The range of individuals entering M.P.H. programs, many with no previous health-specific education and with no access to the public health-related certifications currently in existence, makes this group likely candidates for a certification program. Defining specific criteria for such certification as well as designating a responsible organization to carry out out the process is beyond the scope of this report. However, the committee believes that voluntary certification for the M.P.H. graduate would enhance the profession. Therefore, the committee recommends the development of a voluntary certification of competence in the ecological approach to public health as a mechanism for encouraging the development of new M.P.H. graduates.

This chapter has described the future of public health professional education, no matter the site at which that education is obtained. Chapter 4 discusses the role of schools of public health in educating public health professionals, while Chapter 5 discusses the roles of other schools and programs. Chapter 6 focuses on the state, local, and federal public health agencies.

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