Applied Practice Experience
An applied practice experience is required of all Master of Public Health students. The purpose of this course (IPHS 650) is for students to acquire experience and develop practical skills in the application of public health competencies and concepts. The applied practice experience provides an opportunity for students to:
- apply the content and analytical skills of MPH degree coursework to issues, situations, contexts, and projects associated with the experience.
- gain or enhance knowledge or skills related to public health competencies.
- use journaling as a mode of inquiry, reflection, and learning.
- create a synopsis to summarize the activities and products from the experience.
Students will work under the supervision of a preceptor, a practicing public health professional with an advanced degree in public health who are generally mid-management or higher at an organization, generally with three or more years experience post-masters degree.
MPH Students in Action
Registration Requirements and Deadlines
Students are required to register for their applied practice experience (IPHS 650) for a minimum of 3 credit hours but students can register for up to 5 credit hours (between 192 and 320 hours in the field, where 1 credit hour is equal to 64 contact hours). The applied practice experience can be completed in a single semester or over several semesters. Students may choose a cost saving option by requesting to register for 0 credit hours in the summer semester but, they must get approval from the applied practice experience advisor, the experience must overlap with the fall or spring semester and the student has to be registered for 3-5 semester hours during that semester. Please note, during the summer semester, students will still be charged a graduate base fee, tuition differentials, fees and assessments even though they are registered for 0 credit hours.
|Semester||Meet with advisor||Ideal submissions of learning agreement to advisor||Deadline to register (4:30 p.m. CST)|
|Spring 2019||Beginning of October||January 11||January 25|
|Summer 2019||Beginning of February||May 8||May 22|
|Fall 2019||Beginning of June||August 23||September 6|
- Ideally you should meet with your AP Experience advisor at least 3-4 months before you want to register for the course.
- Typically, the advisor will have comments and edits that will need to be incorporated into the learning agreement you originally submit to them. You will also need your preceptor to review the document and sign it. We suggest you allow at least 2 weeks for this process. Please note that standard business/professional etiquette is to allow 3 business days for a response, this applies to both your AP advisor and your preceptor so you should plan accordingly.
- Once you complete your learning agreement your advisor will submit it to the UIC SPH Office of Student Affairs (OSA). After they process your paperwork, you will receive an email from OSA stating that you have access to register for the course. Then you will have to go into the system and register for the course. In order to meet the deadline, you must go into the system and register for the course before the end of day (4:30pm) on the date indicated above.
- If an IPHS 650 Registration Request form is submitted after the tenth day of term (the deadline indicated above), you will no longer be able to electronically enroll or drop a class. The following will take place:
- Your request will be forwarded to the office of the registrar for processing.
- You will not receive an “access to register” for class email.
- You must log onto my.UIC within 24 hours of submission to ensure that your scheduleof classes reflect the additional course and hours.
- A $50.00 Late registration fee will be applied to your account if you are not alreadyenrolled in at least one other course for the term.
Planning your applied practice experience
- Students should consider their strengths, values, interests, and personal/career goals as they think about what they would like to do for their applied practice experience. They can complete the applied practice experience brainstorming worksheet to help with this process. They can also attend an applied practice experience Brainstorming Session.
- Students can visit the UIC SPH Career Services Office’s website to review current internship/Applied Practice Experience opportunities.
- Students should begin to work on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles assuming they would need to refer to these career tools during the AP 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.
Each division has an applied practice advisor who can meet with students to discuss their interests, brainstorm possible projects, and answer questions. Division/Focus Area Advisor Community Health Sciences Brenikki Floyd firstname.lastname@example.org Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Susan Kaplan email@example.com Epidemiology and Biostatistics Caryn Peterson firstname.lastname@example.org Health Policy and Administration William Kling email@example.com Public Health Informatics Edward Mensah firstname.lastname@example.org Global Health Alyson Lofthouse email@example.com
The partnership process
Site Agreement Requirement: Each organization that collaborates with the UIC School of Public Health (SPH) to offer an AP experience is required to sign an agreement with SPH. UIC SPH has relationships with several organizations, any of which can provide a valuable educational experience. However, many students find opportunities with organizations that UIC SPH currently does not have a relationship with and then UIC SPH must pursue an agreement with the organization. If a student desires an AP experience with an organization that does not currently have a relationship with UIC SPH, the student should contact the Assistant Director of Internship Programs, Michele Rodriguez Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate the agreement process.
- This process can take as little as 2 weeks or as long as 4 months for larger organizations and occasionally there are factors, which delay or prevent UIC SPH’s ability to obtain an agreement with a new site. Students should plan accordingly.
- On some occasions, an organization and the university will not be able to come to an agreement despite earnest efforts by both parties.
- Please note additional requirements beyond those in the basic agreement for the AP experience may be required, such as a background check and/or immunization requirements. This might delay the start date of the AP experience.
- Even if UIC SPH has a relationship with an organization, this does not guarantee that they will accept students for an AP experience.
- Agreements must be in place prior to the start date of a student AP experience and must be effective through the end of the AP experience.
Notes on during and after the experience
In order to register for this course students need to submit the IPHS 650 Registration Form/Learning Agreement and submit it to their division Academic Coordinator and/or AP Experience Advisor. Please use the following competency lists by division when completing the registration form.
During the applied practice experience
- Students are expected to perform duties & activities outlined in the learning agreement.
- Students must complete any additional division-level requirements or assignments (journal entries).** Contact your AP Experience Advisor for more information.
- AP Experience deliverables should be tangible products created by the student to support the learning activity and reflect proficiency in the competencies identified. Deliverables should be beneficial to the student and the AP site. At the end of the AP experience, students will be asked to upload deliverables for the AP Advisor to review and use to evaluate competency attainment. Learn more about deliverables.
After the applied practice experience
- Students (evaluation form) and preceptors (evaluation form) must submit evaluations.
- 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 SPH Career Events and schedule an appointment with UIC SPH Career Services Office staff to help them explore and reflect on how their experiences relate to their overall career goals and life/career satisfaction.