Selecting a Field Placement Site
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Selection Criteria for Field Placement Sites
There are a wide range of organizations and agencies that can provide beneficial learning experiences for students. Examples include community-based organizations, local and state health departments, managed care organizations, consulting companies, industrial settings, hospitals, schools, federal agencies and international agencies.
Overall considerations and criteria in the selection of a site for each student are as follows:
Program Director approval. The MPH Program must have a completed Field Placement Application form on file.
Availability of a qualified Preceptor. The site must have someone with substantial experience in public health (or related discipline) who is willing and able to spend time with the student and provide constructive feedback and guidance.
Appropriateness and relevance of experiences offered to students. Students should have the opportunity to engage in substantive tasks that enable them to further develop and apply specific skills and competencies related to public and community health.
Availability of resources. Students should be provided with resources (i.e. desk, phone, computer, etc.) necessary to complete assigned tasks.
Student and agency match. It is essential that the student needs and agency needs match.
List of sites at which students have conducted Field Placements
Students are encouraged to select a site other than their regular place of employment. If that is not a feasible option, the Field Placement may be completed at the place of employment provided the activities and proposed Action Learning Project extend beyond regular job responsibilities and allow application of the knowledge and skills being learned. In addition, the Preceptor must be someone other than the student’s current supervisor.
Contacting Potential Sites
Site selection is made in collaboration with the student, the Program Coordinator and the organization. However, the student is expected to initiate the identification of a Field Placement site and may consider personal and/or professional contacts, faculty recommendations or opportunities suggested by the Program Coordinator.
A letter of introduction from the Program Director and Coordinator is available. Addressed to a potential Site Preceptor, this letter describes the course, and students could utilize it when recruiting a site.
Some agencies may offer a stipend. The possibility of monetary compensation is to be negotiated directly between the student and agency. The MPH Program is not involved in these negotiations.