1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

University of South Carolina School of Public Health MCH Catalyst Program

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Maternal and Child Health Public Health Catalyst Program

Project Director(s):

Jihong Liu, Sc.D.
Arnold School of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of South Carolina
915 Greene Street
Columbia, SC  29208
Phone: (803) 777-6854


The current public health workforce is not representative of the nation and lacks formal training in public health; more than one-half are considering leaving their organizations due to retirement or other reasons. South Carolina ranks poorly nationally for many key maternal and child health (MCH) indicators with persistent health disparities. Despite the robust MCH-relevant courses offered, rich faculty expertise, and student's interest, the Arnold School of Public Health (ASPH) at the University of South Carolina (UofSC) presently lacks a certificate or degree program in MCH to guide students to develop their interests in MCH.

Goals and Objectives:

The overall goal of this proposed UofSC MCH Catalyst Program is to establish MCH curricular infrastructure at the ASPH to increase our capacity to train a diverse, skilled and innovative MCH workforce for the state and nation.

The sub-goals are to:

  1. Enrich and expand the MCH curriculum,
  2. Develop and maintain an MCH certificate program,
  3. Increase the diversity of students enrolled into the MCH certificate program, and
  4. Prepare trainees to pursue careers in MCH-focused jobs in public health agencies.


During the funding period, we propose to achieve the following tasks: an approved MCH certificate program that meets all the pre-specified competencies, =20 graduate courses addressing MCH leadership competencies, creation and maintenance of a student-led interest group, establishment of an engaged Advisory Committee, building of strong partnerships with Title V and other MCH stakeholders, interexchange with other national MCH grantees, and work to achieve long-term sustainability of MCH training at UofSC. Ultimately, our program will increase the breadth and depth of MCH-relevant courses at ASPH, access to MCH-specific public health training, graduate level MCH-related practicum opportunities, engagement among students with MCH interests, and the skill and capacity of the MCH workforce. During the 5-year funding period, =12 graduate students will be enrolled in the MCH certificate program with at least 4 from underrepresented groups; >90% of them will successfully complete the program; 19 MCH scholars will be trained; the number of graduate students enrolled in MCH courses or expressing interest in MCH will increase; and partnerships with state MCH agencies will be strengthened. The populations to be served are graduate or undergraduate students with a special focus on those underrepresented and disadvantaged students.


The UofSC MCH Catalyst program will be based in ASPH and include 40 faculty from all six departments. Numerous outreach strategies will be implemented to recruit underrepresented students, including in-reach to the large undergraduate UofSC student body, a potential pipeline for our graduate student body. Strong academic-practice partnerships will be developed with Title V block grant and MCH agencies in South Carolina.


Evaluation data will be assembled from routinely collected administrative data plus program-specific data collection activities. Using the Logic Model, the evaluation paradigm will assess short- and long-term outcomes toward achieving the overall goal of the UofSC MCH Catalyst Program. Annual data will contribute to continuous quality improvement.