MPH Field Experience/Practicum
WHAT IS A FIELD EXPERIENCE/PRACTICUM?
A field experience/practicum is required of all Master of Public Health students (IPHS 650). The purpose is for students to acquire experience and develop skills in the application of public health concepts. The learning objectives for this course have been listed in the MPH student handbook and on the IPHS 650 Registration Form/Learning Agreement.
PLANNING A FIELD EXPERIENCE/PRACTICUM
STEP ONE : SELF REFLECTION & CAREER TOOLS PREPARATION
- Students should consider their strengths, values, interests, and personal/career goals when considering where and what they would like to do for their field experience.
- What are their interests in public health?
- What skills & knowledge do they want to enhance or gain?
- Students can also visit the UIC SPH Career Services Office's website to review current internship/field experience opportunities. Note: Several of the internship opportunities can and will meet the field experience requirement but students must meet with their division field experience advisor to discuss the opportunity and get approval.
- Students should begin to work on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, assuming they would need to submit or refer to these career tools during the field experience process. The UIC SPH Career Services Office hosts resume and LinkedIn workshops throughout the school year. Visit the UIC SPH Career Services Office website for dates and times of events/workshops.
STEP TWO: MEET WITH FIELD EXPERIENCE ADVISOR
Each division has a Field Experience Advisor who can meet with students to discuss their interests, brainstorm possible projects, and answer questions.
Students in the Global Health concentration should meet with Alyson Lofthouse, Senior Associate Director of the Global Health Program as well as with their divisional field experience advisor.
STEP THREE: FORMAL PARTNERSHIP PROCESS
UIC SPH is required to have formal partnerships with organizations that serve as field experience sites. Currently we have formal partnerships with approximately 200 organizations. If an organization is not a formal partner, students need to contact Jaime Klaus, Assistant Director of Internships Programs to ensure a partnership is established before they begin their field experience/practicum. This process can be lengthy, so students are advised to start this process as soon as possible. If the experience is paid we do not need to establish a formal partnership. Also, please note the list of formal partnerships is reviewed and updated periodically, so to verify that an existing partnership is valid or to inquire about organizations that do not appear on this list contact Jaime Klaus.
STEP FOUR: IPHS 650 REGISTRATION & LEARNING AGREEMENT
In order to register for this course, students need to submit the IPHS 650 Registration Form/Learning Agreement and submit their preceptor's resume to their division Academic Coordinator and/or Field Experience Advisor.
DURING FIELD EXPERIENCE/PRACTICUM
- Students are expected to perform duties & activities outlined in the learning agreements.
- Students must ensure they are completing any additional division requirements.
- Preceptors and students must submit evaluations.
AFTER FIELD EXPERIENCE/PRACTICUM
Students should reflect on how the experiences & skills that they have learned or enhanced can be used to meet their career goals, and how these experiences can inform and help guide their future career decisions. Students are encouraged to attend UIC Career Services Events and schedule an appointment with UIC SPH Career Services Office staff to help them explore and reflect on how their field experiences relate to their overall career goals and life/career satisfaction.
RESOURCES & FORMS
- MPH/MSW Field Experience Registration Policy
- Roles & Responsibilities of Advisors, Staff, Students, and Preceptors in Field Experience Process
- Cold Emailing Guide
- List of UIC SPH Formal Partnerships
- IPHS 650 Registration Form/Learning Agreement
- Field Experience Division Level Requirements
- Petition to Waive IPHS 650/Field Experience Requirement
- Student Evaluation & Preceptor Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Jaime Klaus, MA
Assistant Director of Internship Programs & Employer Outreach
Jaime is available to meet with students to discuss their career goals and brainstorm some ideas for their field experiences. She is primarily responsible for establishing formal partnerships with organizations. She can also assist with other career related tasks such as resume/cover letter review, LinkedIn, and preparing for an interview. But, ultimately students need to meet with their Field Experience Advisors who have to approve the sites and the proposed projects. Meetings are by appointment only. Students can schedule an appointment by emailing Jaime with their availability.