Overview of SPH Field Placement Program
The field experience is an essential component of graduate professional education, including programs leading to the Master of Public Health. All MPH students are required to complete a minimum of 3-units of field practice (180 hours) over one (two maximum) semester(s). If completed in one semester this equates to approximately 12 hours per week for a 15-week fall or spring semester or 15-20 hours/week for the summer semester. Requirement may vary depending on the division.
The field practicum requirement ensures to the greatest extent possible integration of classroom experiences within the public health environment and can be paid or unpaid. The practicum is meant to be a win-win situation for both the agency and the student. The SPH field practice program gives agencies the opportunity to receive assistance from graduate students who are skilled in a variety of areas of public health as well as giving the student an array of training opportunities. SPH provides six different areas of concentration (doc).
From program planning to data analysis to program evaluation, students can offer assistance with many projects. Special skills and competencies will vary based on the student's experience and area of study (concentration); however, in general, students can help with the following tasks:
Program Planning & Dev.
Develop Educational Materials
Lab Work/Field Sampling
The Field Supervisor is a management-level employee of the field site (preceptor) that agrees to mentor the student and oversee the practicum. This person should have expertise in assigned project areas, experience, status within the organization, and the ability and desire to supervise and mentor. The Field Supervisor meets with the student at least once a week to discuss progress as well as any issues related to the student's activities. Feedback is crucial to the student's professional development and should be provided on a regular basis.
Internship opportunities with established sites are disseminated to students through several methods including the posting of internship descriptions to the SPH field practice web site, sending descriptions through the SPH mailing list, and advising sessions and events. Interested organizations/agencies can begin the process of becoming a formal practicum site by completing the SPH Internship Site Application. The FPC will follow-up with the site to ensure the site meets the criteria and establish a formal agreement between the university and agency called the Service-Learning Agreement - see glossary (doc).
Once the site is approved, the SPH Field Placement Coordinator will post the internship on the SPH field practice site and send it through the school mailing list. Students will contact sites directly unless other arrangements have been made to have FPC screen/refer only qualified students.
At the end of the practicum (within 2 weeks), the Field Supervisor is required to complete an online Evaluation of the Student. The Field Supervisor should have a final meeting with the student to discuss the evaluation and provide any additional guidance or career advice.
For more information, contact the Field Practice Coordinator SPHSpecialRegistration@sdsu.edu or (619) 594-1254.
lasted upated: 8/21/2018