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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: MCH Distance Learning

Web Site: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Anita Farel, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Public Health
Department of Maternal and Child Health
426 Rosenau Hall
421 S. Pittsboro Street
CB# 7445
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-7445
Phone: (919) 966-5983
FAX: (919) 966-0458
Email: anita_farel@unc.edu


A comprehensive review of market need and demand revealed that an a-synchronous, flexible training program that confers a Certificate in MCH Leadership and/or a Master's degree in Public Health Leadership and MCH is sorely needed in North Carolina, the Southeast region, and across the nation.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Develop an asynchronous, online equivalent to the yearlong, 8-credit MCH residential core course Foundations of MCH utilizing distance learning instructional design methodologies. Objective 1: (1) Convert the residential MCH required core course Foundations of MCH in Year 1 (AY2008-09) to a dynamic, interactive online format with technologies for individual and group-based learning that replicate the classroom experience. Objective 2: Goal 2: Adapt the existing online UNC Public Health Leadership Program (PHLP) courses to specifically address MCH competencies. Objective 1: Adapt the face-to-face UNC Public Health Leadership Program Seminar for intensive leadership development and the existing online Program Planning and Evaluation course to reflect increased MCH content, competencies and contextual issues by end of Year 1 (AY2008-09). Goal 3: Establish infrastructure for an online UNC certificate and an MPH degree program as a portal for graduate level distance education in public health leadership in MCH. Objective 1: Complete and execute the MCH Olé! marketing plan by end of Year 1 (AY2008-09). Objective 2: Integrate all administrative, academic, technical, instructional design, and student services features of a 10-credit certificate and a 42-credit master's degree in Leadership in MCH into existing Department infrastructure by Fall 2009. Goal 4: Launch the UNC distance Certificate in MCH Leadership and distance Leadership Master's in Public Health (MPH) in MCH in collaboration with the UNC Public Health Leadership Program. Objective 1: Recruit and enroll the 1st cohort of distance students in the Certificate and MPH during 2009 with matriculation Fall of AY2009-10. Subsequent cohorts will be enrolled annually. Goal 5: Implement continuous quality improvement (CQI) to monitor, evaluate and disseminate information about MCH Ole! and contribute to the Community of Practice (CoP) in MCH Distance Learning. Objective 1: Monitor and evaluate student and faculty experiences during the program development and implementation phases, utilizing this information to improve program outcomes and impact. Objective 2: Disseminate results from MCH Olé! and ensure program sustainability during Year 3 (AY2010-2011) and post completion of the grant funded period.


To attain our goals and objectives, we will undertake the following activities: Convert two residential courses to an online format: MHCH 701-702: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health and PUBH/MHCH 290: Public Health and MCH Leadership Seminar. MHCH 701-702 addresses competencies and contemporary issues in an 8-credit, two-semester core course required of all master's students. PUBH/MHCH 290 includes a face-to- face intensive leadership assessment workshop and companion online lectures, readings and assignments. Complete and execute an MCH Olé! marketing plan building on existing SPH DE marketing capacity with strategies to include electronic and print communications, alumni outreach, and conference and meeting exhibits. Build on SPH documentation of existing online courses and technology. An evaluation plan with identified benchmarks to guide evaluation of MCH courses, administrative procedures, and technical requirements for the certificate and MPH. Disseminate findings nationwide through the professional literature and annual MCH conferences such as AMCHP, APHA, and ATMCH. Ensure sustainability by using infrastructure of an established MCH Leadership Training Program, in collaboration with SPH and practice partners - the PHLP, Online Instruction Group, UNC MCH Leadership Training Consortium, and NC Title V Program. Faculty and staff are currently in place. Tuition receipts will support improvements in educational design, methodology and technology.


MCH Olé! will be coordinated with the UNC Department of MCH, the Public Health Leadership Program and Instructional and Information Systems -- Online Instruction Group in the SPH. As an extension of our established residential MCH leadership training program, we will continue collaboration with the NC Title V Program as well as all other MCHB funded leadership training programs across campus through the UNC MCH Leadership Training Consortium and nationally through the MCH training network.


Formative and summative assessments will be conducted to evaluate online courses developed for the certificate and MPH program. Consistent with the evaluation of our residential training program, data will be collected when students matriculate, at the end of a course, and at the end of the certificate or master's program. Alumni follow-up will also be conducted. Additional SPH evaluative measures for DE students will assess technical and instructional design elements of MCH Olé!

Experience to Date:

During Project Year 1 of MCH Ole! A total of 32 online lectures were published. The Leadership Seminar in MCH was fully developed. Moreover, the academic program foundation for a new Certificate and focus area within an online MPH was established.

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