June 16, 2020
Purdue Global contact tracing course completers share their experiences
INDIANAPOLIS — Every day, more people are completing the free contact tracing course being offered by Purdue University Global to train individuals in this important public health enterprise to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of Monday (June 15), more than 400 people had successfully completed the course and obtained a certificate among the more than 1,800 who had registered.
Kevin J. Kieft, president and CEO of the Lake Wales (Florida) Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council, said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the course.
“The ability to learn some more about the COVID pandemic and gain new insights on how it’s transmitted between individuals and ways to combat that transmission interested me,” Kieft said. “I gained a better understanding of how to actually identify COVID cases, ways that it is transmitted and how and why contact tracing is such an important public health tool to help curb a pandemic or epidemic and limit exposures without drastic measures.”
Having obtained her certificate, Sarah Reid-Miller, a finance and insurance representative in Lafayette, Indiana, now hopes to become a contact tracer.
“I want to do something to help in the fight against COVID-19,” Reid-Miller said. “I learned more about the pandemic and the steps communities are taking to flatten the curve.”
The self-study course offering takes approximately six to eight hours to complete, and those who successfully finish receive a certificate of completion. The course is powered by D2L’s Brightspace learning platform, which supports all of Purdue Global’s online programs.
“We continue to offer training for those interested in becoming contact tracers, and the feedback regarding the learning experience has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Melissa Burdi, Purdue Global vice president and dean of the School of Nursing. “This training is vital, particularly now as we are seeing a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in various parts of the country. As a result of this training, contact tracers are equipped with important skills and knowledge needed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
Using World Health Organization content for the most current and widely accepted information about the disease – aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the course covers six primary topics:
- How COVID-19 is contracted and transmitted.
- Strategies to reduce the spread of the disease.
- COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.
- Contact tracing legal requirements.
- Effective risk communication.
- Analytical skills for quality improvement and more.
The course bundles CDC-supported readings, media and training modules to provide students with an innovative, interactive and just-in-time training experience. Skills-building bundles accelerate learner achievement of CDC-defined learning objectives by combining multiple methodologies that reach all types of learners: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
The cost for the COVID-19 contact tracing course is $295, but for a limited time that fee is being waived for individuals who enroll. Purdue Global also will make the course available to government agencies, educational institutions and businesses to support their specific needs for training solutions for contact tracing. For more information, including the possibility of customized solutions, visit purdueglobal.edu/covid-19-contact-tracing-course/.
A long-used public health tool, contact tracing is the process of identifying individuals who may have come into contact with an infected person and, thus, breaking the chain of transmission of a disease and reducing infections.
According to estimates from the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the recommended staffing guidelines for states is 30 tracers for every 100,000 citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global is the extreme personalization online university, providing students the competitive edge to advance in their chosen careers. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global serves more than 31,000 students (as of March 2020), most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates several regional locations nationwide. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest, Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, please visit purdueglobal.edu.
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Kevin J. Kieft