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NMU, GVSU partner on graduate program

(Stock image courtesy of Metro Creative)

MARQUETTE — A new partnership agreement between Grand Valley State University and Northern Michigan University creates a pipeline for NMU undergraduates to GVSU’s public health graduate program.

The articulation agreement, developed by GVSU’s Department of Public Health and NMU’s School of Health and Human Performance, allows Grand Valley to recruit and directly admit up to five students from NMU’s community health programs to Grand Valley’s Master of Public Health Program.

Ranelle Brew, chair of the Department of Public Health at Grand Valley and director of the Master of Public Health Program, said overall, there is a shortage of public health professionals in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

“It is our intention to recruit students from that area, but also for graduate students to return to work in northern Michigan,” said Brew. “This will help grow the field of public health in underserved communities.”

Up to five NMU students who major in applied exercise science and health with a concentration in community health will be eligible for preferential admission into Grand Valley’s MPH program each year, provided they meet the criteria and are recommended by NMU’s School of Health and Human Performance.

“Establishing this agreement with GVSU gives Northern students a direct link to a quality public health program that will meet the needs of Michigan and the country as a whole,” said Liz Wuorinen, associate dean and director of Northern’s SHHP. “There is a need for more health educators in the Upper Peninsula, and it is our hope that some of the students will return to serve in the rural communities that need them.”

Brew said there is also strong interest in preparing public health-trained individuals for work in tribal communities.

“GVSU Public Health has previously connected students to tribally focused, practicum placements in northern Michigan, which have turned into fruitful full-time positions for alumni of the program,” she said.

Brew added both GVSU and NMU hope to offer additional graduates for tribal community partners through this direct admit partnership.

Grand Valley is currently recruiting for this fall.

NMU’s School of Health and Human Performance launched its applied exercise science and health degree program in fall 2000. Students can pick from four concentrations: community health, clinical applied exercise science, sports performance and fitness leadership, and sports fitness management. Associate Professor Yuba Gautam said graduates from from the major are qualified to pursue a master’s of public health program and advance their careers in the field.

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