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Certificate in One Health

Certificate Overview

Emerging infectious diseases and food safety problems are increasingly recognized as global and regional issues, with potentially serious impacts on human health, animal health, the environment, and national economies.  Often these problems are difficult to control because they require interdisciplinary and international partnerships and there are many barriers to such collaborations.  The One Health approach seeks to break down those barriers and to engage public health, veterinary health, and environmental health professionals in problem solving.  The One Health approach has been endorsed by numerous professional organizations and institutions. It is considered the best way to tackle some of today’s most troubling problems.

The primary purpose of this Certificate is to provide One Health training to public health, veterinary health, and environmental health professionals and students who wish to follow such careers.

This Certificate was designed to support companies, organizations, and governmental agencies in providing such One Health training to their employees and international partners.   In addition to the knowledge individual students gain, the Certificate will increase the professional capacities of their organizations and often improve their organization’s international relationships.

The University of Florida is one of the first academic centers in the world providing training for the One Health approach.  At present we offer PhD and MHS degree programs with concentrations in One Health.  This certificate program would be the third level of One Health training.

Additional benefits of the Certificate in One Health:

  • Helps to meet the training needs of US and  international public health, veterinary health, and environmental professionals;
  • Strengthens international relationships for the sponsoring organizations that will nominate students for scholarships to complete the certificate;
  • Enhances the performance of international professionals who collaborate with US sponsoring organizations;
  • Helps foreign countries train and retain their most promising new scientists with an educational strategy that will not demand their long-term absence; and
  • Helps international students establish an academic track record of excellence such that they might compete and win external scholarships for more formal degree training (MS, MPH, and PhD through organizations such as Fogarty, USAID, etc.).

Description of Certificate Program

Each year, a class of up to 50 professionals are provided with tuition scholarships and travel funding to participate in this Certificate program. A number of self- or independently funded students and professionals may also be enrolled each year. The Certificate is earned through 18 to 20 days of intensive training at the University of Florida coupled with one term of web-based, asynchronous, distance learning training.

Training includes lectures, tutorials, field experiences, laboratory exercises, public health demonstrations, and written examinations, with the goal of introducing students to the many facets of studying emerging infectious diseases. Disciplines reviewed include: epidemiology, environmental health, veterinary health, zoonotic diseases, epidemiology, entomology, microbiology, food production, food safety, water quality assessments, and outbreak investigations. All courses are taught in English. English is the official language of the Certificate program. For distance learners, a reliable internet connection is required.

The Certificate will be awarded after a student successfully completes the 9 credits of prescribed course work with a grade point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Course work must be completed within a 12-month period. After demonstrating excellence in performance, successful certificate trainees may compete for further scholarship support (Fogarty, USAID, etc.) and apply 9 credits of the training towards a Masters in Public Health at the University of Florida:


Coursework

On-site courses (Gainesville May 9-25, 2014):

  • An Introduction to One Health Problem Solving (PHC 6006 2 credits): This 7-day course (chiefly mornings) will introduce students to the principles of employing the One Health approach in preventing and controlling infectious diseases. It includes include a practical overview of host factors, environmental factors, and microbiological factors that influence this dynamic field of study. Through lectures and exercises, students will be introduced to infectious disease surveillance, diagnostic tools, outbreak investigations, vaccine trials, public health interventions, biodefense, emerging infectious diseases and analytical approaches as they pertain to infectious disease prevention and control. Students will be introduced to a wide array of reference material (much of it public) that will help them in practically applying course material.
  • Public Health Laboratory Techniques (PHC 6561 1 credit): This 5-day afternoon course will introduce students to public health laboratory methods. A special emphasis will be placed upon respiratory virus work, especially influenza.
  • An Introduction to Entomology Zoonotic Diseases and Food Safety (PHC 6515 3 credits): This 6-day, concentrated course will introduce students to the epidemiology and control of zoonotic diseases. Each day there will be 3 hours of lecture and 3 or more hours of field activity. The course is comprised of readings, lectures, field studies, laboratory exercises, and term paper. Zoonoses endemic to the Southeastern United States are emphasized.

