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The Office of Public Health Practice & Training

Practicum Process

The practicum process involves planning, selection, implementation and evaluation.  Beginning in the summer, students will assess their career goals as they relate to various public health competencies and also their current professional strengths and areas for further development.  These assessments will help to guide students in selecting practicum opportunities that align with their interests and goals.  Students are required to complete one or more practicum experiences to fulfill the 100 hours practicum requirement.  Upon completion of each experience, students will submit an evaluation of the practicum.

 

Practicum Planning

Prior to selecting the practicum experience(s) that will fulfill their practicum requirement, students must complete the following steps that will aid in identifying goals, strengths and competencies that align with the students’ career goals and familiarize them with available practicum opportunity resources.  For each practicum experience, it is recommended that students identify one to three competencies to be addressed (the competencies and related learning objectives are listed HERE).

  1. Complete 300.603.01: Tools of Public Health Practice and Decision Making course - summer term (includes identifying competencies to focus on in the practicum, as well as assessing strengths and opportunities for further development). 
  2. Complete the practicum section of the MPH Goals Analysis plan.  Fore more details about the Goals Analysis see HERE.
  3. Explore practicum opportunity resources such as the:

**Explore practicum opportunities on the Practicum Opportunity Site Listings**

 

Practicum Selection, Implementation, and Evaluation

Students must submit a Practicum Proposal Form for each practicum experience that they will complete.  This is required for tracking the completion of the 100 hours requirement for all students.  Additionally, this submission is also required to obtain approval for any practicum or customized practicum opportunity that has NOT been previously approved.  All students are required to submit a Practicum Final Report at the completion of each practicum experience.  Additional documents may be required during the experience and are mentioned in the descriptions below.  The following outlines the three different types of practicum opportunities and the steps to follow to complete each option.

Option 1: JHSPH course with an approved practicum component

There are JHSPH courses that have been approved to meet either all or some of the practicum requirement.  Note, not all courses meet the 100 hour requirement in full, so students will need to combine practicum experiences to meet the 100 hour requirement.  A letter grade of “C” or better must be earned in each course in order for the practicum hours to count towards the practicum requirement.

JHSPH courses with an approved practicum component are listed HERE (allotted practicum hours are listed for each course).  Course descriptions and related information for each can be found on the Practicum Opportunity Site Listings or on the online course catalog.

Steps for completing a JHSPH course with an approved practicum component:

  1. Register for the approved course.
  2. Submit the Practicum Proposal Form for the approved course. **One Practicum Proposal Form must be submitted for each unique JHSPH course with an approved practicum component that the student is completing**.
  3. Complete course requirements, including course and practicum evaluations.
  4. Complete the Practicum Final Report at the completion of the course. The Practicum Final Report is a report on what activities were accomplished, reflection on learning objectives that were achieved, evaluation of the preceptor, and evaluation of the overall process. **One Practicum Final Report must be submitted for each JHSPH course with an approved practicum component**.

*Learn more about how to find a JHSPH course with an approved practicum component HERE.

Option 2: Special Studies Practicum with JHSPH faculty member

Students may complete a special studies practicum experience coordinated by a JHSPH faculty member (e.g. in conjunction with a course, research study, grant, etc.).  Projects are developed and coordinated by the JHSPH faculty member who may or may not serve as the Preceptor.  Some practicum projects with faculty may be established projects and have already been pre-approved to fulfill practicum hours towards the requirements.  These pre-approved opportunities are listed on the Practicum Opportunity Site Listings.  Other experiences that students can arrange with a faculty member that are NOT previously approved will require review and approval of the practicum experience as part of the process.

