As part of their program of study, Arnold School students must develop skills in basic public health concepts, and are required to demonstrate the application of these concepts through a planned and supervised public health practice experience that is relevant to their areas of specialization.
The Preceptor Program makes this opportunity possible by matching public health practitioners with Arnold School professional degree students based on the student’s interests and career goals. These practitioners serve as mentors to help students strengthen their understanding of public health and give them first-hand practice. Practice sites can include state health agencies, as well as other institutions and nonprofit organizations concerned with public health.
The preceptor relationship provides an opportunity for the student to obtain firsthand exposure to management, leadership, and governance, as well as professional development in several areas:
- The application of public health core knowledge and specialty skills;
- The development of new practice-based skills; and
- Attention to professional self-assessment and personal growth.
Preceptors are expected to:
- Help Arnold School of Public Health staff and students define short-term tasks of potential use to his or her organization;
- Review the student’s “proposal” for usefulness to the organization;
- Determine limits of preceptor’s role with the student;
- Provide on-site direction to the work component of the practicum;
- Provide student logistical support (arranging space, equipment, use of phones, computers and/or computer software, access to data, secretarial support, etc.); and;
- If possible, attend the student’s required oral presentation, and assist with the assessment of the student’s work and growth in competence during the practice opportunity.
Students are expected to:
- Choose a practice opportunity that entails an expressed need of the organization.
- Help the organization assess the need for, define, plan, develop, implement, and/or evaluate some programmatic aspect of its public health-related work.
- Follow up on all experience arrangement and requirements, including specific departmental/unit approvals, and meetings and other communication.
- Complete the online contract and make sure all parties sign it (student, preceptor, faculty advisor and coordinator) before the experience begins.
- Complete tasks as outlined in the contract, and all experience assignments as directed by the organization.
- Be professional in communication and in appearance, both in dress and conduct. Be punctual.
- Complete an evaluation of the practice opportunity.