NextGenU.org (a learning portal at the Frank Foundation invented to help democratize education in 2001) aims to educate and improve the capacity of the health workforce. Learners from every country and through 314 universities have accessed courses for free! Our courses span from undergraduate-level pre-health sciences, nursing, and community health worker training through medical and public health graduate training, medical residency programs, and continuing medical education.
We offer health sciences courses with free certificates, including Medicine courses for physicians and other health providers, curricula for nurses with our partners at Nurses International, and Graduate Medical Education. We have also created the world’s first free full curriculum for a Master’s Degree in Public Health, and an independent learning community at Public Health U to facilitate public health learners from a variety of settings worldwide. This public health training includes curricular threading related to substance use disorders and mental health issues in every course and offers a first-of-its-kind concentration, An Interdisciplinary Concentration in Substance Use Disorders, Mental Health, and Equity in Health and Healthcare. University partners who are currently piloting NextGenU.org’s free graduate-level public health courses have enrolled medical students. While at Public Health U, practicing physicians and other health workers study while continuing to work and treat thousands of patients around the world every year.
Our learning platform is not simply a cluster of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), but expertly-created, competency-based courses that are cost-free, advertisement-free, barrier-free, and carbon-free. This free model has been successfully tested in North American medical and public health arenas with students, and with community health workers and primary care physicians in Kenya and in India – showing identical knowledge gain with greater student satisfaction compared to traditional courses and positive effects on complex health worker behaviors (like counseling) and attitudes (like stigma). Our model also facilitates the creation of a global community of learning and practice.
Our funders and partners include CDC, Harvard, NATO, Stanford, and WHO; we are an initiative created by the Ulrich and Ruth Frank Foundation for International Health. NextGenU.org works in connection with and is supported in part by funding from the Annenberg Physician Training Program: Abstinence-Based Recovery from Addictive Disease to create courses, curricula, and programs to train physicians and their teams to prevent and treat substance use disorders. Every course invites the learner to consider related addiction and mental health issues because substance use disorders affect 1 in 7 people, are caused by multiple factors, and create health concerns for the individual, family, and the community. Bringing awareness and training to all physicians and their teams regarding the need to assess, prevent, treat, and refer those who experience substance use disorders increases the numbers of people who receive help for substance use disorders and reduces stigma among health professionals so patients get the care they need.
Physicians and physicians in training, along with other prescribers (e.g. physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners) — including students, alumni, and staff through 77 US medical schools and 140 US universities — have registered for courses with NextGenU.org. Many learning communities adopt NextGenU.org materials, and we have the privilege of assisting professors from around the world as they adapt the courses for their students’ unique learning environments. NextGenU.org provides quality courses that other learning communities build upon, decreasing costs for students and learning communities with the goal of increasing the numbers of physicians and other health workers, and contributing to improved learning and health equity for all.
Our volunteer subject matter experts, course developers, advisory groups, and mentors, alongside the millions of experts who have generously shared their learning resources online, are providing this unprecedented opportunity for globally transforming health education. Please contact us here or browse our available courses.