PUBLIC HEALTH FIELD STUDY
The Public Health Field Study Course is required for all MPH students. As part of the MPH Culminating Experience, the Field Study is a structured practice experience in a professional public health setting which allows students to apply and integrate the knowledge and skills acquired during the didactic period into public health practice. Through the Field Study, students apply their academic knowledge to “real world” situations that address public health issues. In the PHFS, students gain exposure to a wide range of public health skills and functions, such as needs assessment, data collection/analysis program planning, program evaluation, policy development, educational campaigns, any aspects of applied research. The PHFS allows students the opportunity to exhibit proficiency in at least one of these public health areas, including program implementation or policy analysis. Literature reviews, research and review of best practices, participation in grant writing, and presentations of findings are some examples of standard field study activities and tasks for our students. This can also include website development and social media campaigns focused on public health messaging. Clinical experience involving individual patient care or health facility administration is not considered relevant public health experience.
Students conduct field work as interns with public health organizations, which serve as field study placement sites. The role of the MPH student intern is to assist partnering organizations with specific public health projects and to promote and support the activities of those organizations that provide comprehensive health services to communities, locally or abroad. Student participation should contribute to strategic resolutions, be valued by the Organization, and contribute to meeting its mission and goals. Through their field work, students help to build and strengthen working partnerships between field study placement sites and TUC.
The practical skills and the knowledge gained through the PHFS are essential to students’ academic and professional growth, preparing them for careers in population and public health. In this course, students are provided opportunities to cultivate core public health skills, explore careers options, and develop professional goals and networking skills by building and maintaining valuable connections with professionals in the public health field.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR 2021-2022:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some PHFS placements will be conducted in a distance-based and virtual format during the 2021-2022 academic year. To avoid any interruption or delayed pathways toward graduation, we have teamed up with partnering organizations to develop appropriate options for the MPH practice experience that allow students to complete the PHFS remotely to protect the health and safety of our students. The TUC Public Health Program has developed a network of placement sites with partnering organizations that provide our students a variety of placement sites from which to gain valuable field experience. Students are matched and placed in sites that provide a quality learning experience based on their public health interests, skills, experience, and expectations.
The Virtual Field Study is defined as the following:
- A flexible and distance-based real world public health field experience with a public health organization that allows students to serve communities while contributing to real world solutions to public health issues in a distance-based virtual format;
- A placement that allows students to intern from wherever they are with a broadband or Internet connection and a phone;
- A supervised education and experiential opportunity under the supervision of seasoned public health professionals that requires communication with preceptors, supervisors, and teams via video conferencing, email, phone calls, text messaging, and synchronized collaborative files (e.g., Google docs); and
- A structured practice experience that requires the completion of course deliverables/assignments by specific due dates.
Community Health & Health Equity and Criminal Justice Field Study Format:
Beginning in Summer 2021, the availability of in-person/on-site at local placement sites will be determined on a case by case basis. Students enrolled in the Community Action for Health and Health Equity and Criminal Justice concentrations will have the option to complete fully virtual, fully in-person, or blended placements.
Global Health Field Study Format:
This year, some global health placements will be allowed to be completed on-site and others will remain virtual. The Public Health Program remains committed to maintaining our students’ safety while also supporting their continued learning and progression of their public health education and training. As we remain in close contact with our sites and global partners, our goal is to have all students return to on-site/face-to-face rotations as soon as it is safe to do so.
Nemesia Kelly, MPH
Assistant Professor & Field Study Coordinator
Public Health Program
Touro University California
1310 Club Drive
Vallejo, CA 94592
Please allow 48-72 hours for email reply.
Tuesdays, 12 - 2:00 p.m.
Thursdays, 12 - 1:00 p.m.
Click here to schedule an appointment (by phone or video conference). If students are unable to meet during these office hours, alternative meeting times can be requested at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT FIELD STUDY LINKS:
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