The Certificate in Prevention Science
Approved by University Graduate Instruction Committee March 2009
Approved by University Faculty Senate April 14, 2009
A graduate level Certificate in Prevention Science (CPS) is proposed to provide students from a variety of majors an interdisciplinary perspective on the science and practice related to the prevention of mental, emotional, and physical health problems and the promotion of well-being in these same domains. The CPS program will aim to prepare graduate students capable of advancing science-based prevention programs and policies through an understanding of empirical research and knowledge of best practices by prevention professionals. Knowledge, concepts, and methods from psychology, medicine, statistics, physiology, sociology, education, and others disciplines inform the professional engaged with the reduction of the prevalence, incidence, and severity of social and public health problems. Prevention-oriented disciplines contribute to the knowledge base related to the promotion of social, emotional, and physical health of individuals and of communities. The CPS program will enable students to take several common classes and approved electives while continuing to earn credit toward a degree in their own areas of study.
The CPS program grew out of discussions among faculty in the Departments of Educational Psychology and Health and Kinesiology (College of Education and Human Development); Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Science (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences); Communication (College of Liberal Arts); and faculty in the School of Rural Public Health (Health Science Center).
Prevention science is a relatively new but rapidly growing interdisciplinary field. The Society for Prevention Science was formed in 1991 in response for the need for a multidisciplinary community of researchers concerned with the use of science to address problems, issues, and challenges pertaining to the prevention of social and public health problems. Prevention science interventions are based on research-based theoretical models of risk and protective processes involved in the etiology of a preventable problem. These models guide the methods, contexts, timing, and targets for intervention. Prevention researchers attempt to determine not only the efficacy of a preventive intervention based on a theoretical model, but also the processes responsible for the intervention's impact on a problem. Prevention science includes the study of universal, selective, and indicated prevention. The prevention research cycle progresses from pilot theoretical studies and replications, to effectiveness trials, to large-scale dissemination trials. Prevention researchers represent a broad cross-section of expertise relevant to the prevention of social and health problems, including epidemiological research, developmental psychopathology, youth development, intervention research in areas such as prevention of tobacco product use by youth, promotion of social and emotional competencies in preschool children, and use of media to increase the acceptance of protective health practices.
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