May 21, 2020

Purdue University Global launches course in COVID-19 contact tracing

dooley-tracing New Purdue University Global course on contact tracing for COVID-19 is aimed as another tool in stopping the spread of the virus. (Kobu Agency/Unsplash) Download image

INDIANAPOLIS — Recognizing the extraordinary need for contact tracers to slow the spread of COVID-19, Purdue University Global announced Thursday (May 21) the launch of a free contact tracing course to train individuals in this important public health enterprise.

The self-study course offering will take approximately six to eight hours to complete, and those who successfully finish the course will receive a certificate of completion. The course will be powered by D2L’s Brightspace learning platform, which supports all of Purdue Global's online programs.

Using World Health Organization content for the most current and widely accepted information about the disease – aligned with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the course will cover 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.

“Ramping up the number of contact tracers from coast to coast is paramount to the ongoing successful reopening of our country,” said Frank Dooley, Purdue Global chancellor. “Purdue Global boasts successful nursing and health science programs and is proud to take a leading role in training potential contact tracers.”

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.

“In addition to explaining all the latest information about the coronavirus, we will present important material focused on legal requirements of contact tracing and effective communication,” said Dr. Melissa Burdi, dean and vice president-elect for the Purdue Global School of Nursing. “Our assessment vehicle will ensure that all students have mastered the content. Specifically, we will conduct a practical exercise by giving them several cases to review and answer what they would do in the situation. Then we will provide feedback on their choice with value-added rationale.”

The cost for the COVID-19 contact tracing course is $295, but for a limited time that fee will be 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

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

Media Contact, Purdue: Tom Schott, 765-494-9318,

Sources: Frank Dooley,

Melissa Burdi,

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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