Fieldwork: Finding a Placement & Getting Started

Fieldwork may begin only after students have completed the four Health Education Core Courses: HS 200, HS 201, HS 271, and HS 272. In addition, students will not be permitted to start fieldwork if they received less than a B- in any of these four courses. This is a promise we have made to our fieldwork preceptors and we must honor our commitment.

Students are welcome to begin exploring fieldwork sites at any time in the program, and they must begin doing so during the fall semester prior to registering for HS291A. Students negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding, early in the spring semester, once a site is approved by the Fieldwork Coordinator. However, the regular fieldwork hours cannot begin until the Health Education Core courses are satisfactorily completed.

In addition to the fieldwork settings students identify, students may also explore the network of sites that have participated in the MPH program in the past. Each year, fieldwork preceptors submit a written description of the opportunity they have available for students. Each of these descriptions is available to students early in the spring semester. At this time, students are encouraged to contact preceptors, arrange informational interviews, and discuss possible placements. New fieldwork sites must be approved by the Fieldwork Coordinator.

Once a site is selected, students draw up Memorandums of Understanding with their fieldwork preceptors. The MOU outlines the expectations of all parties and states specific and measurable objectives. The MOU must be signed by the student and preceptor, and approved by the Fieldwork Instructor, prior to beginning fieldwork hours. With rare exceptions, and only after approval by the Fieldwork Instructor, any hours worked without an approved MOU will not be counted toward the 400 hour requirement.

Fieldwork must be supervised by someone with a graduate level public health degree and community health education experience. Supervision may be on site or in a structured consultative relationship. Fieldwork preceptors and arrangements must be approved by the Fieldwork Coordinator.