Steps for completing a Special Studies practicum with JHSPH faculty member:

  1. Identify a faculty member who has a special studies project with a practicum component either through personal discussions or by searching the Practicum Opportunity Site Listings.
  2. Register for the corresponding departmental special study (PH.xxx.895) with the JHSPH faculty member. The 3-digit prefix number is determined by the primary department of the faculty member. Listing of the departmental special studies numbers are located HERE. As a general rule, you will register for 1 credit per term for every 4 hours per week of practicum work.  For example, if your practicum project takes about 8 hours per week  for one term, then you will register for 2 credits for that term.  Another way to think about this is to register for one special study credit for each 32 hours of practicum work.
  3. If this is a pre-approved opportunity from the Practicum Opportunity Site Listings, submit the opportunity via the Practicum Proposal Form (and skip to step #5). If your practicum is not pre-approved (i.e. from the Practicum Opportunity Site Listings), then proceed to step #4. **One Practicum Proposal Form must be submitted for each unique special studies practicum**.
  4. For practicum that has not been pre-approved, there are some additional documents that will need to be completed with your preceptor and submitted as part of the approval process. Students will complete the Practicum Educational Plan with the Preceptor. The Practicum Educational Plan outlines the roles and responsibilities of the student, preceptor, and JHSPH, as well as the practicum project description, specific goals and objectives, and proposed timeline. After the Practicum Educational Plan is completed with the Preceptor and both parties have signed the agreement, submit the Practicum Educational Plan for review via the Practicum Proposal Form. **One Practicum Proposal Form must be submitted for each unique customized practicum experience**.
  5. Once approved or if already pre-approved, proceed in completing the special studies practicum experience with JHSPH faculty member. Both the student and JHSPH faculty member completes a Progress Report at the mid-point of the practicum experience [Progress Report (for student to complete), Progress Report (for faculty member to complete)]. **One Progress Report must be submitted for each unique special studies practicum experience**. At the completion of the practicum experience, the faculty member completes the Evaluation of Student and the student completes the Practicum Final Report. The Practicum Final Report is a report on what activities were accomplished, reflection on the learning objectives that were achieved, evaluation of the practicum preceptor, and evaluation of the overall process. **One Practicum Final Report must be submitted for each unique special studies practicum experience**.

*Learn more about how to find a Special Studies practicum with JHSPH faculty member HERE.

Option 3: Customized practicum with outside preceptor

Students who find their own customized practicum experience, not affiliated with a special studies project or specific JHSPH academic department, are required to ensure that the experience meets the practicum requirement.  Individual projects, not associated with a course or faculty member, that are identified through the Practicum Opportunity Site Listings are also considered a customized practicum experience.  Students are required to register for credits (course PH.550.895).

Steps for completing a customized practicum:

  1. Identify a potential preceptor or organization to complete the practicum either through the Practicum Opportunity Site Listings or through individual networks, search process, etc.
  2. Share the MPH Practicum Information for Preceptors document with the potential preceptor so that they understand the requirements of the MPH practicum.
  3. Work with the preceptor to identify a practicum opportunity that meets the MPH practicum requirement.
  4. After the preceptor has agreed to engage in a practicum, complete the Practicum Educational Plan with the Preceptor. The Practicum Educational Plan outlines the roles and responsibilities of the student, preceptor, and JHSPH, as well as the practicum project description, specific goals and objectives, and proposed timeline.
  5. After the Practicum Educational Plan is completed with Preceptor and both parties have signed the agreement, submit the Practicum Educational Plan for review via the Practicum Proposal Form. **One Practicum Proposal Form must be submitted for each unique customized practicum experience**.
  6. Receive approval of practicum opportunity. Approval must be received prior to the student beginning the experience.
  7. Register for customized practicum special studies credit (PH.550.895). The number of credits per term may vary, depending on the duration of the experience and total hours worked.  As a general rule, you will register for 1 credit per term for every 4 hours per week of practicum work. For example, if your practicum project takes about 8 hours per week for one term, then you will register for 2 credits for that term.  Another way to think about this is to register for one special study credit for each 32 hours of practicum work.
  8. Begin practicum experience.
  9. Both the student and preceptor completes a Progress Report at the mid-point of the practicum experience [Progress Report (for student to complete)], Progress Report (for preceptor to complete)]. **One Progress Report must be submitted for each unique customized practicum experience**.
  10. At the completion of the practicum experience, the preceptor completes an Evaluation of Student and the student completes the Practicum Final Report. The Practicum Final Report includes a report on what activities were accomplished, reflection on learning objectives that were achieved, evaluation of the preceptor, and evaluation of the overall process. **One Evaluation of Student and one Practicum Final Report must be submitted for each unique customized practicum experience**.

*Learn more about how to find a Customized practicum with outside preceptor HERE.