theory Methods and Applications
    • SPH SB 818 Qualitative Research Methods (4 cr)

*Doctoral-level course; requires instructor approval.

Integrative Learning Experience

The ILE will give students the opportunity to practice the skills essential to interpreting a basic community needs assessment and formulating an intervention, implementation, and evaluation plan. Students are strongly advised to take at minimum the assessment course and the intervention/implementation course before embarking on the ILE.