Interview: Professor Dr. W. Douglas Evans at GWU

Dr. W. Douglas Evans, Professor of Prevention and Community Health & Global Health at The Milken Institute of Public Health, joins us today to discuss public health education.

1. Can you tell us about the online MPH program offered at Milken Institute of Public Health?

The new Master of Public Health: MPH@GW degree is a full 45-credit online degree program that delivers the same public health content as our in-residence degree in a fully online format. The program is currently in development and will launch in June 2013. Students take all courses in a fully online format, with no residential requirement at Milken Institute of Public Health, and will work in both asynchronous and synchronous (through 2-way video and other modalities) with Milken Institute of Public Health professors.

2. How long does a typical online MPH program take at Milken Institute of Public Health? What is the maximum and minimum time of completion?

Students will typically complete the MPH@GW program in about 2 years, as is the case in the residential program. Students may take longer if they enroll part-time, and we anticipate some working professionals will do this and we have designed the program accordingly.

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3. What do you think makes The Milken Institute of Public Health MPH stand out from other online MPH programs?

It is based on the latest technology for multi-media based interactivity. Students will do work on their own schedules in asynchronous format (e.g., reviewing narrated slide decks and videos) as well as participate in small group webinar conferences where there will be direct instructor-student and student-student interaction.

4. How important would you say accreditation is when choosing an online MPH program?

It is critical. Accreditation is what ensures that a program meets professional standards in the field of study. Employers value this highly.

5. There is some debate as to whether or not online MPH degrees are as worthwhile as traditional MPH degrees. What steps does Milken Institute of Public Health take to ensure that online students are receiving the same education that they’d receive in a classroom?

The courses are taught by professors who also teach, or have taught, in the residential program and are experts in their fields. There are numerous technology solutions to ensure student needs are met, that students get the attention they need, and that academic integrity standards are maintained. The MPH@GW takes advantage of new technologies to ensure high standards are met.

6. What are the advantages to earning a MPH degree in general?

Recent studies suggest a high percentage – perhaps has many as 80% – of the U.S. public health workforce lacks an advanced degree. There is increasing demand for public health and prevention programs in an era of rising health care costs and efforts to control them. Having an MPH will position students well in this in-demand field in which there is a need for increased educational background and skills.

7. Does Milken Institute of Public Health offer job placement for students who graduate in public health?

Milken Institute of Public Health offers centralized job placement services and professors have numerous professional contacts that they routinely use to assist student job searches.

8. What type of financial aid packages are available for students in public health? Are there any fellowships, grants and scholarships available?

There is a competitive scholarship program, which is explained in the application orientation process and published materials.

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9. Do you have any advice for students enrolling in an online MPH program for the first time?

Attend promotional sessions, read a lot, and compare programs before moving forward to apply.

10. What do you enjoy most about your position at Milken Institute of Public Health?

Working in a dynamic environment in the nation’s capital, working with enthusiastic students and applying my ongoing research to the process of teaching and learning.

That concludes our interview!

Learn More about MPH@GW.

Thank you Dr. Evans, for sharing and participating in this piece.

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