Students can take public health classes in spring

Amber Wade

New college is approved after two-year effort

The Ohio Board of Regents recently approved Kent State’s bachelor’s of science degree in public health.

It is the first degree as part of Kent State’s College of Public Health and has taken longer than two years to be completed with planning and organizing the curriculum, said Ken Slenkovich, assistant dean for the College of Public Health. The degree is the only one of its kind offered in the state.

Slenkovich said the goal for Fall 2010 is to have 100 students enrolled in the program. Students are able to apply to the program for the fall and can begin taking classes next spring.

The degree will offer students “all kinds of career opportunities” in the health field, such as laboratory work in hospitals and other areas in the health field, Slenkovich said.

“This new public health bachelor’s degree and our College of Public Health leverage, our nationally recognized expertise in health and behavior, nursing, biopreparedness and violence prevention,” President Lester Lefton said in a prepared statement. “Kent State is ideally positioned to produce knowledgeable, well-trained public health professionals to help meet this growing workforce demand for Ohio and our nation.”

The college will also eventually offer master’s and doctoral degrees for students in the program.

“We’ll be submitting to the regents board within the next several weeks, where it goes through a review process,” Slenkovich said. “After that it could take a couple months to be approved.”

The college currently has 15 full-time faculty members housed in the Michael Schwartz Center, Cartwright and Kent Hall, Slenkovich said. They plan to hire 10 more faculty members throughout the next year.

The college is also looking to have all faculty members working in one existing building in the future, and eventually would like to construct a new building after raising sufficient funds.

Contact health reporter Amber Wade at [email protected].