SSON Helps Launch New Online Graduate Certificate in Participatory Health Research

The University of Missouri is working to increase the number of researchers who use a patient-centered and community-engaged approach to their work by launching a new online graduate certificate in participatory health research. 

“When researchers, community members, social welfare experts and health care administrators work as partners to conduct research projects, there is an increase in meaningful change and forward progress,” says Maithe Enriquez, SSON associate professor. “Former U.S. Surgeon General David Stacher has said this type of research methodology holds the key for getting to the root cause of health disparities.”

The program will create more health care professionals who are able to not only improve outcomes in their clinical setting, but also influence health care policy, Enriquez says.

MU is now accepting applications for the 100-percent online certificate program and classes begin August 21. GRE scores are not required for application.

In-Demand Skills

The 15-credit-hour program is designed for professionals in social work, nursing and public health who want to acquire research skills to expand and grow their careers.

Students in the online program will apply research methodologies that health care systems and health research institutions value most:

  • Community-based participatory research (CBPR): a partnership approach to research in which various stakeholders contribute expertise and share decision-making.
  • Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR): a methodology that involves health care consumers and caregivers, helping them communicate and make informed health care decisions together.
  • Clinical effectiveness research (CER): the direct comparison of health care interventions to determine which work best for which patients.

The graduate certificate can be taken in addition to a student’s current graduate program of study in medicine, public health, nursing, social work or other areas. In-service professionals who seek to enhance their skills also can enroll in the certificate program. A bachelor’s degree is required for admission.

“Students are going to pick up valuable skills and expertise in community-based, patient-centered and clinical effectiveness research,” Enriquez says. “They also can grow their professional networks while continuing their education, which is something all licensed health care professionals are required to do.”

 Four MU departments are working together to offer the course work for this online graduate certificate: the School of Medicine’s Family and Community Medicine, the School of Social Work, the School of Health Professions and the Sinclair School of Nursing.

Students who take two classes each semester can finish the 15-credit hour program in one year. 

For more information about the online graduate certificate in participatory health research, visit online.missouri.edu/participatory-health-research-graduate-certificate.