PHDA testimonial - Navdeep Sandhu, Research Assistant, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
How did you learn about the program and what motivated you to enroll?
I had completed my master’s in Public Health and was looking for training that would supplement my degree. In particular, I was interested in learning new skills in data analysis. A colleague had mentioned the PHDA program to me some time ago. Through a Google search, I found the program details and it looked like a good fit for me.
Tell us about your course experience. What skills did you develop and which courses provided the greatest benefit to you?
I enjoyed all the courses. In particular, I found the GIS course very interesting and fun as I had never worked in this subject area before. I also benefitted from learning new SAS skills in other PHDA courses. Prior to taking the program, I had no knowledge of SAS. I think I enjoyed the PHDA 06 Health Services Program Monitoring and Evaluation course the most. Although I had taken an evaluation course in my Master’s program, I found the PHDA 06 course very good at clarifying information and dividing the evaluation process into very practical/applied steps/stages.
How have you been able to (or how do you plan to) apply your new skills in your work/research?
I plan to apply my new skills within future job/research projects. I am very interested in pursuing employment opportunities in the area of program planning and evaluation. I have had an interest in this area for some time and the PHDA 06 course really solidified my desire to work in this area.
What do you think were the strengths of this program?
The instructors were all very knowledgeable and experienced. They really supported students through engaging conversations and encouragement for our work assignments. Courses like the PHDA 03 Population Health and GIS provided step by step directions and support. The PHDA courses catered to both beginner students as well as those with experience in the field. Instructors were always willing to provide extra resources and support – the courses were never boring! The program support and general design also supported student needs too.
Would you recommend this program to others? If so, what recommendations/suggestions would you give those interested in applying to this program?
Yes, I would definitely recommend this program to others. I would like others to know that both the course content and expertise of instructors provides a great learning experience.
Any other comments?
I had never done an online course before taking this program. I found the online environment provided a good learning experience. Both the Moodle and Secure Research Training lab environments worked well for me.