Subsequent online course:

  • PHC 6313: Environmental Health Concepts in Public Health (3 credits): This 16 week spring course examines sources, routes, media, and health outcomes associated with biological, chemical, and physical agents in the environment. Effects of agents on disease, water quality, air quality, food safety, and land resources are reviewed, as well as legal frameworks, policies, and practices associated with environmental health and intended to improve public health. The course is asynchronous web-based.

Click here for detailed course descriptions.

Who should seek certificate training?

Graduate students, public health professionals, laboratory professionals, physicians, nurses, veterinarians, and medical technologists, who are seeking graduate level training in One Health. Due to potential environmental and animal pathogen exposures, we do not recommend that pregnant women participate


Timeline

September 1 – November 15, 2013: Nominations from sponsors are submitted
End of September to November 15, 2013: Nominees are notified
November 15, 2013 (DoS) and December 18, 2013 (DoD): Applications due for sponsored students (primarily international nominees)
November - January 2014: Trainees selected and notified
December-April, 2014: Visas acquired, travel arrangements made, students enrolled at UF
February 28, 2014: Deadline for non-sponsored students to apply
March 15, 2014: Nonsponsored students selected and notified
May 9-25, 2014: Trainees study in Gainesville, Florida for intensive training
During 1 term during the next 12 months: Trainees complete PHC 6313 course via asynchronous web-based tutorials

Nomination Process for Scholarships

Each fiscal year, US sponsoring organizations (e.g. DoD-GEIS, CDC, DoS, USAID, Fogarty, USDA, US National Parks Service, etc) will nominate students for certificate training in accordance with their funding sponsorship budgets.  Priority will often be given to early or mid-career candidates who have more productive years ahead of them than a senior medical or public health professional.

Persons with at least a bachelor’s degree from a college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) or the foreign equivalent are eligible for the program.  Letters of recommendation are not required. The official language of the training course is English. Consistent with requirements of the University of  Florida Graduate School, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an equivalent examination is required from applicants for whom English is a second language and who have not been enrolled for one year or longer at an institution in an English-speaking country.  Note that the most successful previous international students have had TOEFL (or IELTS during the 2006-2007 year) scores >600 for the paper exam, >250 for the computer exam or >95 for the internet exam (>7.0 for the IELTS exam).  Only individuals who have the English language and scientific backgrounds to succeed in graduate training should be nominated.

Nominated students submit applications to UF as post-baccalaureate students. The application involves submission of unofficial copies of academic transcript(s) detailing course grades and translated into English if produced in another language, a CV/resume, English proficiency examination scores (as appropriate), and an Application for the Certificate in One Health that includes a statement of purpose,. Each candidate will be evaluated and ranked by a UF selection committee according to 4 categories: academic preparation and performance, professional experience, English language proficiency, and commitment to One Health.

The selected candidates will be asked to email a letter of agreement within 2 weeks of receiving an offer for training. This agreement will detail their proposed involvement and indicate their commitment in participating in this training.


Costs

Sponsored students do not pay tuition or fees.

*As space permits, the Certificate program is also open to other trainees (both US and abroad) who have independent support to pay for tuition, books, travel, housing, etc. Nominations are not required. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to have completed and submitted their application no later than February 28th.

Tuition Rates for On-Site Courses:

Out of state students – The tuition for non-sponsored UF students is estimated at $650 per credit hour plus fees for the on-site courses.

Florida residents – Students who are eligible for in-state tuition will pay regular Florida graduate in-state tuition rates. For estimated costs see:  http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/basics/cost-of-attendance/

Tuition Rates for Online Course (PHC 6313):

For both out-of-state and in-state students, the tuition for the subsequent online course (PHC 6313) is estimated at $550 per credit hour plus fees.

For additional information, click here to contact the Academic Programs Coordinator.