Health education PhD program ranked one of top in nation

06/08/04

Tampa, FL (June 8, 2004) -- The University of South Florida College of Public Health's doctoral program in health education ranks second in the country up from its tenth-place ranking four years ago, an article in the May/June issue of the American Journal of Health Education reports.The program ranks number one in student scholarly activity.

Twenty-four of the 39 doctoral programs of health education nationwide, or 62 percent, responded to the study. This latest study was a revised version of the 2000 study rating the academic quality of such programs for the first time.

The USF College of Public Health ranked second overall among 29 respondents, just behind the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The college ranked number one in the category covering student variables -- student scholarly activity, student/faculty ratio, support for teaching and research assistants, and faculty mentoring and placement of graduates. USF's doctoral program in health education surpassed those at the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Indiana University and Texas A&M University, to name a few.

"It's an extraordinary accomplishment," said Robert McDermott, PhD, a professor in the Department of Community and Family Health, which offers the PhD program in health education. Dr. McDermott headed the department from 1997 to 2001 when the study information was collected.

"This well-regarded study was based on objective, independent criteria, and USF outranked some heavy-weight and much more established institutions," he said. "No matter how you measure it by faculty productivity, by opportunities provided to students for teaching, research and service, or both -- we're in a very elite group."

In addition to the student category, researchers based the rankings on faculty variables, including publications in peer-reviewed journals, editorships in health education-related journals and external research funding obtained. USF was one of only six programs ranked in the top 10 for both student and faculty criteria.

Weighting for the ranking system was established by scholars and leaders in the field of health education.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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