Examples of Practicum Experiences
The following are generalized examples of potential practicum activities:
- Analyze, interpret, and summarize survey data or public records data
- Analyze barriers to implementing a program and present recommendations
- Assess lab-based surveillance data
- Conduct cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, and cost utility analyses
- Conduct needs assessments
- Contribute to the measuring, reporting and continuous improvement of organizational performance
- Create an advocacy or advertisement campaign
- Design programs/curriculum on health topics
- Determine the feasibility and expected outcomes of policy options
- Develop and coordinate programs and activities
- Develop and implement quality improvement projects
- Evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs
- Gather information relevant to specific public health policy issues and develop policy recommendations
- Provide support and assistance in funding research and grant writing
- Identify strategies for determining budget priorities based on federal, state, and local financial contributions
- Investigate new partnerships that could also act as client resources
- Organize, analyze, and summarize study data for a report
- Promote public health policies, programs, and resources
The following examples describe practicum experiences that fulfill the MPH practicum requirement.
Individual Practicum Experience: A student worked with the Baltimore City Health Department’s Asthma Friendly Schools program to facilitate the dissemination of asthma knowledge in schools and identify trends in school performance and asthma control. This involved contacting principals to enlist schools in the program, meeting with nurses and health aids to provide asthma technical assistance, disseminating tool kits, and coordinating data collection and analysis to look at performance standards.
Intensive Winter Break Experience: A student completed a course in Tuberculosis Control and Research, and then spent 2 weeks in Ababa, Ethiopia collaborating with various stakeholders to learn about practical TB diagnosis in Ethiopia and epidemiology of disease in the country. The student developed a final report and presented the findings to the Johns Hopkins University-Technical Support for the Ethiopian HIV AIDS Initiative (JHU-TSEHAI) lab groups.
Lab-Based/Research: A student worked with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) public health laboratory to assess the importance of continued laboratory surveillance of tick-borne diseases in Maryland. The results and summaries were prepared as manuscripts and presented at a national meeting. The findings from these studies led to recommendations that the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) for tick-borne disease surveillance should be sustained.
Practicum Experience linked with Other Academic Requirement (e.g. Capstone, Masters Thesis): For the practicum experience, the student assisted a non-profit organization to write an Operations Manual. To develop the manual, the student collected information through phone and in-person interviews with key leadership. The student then built on the practicum experience for her Capstone paper. The Capstone paper included a literature review about the importance of knowledge management in the non-profit sector, a description of a theoretical framework to implement a knowledge management system, and an explanation of the real-world application of the theoretical framework, including lessons learned and suggestions for the future implementation.
Consultant / Group Project: A group of students worked as consultants with the Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL)’s staff, alumni, and adolescent health experts from JHSPH to develop an evaluation plan to measure BUDL’s success. The final deliverable comprised of a pre- and post-survey for middle school BUDL participants, an implementation plan, and recommendations about additional indicators to measure success.
Combination of Experiences: The student completed two projects to meet the 100-hour requirement. For one project, the student completed a Consultant project with a local transitional housing organization to develop and disseminate a healthy eating and nutrition educational brochure. For the second project, the student worked with a non-profit organization to develop an evaluation tool for a Fitness and Nutrition program for elementary school students. The student then assisted with implementation of the evaluation tool and analysis of the information collected.