New KU Edwards Campus JCERT Programs Address Timely Workforce, Community Needs

Two new undergraduate, online certificates in public and population health and nutrition are open for fall 2020 registration at the KU Edwards Campus. 

During an unprecedented time in the state, nation and world, the University of Kansas and the Johnson County Education Research Triangle (JCERT) have recently launched two new programs designed to meet critical needs of the Kansas City-area workforce and community.

The undergraduate, online certificates in public and population health and nutrition are open for fall 2020 registration. Both programs are offered through a collaboration between the University of Kansas Medical Center and KU Edwards Campus; KU Medical Center experts will teach the courses.

Public and Population Health Certificate

The online Undergraduate Certificate in Public and Population Health addresses biological, behavioral, societal, environmental and organizational risk factors for promoting health and preventing disease, as well as the connections between public health and the community.

Won Choi, Ph.D., MPH, professor and vice chair for education in the KU School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health, will teach an epidemiology course for this new certificate program.

“Public and population health have always been critical for promoting health and preventing disease, but the current pandemic has revealed the greater importance of public health measures like social distancing to reduce morbidity and mortality,” Choi said.

Stuart Day, dean of the KU Edwards Campus and the School of Professional Studies, said the new online certificate allows more students to make a difference in the Kansas City region and beyond.

“This certificate addresses a major and timely need for advanced education in a variety of disciplines within public and population health,” Day said. “We are thrilled to partner with KU Medical Center to offer this valuable credential, arming students with solutions when confronting community health issues.”

Online Undergraduate Certificate in Nutrition

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11 percent increase in demand for dietitians and nutritionists between 2018 and 2028. Students in the online Undergraduate Certificate in Nutrition can apply their education to careers in nutrition and health education, weight management, nutrition consulting, sports nutrition, dietetics, food safety, corporate wellness, public health and similar in-demand jobs.

Mark Jakubauskas, director of research and innovation at the KU Edwards Campus, collaborated with Debra Sullivan, department chairperson of dietetics and nutrition in the KU School of Health Professions, to create a comprehensive curriculum. Sullivan said this certificate program will prepare students for professional success and help employers access the latest nutrition data and best practices. 

“We pride ourselves on continually monitoring the pulse of the Kansas City region, and nutrition education is a workforce need identified by area employers,” Jakubauskas said. “We are grateful for our partnership with KU Medical Center, giving us the latest real-world applications in nutrition and health for teaching to our students.”

For more information, check out the KU Edwards Campus online.