College of Public Health looks to get fully accredited

Kelsie Britton

The College of Public Health looks forward to becoming fully accredited this year.

“Accreditation essentially is like a seal of approval that basically says we have met certain quality standards,” Ken Slenkovich, assistant dean of the College of Public Health, said.  “What it means for the students is that they can be assured that if they go through our programs, the education that they’re getting is high quality.”

The college was visited by a site team from the Council for Education and Public Health in February, during which the team spoke with alumni, current students, faculty and community partners. Slenkovich said the council would notify the College of its final decision at the end of October.

“There are a few things we have to address and that’s pretty typical,” Slenkovich said. “It’s their job to find areas that you can improve upon. But we feel very good about it.”

William Oglesby, assistant professor in the College of Public Health, said the college has always had the goal of accreditation in mind.

“As soon as the college was founded, it was with the idea that we were going to pursue the highest level of accreditation specialization that was available, and we’ve been working towards that since,” Oglesby said.

Oglesby said that now is the earliest that the College of Public Health, founded in 2009, could attempt to receive this accreditation.

“It takes several years to have all of the documentation in place because you have to have students that have actually participated in all these courses and faculty that taught all of these courses,” said Oglesby. “There has to be several years of information to be able to show them.”

Samantha Lingenfelter, second year graduate student in Health Policy and Management, said she believes the College of Public Health should receive accreditation, but will remain pleased with the College regardless.

“I’ve been excited about this degree ever since I started taking classes in 2013. I’m going into my last year and am just as excited as I was,” Lingenfelter said. “Achieving accreditation is a tough job. If something should happen and they don’t achieve it the first time, nobody says they can’t try it again.”

Slenkovich credited the College of Public Health Dean, Dr. Sonia Alemagno, with guiding the institution toward success.

“This is a big accomplishment for a school like ours, and it doesn’t happen by itself,” Slenkovich said. “It really takes strong leadership. She has provided expert leadership and has had a laser focus on getting us accredited ever since she became dean.”

Slenkovich said the college awaits the council’s decision with optimism and confidence.

“Whenever we develop a new program or hire a new faculty member we’re always thinking, ‘Will this new program or new faculty member help us to meet those accreditation standards?'” Slenkovich said. “I think we deserve it.”

To learn more about the College of Public Health, visit

Contact Kelsie Britton at [email protected]