MPH | HP Field Studies

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Purpose of Field Studies

The field experience gives the student firsthand experience within a health or health-related social service agency or community program in elements of planning, program implementation, evaluation; and/or policy formulation, implementation and analysis. During the Field Placement the student will become familiar with the operation of the agency or program, its goals, policies, administrative structure, types of health professionals employed, and clientele served.

The entire field experience and integrative process takes approximately 9-12 months, beginning with the field experience search process, experiencing the field placement, and ending with the associated written product.

Objectives of Field Studies Experience

  • Apply the theory, knowledge, skills and techniques obtained in the classroom to a professional setting
  • Understand organizational dynamics in a given practice setting
  • Polish and enhance program planning, implementation, and evaluation skills under the guidance of an experienced preceptor
  • Acquire skills related to policy formulation, implementation, and analysis
  • Develop a professional persona by integrating the lessons of a professional environment
  • Provide an opportunity to explore a particular health care setting as it might relate to future career decisions

Competencies of Field Studies Experience

Field placement objectives as outlined in the Scope of Work must tie back to the following competencies:

  1. Describe and apply theories, concepts, and models from the social and behavioral sciences to community health practice.
  2. Describe, explain and apply procedures for evidence-based planning and implementation of community health programs, policies and interventions.
  3. Recognize when existing approaches may not be culturally appropriate for a particular population and to collaborate with communities and others to design, implement and evaluate more suitable health programs.
  4. Identify, explain and apply steps and procedures based on social science approaches for evidence-based evaluation of community health programs, policies and interventions, including community-based participatory research.
  5. Effectively communicate orally and in writing with public health professionals, members of the community, and stakeholders about community health issues, interventions, programs, and policies.