New Public Health online master’s program offered

Jessa Schroeder

The College of Public Health at Kent State University recently launched its online master’s program in Health Policy and Management.


Willie H. Oglesby, assistant professor and director of the program, said the fully online master’s program launched this year, although they have been teaching some classes at the master’s level for several years now.


“The goal of the online program is to make graduate education more accessible to students who are unable to come to campus on a regular basis because of family commitments, work obligations or they simply may live farther away from campus,” said Oglesby.


The program consists of 46 credit hours, 13 courses, one practicum and one comprehensive exam. Each course is completed in one term over the course of seven weeks, with two terms completed each semester. Students may choose to complete the coursework in the time frame of 24 or 27 months.


The online curriculum includes two of newest highly favored electives in the college.


Oglesby is currently teaching the course Obamacare, which is focused on the Affordable Care Act, including political and policy discourse leading up to its passage, an analysis of the law’s impact, Supreme Court rulings and the future of public health and healthcare, according to the press release.


This year is the second time the course has been offered and it is currently in Summer II session.


“It was actually maxed out enrollment last year, so I am teaching it again. It’s a course that’s focused on the Affordable Care Act,” Oglesby said. “In the class we discuss past historical attempts at National Health (Care) Reform. We also discuss reasons why so many different people have attempted to facilitate National Health (Care) Reform in the United States.”


Another popular elective newly offered in the online program is Sex: A Wicked Public Health Problem. The course examines a wide-range of sexual health problems that affect large numbers of individuals in different population groups, such as university communities or developing countries. The spread of infectious disease, teen pregnancy, infant and maternal mortality, sex violence, subjugation of women and access to healthcare.


Ken Slenkovich, assistant dean in Operations and Community Relations, launched the course in May.


“A lot of the common health issues that affect large numbers of people are very complex, and so applying this paradigm of these issues that folks in the Health Policy and Management planning world have been using for years to look at the characteristics of health problems, we can figure out how to address sex-related health problems,” Slenkovich said. “Human sexuality brings out a wide range of matters, such as sexually transmitted diseases, as well as a whole number of other issues.”


The course is split into sections, one for upper-class undergraduate students and the other for graduate students, including a couple of doctoral students.


“They’re not all public health majors. We have students from all areas of the university who simply want to be more educated on these relevant and unavoidable topics.”


Several new scholarships will be awarded within the program to encourage leadership and success in different areas of focus.


“We offer one scholarship that’s given to recent public health undergraduate students at Kent State, and a scholarship in health disparities for students interested in focusing their career in addressing and eliminating health disparities — as well as our student success scholarships, which recognize the innovative projects that our students are participating in,” said Oglesby.


By offering flexibility and scholarship opportunities, the college hopes to increase the success of the online master’s program.


Applications for the program are currently being accepted for fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters. An online open house will take place July 13th at 7 p.m. for those interested in more information on the coursework and structure of the online learning environment. Applicants may register here.


Contact Jessa Schroeder at [email protected]