Professional and Academic Development Sessions

UNTHSC School of Public Health Professional Development

Professional development sessions are periods of time during the academic year in which no classes are being held, where students may further interact outside of their selected programs and concentrations for professional and academic development. The School of Public Health (SPH) Office of Academic Services provides the programming for many of the professional development sessions. SPH leadership, alumni, employers, and current students, and our accreditors provide direction for the content being offered.

Areas of Focus:

  • Professionalism
  • Competency Enrichment
  • Department Feedback
  • Community Service
  • Community Engagement
  • Campus and Local Resources
  • Program Knowledge

What is the purpose of Professional Development?

Professional development sessions are periods of time during the academic year in which no classes are being held, where students may further interact outside of their selected programs and concentrations for professional and academic development. The School of Public Health (SPH) Office of Student and Academic Services provides the programming for many of the professional development sessions. SPH leadership, alumni, employers, and current students, and our accreditors provide direction for the content being offered.

Areas of Focus:

  • Professionalism
  • Competency Enrichment
  • Department Feedback
  • Community Service
  • Community Engagement
  • Campus and Local Resources
  • Program Knowledge

What is the purpose of Professional Development?

The design of this program promotes learning both in and out of the classroom. Our goal, is that professional development will provide you will additional skills and experiences to bring into your coursework, practice experience and internships, and eventually, throughout your professional career. This type of programming is also a component to maintain our accreditation through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). In compliance with CEPH, the Office of Student and Academic Services provides programming to cover Career Advising, Academic Advising, and Practice Experience (service learning and community engagement through service projects).

When are the professional development sessions?

Cohort SPH students will be completing professional development in-person for the 2023-2024 academic year which will be organized through Canvas in the SPH professional development course. You will be sent an invitation to join the course prior to the start of the semester.

Online SPH students will be completing professional development online for the 2023-2024 academic year which will be organized through Canvas in the SPH professional development course. You will be sent an invitation to join the course prior to the start of the semester.

Please note this schedule also includes interprofessional education (IPE) events. There are both university and school-level IPE sessions, and are held during professional development times and are reflected on the provided schedule; however, are not programmed by the Office of Student and Academic Services. The inclusion of IPE is also a requirement to maintain our accreditation with CEPH. Please feel free to contact Dr. Kari Northeim for IPE questions. Her email is Kari.Northeim@unthsc.edu.

Where do I find the details for the events?

The details of professional development sessions will be made available through various methods of contact with primary communication through the SPH professional development course in Canvas. This includes course modules and the course calendar. All SPH students are added to the course at the time of course activation (you must accept the course invite). By clicking on the calendar, you can see all sessions available to students. For mandatory sessions, you will not be required to submit an RSVP, as your presence is already expected. However, you will need to RSVP for your elective sessions, RSVPs should be completed (added or removed) by the Friday prior to the event.

What will I be required to attend?

Cohort student requirements for the 2023-2024 academic year are as follows:

  • Cohort students will be required to complete a total of 20 professional development sessions. This total will include all required and elective sessions together.
  • For example, if a MPH EPID student has 9 required sessions for the semester, they will then need to complete a total of 11 elective sessions before the end of the semester.

Online student requirements for the 2023-2024 academic year are as follows:

  • Online students will be required to complete a total of 4 professional development sessions per each 8-week enrollment session. This total will include required and elective sessions together.
  • For example, if an online MHA student has one 1 required session they will need to complete a total of 3 elective sessions before the end of the 8-week term.

*The professional development calendar can be changed or updated throughout the semester and students (cohort and online) are responsible for attending all required meetings regardless of the number of total completed professional development*

What if I don’t attend a mandatory session (or one which I RSVP’d for)?

Much like if you miss a class, you will need to submit an excused absence form for illnesses or emergencies. For absences which will not qualify for an excused absence, you will be assigned an additional assignment.

I have more questions and/or concerns about professional development.

The Office of Student and Academic Services is always here to help you. For general questions, such as a date, time, or room number, please contact our front office and one of our friendly Graduate Assistants will help you out! Our email is sph@unthsc.edu or you can call us at (817) 735-0489.

If you have more specific questions, please reach out to Chelsea Lancaster, Assistant Director of Student and Academic Services by emailing chelsea.lancaster@unthsc.edu.