ESU’s Fast-Track Degree Completion Program in Philadelphia Graduates Second Cohort

Posted by: admin on June 13, 2013, No Comments

Marsha Clarke-Ford of Drexel Hill, Pa., was among six students who graduated from East Stroudsburg University’s extended learning program in Philadelphia, Pa.  Each received a bachelor of science degree in public health through the degree completion program that allows students to complete coursework through two years of evening and weekend studies. Clarke-Ford was among those who attended a celebration luncheon on the ESU campus following the ceremonies.

Six students graduated from East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of Pennsylvania’s extended learning program in Philadelphia, Pa. Each received a bachelor of science degree in public health through the degree completion program that allows students to complete coursework through two years of evening and weekend studies. The six newest graduates join 12 alumni who graduated in December 2012. Commencement ceremonies were held on the ESU campus in East Stroudsburg on May 18, 2013.

Receiving a B.S. in public health were Russell Whaley of Upper Darby, Pa.; Marsha Clarke-Ford of Drexel Hill, Pa.; Tyra Condé of Philadelphia, Pa.;  Melissa Aliulis of Philadelphia, Pa.;  Shauntay Murray of Philadelphia, Pa.;  and Gina Patania of Audubon, Pa.

The public health bachelor’s degree completion program, for those with an associate degree or equivalent college credits, features a course schedule that is convenient for busy adults. There are five eight-week sessions throughout the year to help students with prior credits earn the degree within two years. Students can take up to 30 credits per year over three semesters each year. Class meets two evenings per week, 6 – 9 p.m., and on Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Multi-University site in Center City Philadelphia – 701 Market Street. The multi-disciplinary program offers two concentrations in health services administration or community health and consists of coursework within the ESU departments of health studies, business management and political science.

This degree provides the educational foundation for careers in health services administration, delivery, and policy. Graduates could work in health care delivery settings (hospitals, clinics, home health agencies); public health settings (county and state health departments or community–based organizations); in other allied health settings (nursing homes) or in the insurance segment (insurance companies and HMOs). This degree also prepares students for a master’s degree in public health which is also offered through ESU in Philadelphia.

Students in the public health program have the opportunity to complete internships with major health care facilities in Philadelphia. Student internship sites include government agencies; federal, state and local health departments; medical centers, hospitals and other health care institutions; community coalitions and health improvement programs and work site wellness and health promotion programs for employees.

Credits earned from other institutions and programs are easily transferred into the ESU public health degree program. Academic advisers work with students to prepare individual transfer credit evaluations to determine what coursework is needed to finish a degree.

ESU will also launch the Master in Public Health program in the fall. This hybrid program will be offered in a combination of face to face, online and video conference formats.  

Condé said obtaining the B.S. in public health was an incredible experience.

“My experience at ESU has impacted my life in many ways,” she said. “I have gained a higher education and a way to further my career. ESU staff and my fellow classmates were my support system through many obstacles which occurred while attending ESU. My classmates and I leaned on one another and gained a closeness that I cherish. I will encourage and support anyone who wishes to further his or her education.”

“The Public Health program has prepared me with discipline and a more professional character,” said Clarke-Ford. “Because I was able to learn the dynamics of the public health care systems, I am more marketable and getting the respect I always wanted in the corporate world. I was able to get promoted twice by my employer because of the structures that I have learned and the way that the professors prepared me.”  

For more information about the bachelor of sciences degree in public health, the master in public health program in the fall and the ESU extended learning program, please contact Millie Román-Buday, assistant director of admission for extended learning, at 610-419-2516 or by email at