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Last modified: Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Council on Education for Public Health renews accreditation for Indiana University program

July 7, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Bloomington School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) announced today that its Master of Public Health (MPH) program has received a seven-year Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accreditation renewal. This is the longest period of time for which accreditation can be awarded.

Mohammad Torabi

Mohammad Torabi

Print-Quality Photo

Team leaders for the two-year accreditation process from IU Bloomington include:

  • Michael Reece, associate professor, Applied Health Science Department
  • Mohammad Torabi, chair, Applied Health Science Department
  • Catherine Sherwood-Laughlin, clinical associate professor, Applied Health Science Department, and director of the Office of Community and Health Engagement

"To receive the highest level of re-accreditation is a positive and essential step on the pathway to becoming a school of public health," said Robert M. Goodman, dean of HPER. "The entire public health faculty and staff in Applied Health Science have done an outstanding job of ensuring the highest quality of our MPH program, and have laid much of the groundwork for our accreditation as a school of public health."

Accreditation allows colleges and schools to go through the voluntary process of evaluating themselves, both by looking internally and by seeking external review of their programs and operations. The process is initiated by the schools in order to determine whether they are meeting their mission, maintaining or exceeding their standards, and serving their constituents effectively.

Catherine Sherwood-Laughlin

Catherine Sherwood-Laughlin

Print-Quality Photo

"This re-accreditation is an integral part of the foundation the School of HPER will use in order to build the school of public health," Sherwood-Laughlin said. "We are very proud of the outcome. This achievement could not have been accomplished without the collaborative efforts of all students, faculty and staff in HPER as well as support from the university administration."

Public health is defined as "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals." Those who pursue degrees in public health can often find jobs in public health settings, engaging in practical work, creating policy, or furthering research and program development.

"Public health is a field that is rapidly evolving," said Reece, "particularly as we face new challenges in terms of both the spread of disease and the health-related challenges of disasters, both man-made and natural. The accreditation process helps to ensure that our academic programs in public health prepare students who will face these and other challenges as they enter the public health workforce."

Torabi said, "Our Master of Public Health program is the oldest and longest accredited graduate program of its kind in the state of Indiana. Due to the excellent preparation of our students, our graduates have been working from local health departments all the way to major national, private, and public health agencies throughout the U.S. and beyond. They are mentored by world-class faculty and leaders in our field and are making a difference, not only in disease prevention and health promotion, but also in leadership roles and research expertise.

"Obviously, we are very delighted about our re-accreditation and we are committed to even expand further our program to be able to better serve our home state, the nation, and international communities," Torabi said.

Indiana University President, Michael A. Mcrobbie announced in 2009 that IU would create schools of public health on its Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses. On the Bloomington campus, the School of HPER is currently in the process of transforming to a school of public health, with an expected announcement coming within the 2010-2011 academic year.

About the Council on Education for Public Health

The Council on Education for Public Health focuses on the improvement of health through the assurance of professional personnel who are able to identify, prevent and solve community health problems. The council's objectives are: 1) to promote quality in public health education through a continuing process of self-evaluation by the schools and programs that seek accreditation; 2) to assure the public that institutions offering graduate instruction in public health have been evaluated and judged to meet standards essential for the conduct of such educational programs; and 3) to encourage -- through periodic review, consultation, research, publications and other means -- improvements in the quality of education for public health. For more information see

About the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) encompasses a broad spectrum of academic interests and professional fields. HPER offers nearly 50 undergraduate and advanced degree programs through its departments. To further its health and wellness initiative, Campus Recreational Sports provides sport and fitness services for the IU community and the public. More information can be found at