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The Office of Public Health Practice & Training

Practicum Requirements

A practicum experience …

  1. Applies public health skills and competencies.  Students will identify the public health skills and competencies relevant to their area of interest that are most beneficial to their career advancement.  Students will apply these skills and competencies in concert with knowledge gained from their coursework.
  2. Is framed and carried out within a public health context.  The practicum will include population-level activities at an organization or agency.  Students may engage in activities at an individual level, but the primary purpose of the experience is to gain practical experience in a public health setting.  Students will not solely complete screenings, administer surveys, perform calculations, etc., but will be engaged in the larger public health context of the activities, as well as become familiar with the organization’s overall purpose and decision-making process.  Students will develop a deeper understanding of the organization’s mission, hierarchy and practices, as well as the challenges faced (funding, politics, efficiency, etc.) in achieving desired goals.
  3. Is supervised.  The practicum preceptor will be qualified to evaluate the student’s professional competence and will supervise the student throughout the project.  The preceptor will typically be from an outside organization (i.e. community-based organization, health department, private corporation, etc.), but can be a JHSPH faculty member if the faculty member is workly directly with an outside preceptor or the lead on a project that meets the practicum criteria.  The preceptor will provide background information, guidance, and feedback with regards to student progress on well-defined learning objectives related to the student’s career growth and development.  The student’s faculty academic advisor will be kept informed of the student’s practicum activities and progress and may provide additional assistance if warranted.
  4. Is a significant (minimum of 100 hours) experience.  The practicum requirement will be administered and tracked by the School’s practicum team.  Students can meet practicum requirements in a variety of ways including a single experience or a combination of experiences.  Students may work independently or in a team if warranted.
  5. An evaluated experience.  Students will be evaluated on achievement of defined learning objectives and deliverables by the preceptor.  As part of the practicum experience students will reflect on and evaluate their overall practicum experiences, particularly as they relate to their career goals.  A minimum grade of “C” must be earned in courses with a practicum component that are taken towards fulfilling the requirement.  Students who register for practicum special studies credits are required to earn a "pass" in order for the experience to count towards the practicum requirement.