Our view: A quality investment

DKS Editors

President Lester Lefton has said public health is the wave of the future at Kent State. With the increasing need for jobs in this field, we commend Lefton for the investment Kent State is making in the new college.

Kent State officials have been talking about a College of Public Health for a while now. We’ve heard about the grand vision, and we’ve heard about the strategic plans. Now we’re finally seeing the results of what President Lester Lefton has said can be the next big thing at Kent State.

This semester, the college has 16 faculty members, and 146 students are enrolled in the four online courses available. And by the fall semester, Sonia Alemagno, interim associate dean of graduate studies, has said she hopes the college will have lecture classes available as well. Starting then, students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in public health with three different concentrations.

Anyone who has been tuned into world events during the past year knows how important the field of public health can be. With the H1N1 breakout last spring, which continued into the fall and winter months, public health officials were hard at work making sure this pandemic wouldn’t result in the same widespread and serious outcomes as others have had in the past.

Fields relating to health services are ranked among the top growing jobs in various lists, including forbes. com and employmentspot.com. Lefton and other Kent State officials have continually preached these statistics as well. The bottom line? Public health is not just an important field, but a growing one.

For those who are undecided in what they’d like to study, public health might not be a bad option. And for those who are already well into their studies in a different field, certificates in public health are also available. It’s an 18-credit hour program — essentially less than a semester and a half of work — that can get you certified in public health. Health in itself is a far-branching field, and this certification can make a variety of majors, including business, journalism and nursing, more marketable for certain jobs.

In an interview with student media leaders last week, Lefton said that public health at Kent State could grow as renowned as liquid crystals have been in past decades. The possibilities seem endless, with Kent State’s partnership with NEOUCOM, and on an even grander scale, the country of Geneva. Kent State students already have the opportunity to study there, which happens to be the home of the World Health Organization. Lefton has said he hopes there could be opportunities for public health majors to work and study amidst the W.H.O., the world headquarters of public health.

There is currently a search committee looking for a permanent dean of the college. Lefton has said finding the right person is of utmost importance, and while he hopes to find a dean by the end of the year, he would rather find the right person.

Kent State seems to be on the right path in making this college all it can be. If it continues doing things the way it is, this could truly be something great.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.