New Master’s Program for Health Professions Education

Better teaching expected to drive improved health care outcomes

A key strategy for improving health care outcomes is to improve the education of health care professionals.  Toward that end, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is launching the new Master in Health Professions Education (MHPE).

The new degree is offered through an interdisciplinary program jointly administered by the university’s School of Education and School of Medicine. It is intended to produce a new generation of expert teachers and curriculum specialists for schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and other health professions.

Students will learn to incorporate the latest medical research into curricula; to design evidence-based educational programs; to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and  curricula; to effectively use assessment tools and to provide strong and effective leadership.

The master’s degree program extends a less-intensive certification program, Graduate Certificate in Health Professions Education. The move is in keeping with similar expansions of health professions education programs in recent years at schools such as Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt and Baylor.

“The health professions community has clearly recognized the need to provide formal support for teaching and assessment, and the master’s degree is supported as the most effective vehicle for doing this,” said Ellen Lavelle, Ph.D., director of Health Professions Education.

The master’s degree program extends the foundation provided in the certificate program to include focus on educational research, leadership and application. All courses in the MHPE are project-based; students develop projects reflective of their current professional experiences, and that serve to impact teaching and learning in those areas. The 36-credit-hour program requires a minimum of two years to complete.

Two unique features of the MHPE are the Professional Educators Portfolio, which provides an opportunity to apply learning, showcase projects across courses; and the Summer Health Professions Mini-Conference, which is designed and delivered by students, with the support of faculty, and is open to all health professions and allied health faculty and students at UMKC.


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