Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Now Enrolling: SDSU Partners with Sharp HealthCare for Certificate Program

School of Communication partnership with Sharp HealthCare creates opportunity for professional continuing education

Now Enrolling: SDSU Partners with Sharp HealthCare for Certificate Program

By Sofia Bert

Updated Jan. 8, 2020

SDSU is launching its first-ever certificate program for professionals in the medical field. Teaming up with Sharp HealthCare, this certificate program will focus on health communication and help professionals maintain their health education credits which allow them to continue with their practices. Classes start April 6, 2020.

“This program is going to be very hands-on, it’s going to be very applied, every class is going to have something that the students are going to be able to take away from as a deliverable outcome and can take it back to their organization,” said Perry M. Pauley, director of the health education continuing medical education program at SDSU.

The certificate program offers three courses that are each 4 weeks long, so the entire certificate takes only 3 months to complete.

According to Pauley, the program is designed to cater to the lives of working healthcare professionals, helping them manage their career and these classes at the same time. Another aspect of the class is that incorporated in the curriculum is health communication research that has been done at SDSU, said Pauley.

“These are foundational skills that can help you in any field, so this is a chance to take this communication knowledge and research and translate it into a medical context. We believe this will help improve professional communication within the healthcare world,” said Pauley. “I think there’s a lot of value in that and I’m excited to translate communication knowledge into the health arena.”

Pauley taught at SDSU as a tenured professor from 2011 to 2016. During his time at SDSU, the faculty in the School of Communication initially developed the plan for these certificate programs, but the idea wasn’t revived until this year, said Pauley.

The connection with Sharp HealthCare started with a conversation about the new SDSU Center for Communication, Health, and the Public Good between Dr. Canary, Director of the SDSU School of Communication, and a Sharp HealthCare executive. Through that discussion, the idea of reviving the health communication certificate at SDSU linked easily with the Continuing Medical Education program at Sharp.

“Sharp HealthCare is a very large player in healthcare delivery across San Diego County, but they are also one of the leading providers in all of Southern California in continuing medical education. The fact that we get to partner with them on this and expand our reach while building a strong community partnership is very exciting,” said Pauley.

“There is something valuable in health communication: We know from a lot of research, including research that has been done at SDSU, that communication really does make a big difference when it comes to healthcare and health promotion,” said Pauley. “I think if we’re able to apply some of that research into the context of what we’re focusing on in these certificate programs, I think we could do a lot of good in the community.”

For more information or to enroll visit:

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

More PSFA Stories