The State University of New York at Old Westbury Public Health department has earned accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) for its Bachelor of Science in Health and Society. The SUNY Old Westbury degree program becomes the 14th stand-alone baccalaureate program in the country to hold this accreditation.
CEPH accreditation recognizes efforts to provide quality education and prepare students for impactful careers in public health after graduation. CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs offered in settings other than schools of public health.
“CEPH accreditation is an outstanding affirmation of this program’s quality and places it among the finest undergraduate programs of its kind in the nation,” said Calvin O. Butts, III, president of SUNY Old Westbury. “Having earned this recognition reflects the strength of our faculty members and the tremendous effort they put forth to provide quality education while preparing students for success in fields related to public health.“
CEPH’s accreditation procedures required the Public Health department and the College to undertake a rigorous self-evaluation — a process which engages stakeholders from across the college and its constituencies, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, collaborators and community partners. SUNY Old Westbury began the accreditation process in 2015 and engaged in a three-year, comprehensive self-study.
The college then submitted the self-study document and in December 2018 hosted a team of external peer reviewers to validate the self-study during an extensive, two-day on-site visit. This team of reviewers included public health academics, practitioners and accreditation specialists. The approval of Old Westbury’s accreditation was rendered in June.
“Our program is focused on helping students to understand the underlying social, political and behavioral forces that shape health status,” said Martha Livingston, chair of the Public Health department. “Our students also learn how to assess critically factors that contribute to the health of populations, integrating real-world experience with coursework and learning how to improve the public’s health at the policy and the community level.”
Approximately 230 students were enrolled in the 2018-19 academic year in the Health and Society program, which has been offered at SUNY Old Westbury since 1975. The program prepares students for entry into a broad range of professions in public health at the local, state, and national levels and for graduate study in public health. Graduates have also embarked on successful careers in hospitals and local non-profit health agencies, and many go on to obtain training in health professions including medicine, nursing, physical and occupational therapy and physician assistantship.