Three-Stage Process Overview to Develop Foundational Curriculum
The new 2016 CEPH criteria for foundational learning required for all public health degrees replaced the five traditional and disparate core public health courses with required foundational knowledge and foundational competencies that all public health students must master in advance of their chosen departmental degree program. SPHTM must submit a plan by January 9, 2018, and come into full compliance by January, 2019. Unlike the content-based approach used in our current core courses, the foundational competencies require an interdisciplinary and cross-cutting approach. This will require us to rethink how students experience and how we teach our core curriculum. It presents a remarkable opportunity to grow as public health educators and to develop a foundational curriculum that will draw future public health professionals to SPHTM. We propose to approach this task in three stages.
A task force of faculty will develop a conceptual framework and design a foundational curriculum with courses that are compliant with the 2016 CEPH competencies. The framework and sequence of courses, including course descriptions, learning objectives, assessment options, and performance standards, will be outlined by December 15, 2017, and will form the basis of our compliance plan to CEPH in January, 2018.
Stage 2 – Course design and curriculum review
In January 2018 subgroups/teams of teaching faculty with the respective areas of expertise will use the conceptual framework developed in Stage 1 to establish a set of sequenced courses with objectives, assessment options, and performance standards. The groups will also design the specific signature assignments and learning experiences in which students will develop the required foundational knowledge, competencies, and critical analytical skills necessary to progress in their chosen degree path. The new foundational course curriculum will integrate across public health areas and will address real-world public health issues using applied and skills-oriented learning experiences. It will use interactive teaching methods such as case studies and problem-based learning.
Stage 3 – Implementation and delivery
The foundational courses will be offered in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 for new students beginning with the August 2018 matriculants. Courses will be evaluated and revised based on feedback for the following year. Current students already in the program will need to complete the existing slate of core courses in Spring and Summer 2018.