Case Study: Student-Led Initiative for Development of Public Health Leadership Skills Among College Students

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Master of Public Health (MPH) programs prepare graduate students to become public health professionals, many of whom continue on to become an integral part of local communities in their quest to improve quality of life for all. Academic preparations include development and refinement of skills such as leadership, grant writing, planning, and evaluation. Students learn the value and power of networking among community public health professionals who work collectively to support the welfare of their local constituents. The purpose of this presentation is to profile a public health leadership program developed and implemented by two MPH students during graduate school to supplement and enhance formal academic training in an effort to prepare students for leadership roles after graduation. Utilizing evidence-based data from recent campus surveys that identified opportunities for institutional improvement, program participants collaborated in teams to propose solutions to address these unmet needs. They identified leadership skills within themselves and others, gained experience utilizing a variety of communication tools, and networked with local public health leaders to establish new professional relationships. Half of the students went on to gain leadership roles within the campus community. The leadership program was designed to be self-sustaining in that graduates from the first cohort became the new leaders during the following year for the next cohort. This student-led initiative is now in its second year, and serves as a model for the development of advocacy and leadership skills among public health students as they prepare for their professional path after graduation.


American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA)


Atlanta, GA