bfdgd - Portland State University

PHE 504:
Orientation & Answers to
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Field
• To demonstrate and apply knowledge and skills gained in
a real-world setting
• To integrate theory and practice in a supervised, applied
• Socialization into the field of public health
• To reflect on your learning competencies in the context of
your field experience
What is PHE 504?
• “Field experience” vs. “Internship”
• A culminating experience for students in the OMPH
Health Promotion track
• 6 credits total (200 hours), over 1 or 2* terms
• *If over two terms, register for 3 & 3 credit hours; will be assigned
“I” grade for first term until placement is complete
• All core & track required classes must be completed
before beginning your field experience
• All students in the OMPH Health Promotion Track must
register for PHE 504 with ‘Special Registration’ form
What does the Field Experience involve?
• Participation in a project addressing a public health issue,
with guidance of preceptor
• Applying classroom experience, knowledge, and skills
• Daily journaling of work experience and reflections about
the field experience
• Bi-weekly communication with FE Coordinators
• Completing a Final Summary Report, Evaluation, and
providing examples of Products developed
• Demonstrating measurable learning, track, and program
What are the Prerequisites?
• Complete all core and track required courses
• Meet with advisor to discuss interests and possible sites
• Meet with FE Coordinators to discuss 1-2 weeks before
submittal with the following
• Field experience Position Description
• Draft competency Matrix
• Complete Application and Learning Contract form; provide
copies of both forms for advisor and preceptor. Original
signatures are required.
• Develop measurable learning competencies addressing, at
minimum, HP Competencies 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10
• Note: Some sites may require background checks,
vaccinations, and/or FE Agency Agreements
How do I find a Field Placement?
• Research, informational interviews, exploration
• OMPH, PSUMPH, SCH listservs and websites
• Personal contacts and connections
• Faculty and advisory consultations
• Discuss placement with other students and recent alumni
Some variables to consider…
• Issue interests
• Professional goals
• Skills to apply and competencies to meet
• Work environment
• Opportunity logistics
• Other restrictions or needs
• Qualifications of preceptor
• Must work on site (cannot work at PSU or home)
• Must not drive clients in personal car
• No clinical activities
• Places you may want to work someday, as well as at those you may
What is the role of the Preceptor?
• Helps shape and agrees to facilitate implementation of the
Learning Contract
• Supervises and guides the student through the Field
• Completes the Student Evaluation Form (provided, with
due date, by student), and returns it to the FE Coordinator
• Debriefs with faculty advisor or FE Coordinator regarding
student’s performance, as necessary
What are the minimum qualifications for
• Public health credentials, by virtue of training and/or
experience, for purposes of mentoring and evaluating the
student in the application of the public health skills and
knowledge developed during the MPH degree program
• Potential Preceptors will be evaluated on a case-by-case
• Preceptors may not be OMPH faculty members or
advisors, including at partner campuses.
What are Preceptors looking for?
• Preceptors commonly evaluate students on their
demonstration of:
• Confidence in communication and demonstration of
• Initiative, and ability to ask questions
• Working well both independently and as part of a team
• Ability to achieve approved FE goals, finalize products,
and meet all track compentencies
Position Descriptions
• The Field Experience Application and Learning Agreement
packet must include a formal position description
• Work with preceptor to develop a formal position
description if one does not exist
• Meet with FE Coordinator to review draft Position
• Should include:
• General description of project you will be joining
• Placement responsibilities
• Required Skills
• Terms of placement (location, start/end dates, etc.)
• Description of placement site
Two Key Questions for Determining
Suitability of Field Experience Site
Is the project “public health” in nature, such that I will be
able to apply public health tools and techniques to the
issues I am to address?
Is the Preceptor of a background that s/he can guide me in
the specific application of the public health tools and
techniques I have learned in this program?
Where have students been placed?
• State Public Health Division
• County Health Departments
• Other public agencies
• Not-for-profit organizations
• Condition-specific organizations
• Population-specific organizations
• Advocacy organizations
• Insurance companies
• School districts
• Colleges/Universities
Please see list of previous Field Experience Sites in the FE Handbook
What duties do FE students perform?
• Community organizing
• Project development and/or implementation
• Evaluation
• Report development and writing
• Media work
• Research
• Volunteer training
• Public education
• Development of health promotion materials
• Advocacy
• Policy work
…And much more!
Why is the Learning Contract important?
Specifies learning competencies that determine the
placement, and how they relate to track competencies
Identifies activities and roles you will fulfill (position
Lists the products you will develop during your placement
Provides contact information about the site
Projects date of completion
Must be submitted by 5pm on Monday of the 5th week of the
=> Note: this is a CONTRACT. Failure to satisfactorily complete
what is specified in the contract will result in not passing the
What are the Health Promotion
Track Competencies?
1. Apply theory in the development, implementation,
and evaluation of health promotion interventions,
programs, and policies
Develop interventions and programs to effect change at
multiple levels, including individual, community,
organization, and policy
Design and implement strategies to promote health
Solicit and integrate input from community and
organization stakeholders
Design and deliver health communication messages
Evaluate and interpret results from program evaluations
and other research
What are the Health Promotion Track
Competencies? (continued)
7. Define research problems, frame research questions,
design research procedures, and outline methods of
8. Apply ethical principles that govern the practice of
public health
9. Enact cultural competency in diverse social and
cultural communities
10.Develop a substantive Area of Emphasis
How do I write Learning Competencies?
Learning Competencies are brief (i.e., one sentence),
specific statements of what a student will do.
• “Who will do How Much of What by When.”
• Describe the performance of a major cognitive skill
(knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis,
synthesis, and evaluation)
Pay particular attention to analysis, synthesis, and
Begin with an “action verb” that matches the means of
performance assessment
Be explicitly measurable through at least three Learning
Activities per Learning Competency
Identify the intended outcome or product, not the process
Reference and build upon the HP Track Competencies
Learning Competencies vs.
Learning Activities
Learning Competencies and Learning Activities both
• utilize brief (one sentence) and specific language
• begins with an action verb to state what a student will do
• must be reasonable in scope and breadth
How are they different?
Learning Competency
• Describes a single, major cognitive
• Links the Track Competency to at
least 3 Learning Activities
Learning Activity
• Identify a specific action the student
will take to show competency
• Defined in an explicitly measurable
Note on Learning Competencies and
Learning Activities
• Plan for guidance and the possibility of revisions. Reviewing a draft
of the matrix and job description with FE Coordinators by the 3rd
week of the term
• All Competency Matrices are different – what works for your
colleagues may not apply for you
• Do not copy, transpose, or otherwise base your competencies or
contract on someone else’s.
• Do develop your own specific, measurable, realistic, appropriate,
and time-limited competencies based on the terms and deliverables
of YOUR project.
Competency Matrix
Track Competency
Actual Language for
PSU HP Track
Competency as found
in handbook
FE Learning Competency
Your project/placementspecific
competency(ies). One
skill/theory per
competency; may have
several learning
competencies per track
Learning Activities
Minimum of three
activities per
Note: Please number
competency and
number activities so
that it is clear which
activities are
associated with which
track competencies.
Competency Writing Activity
[AKA: what is wrong with this picture?]
Track Competency
1. Apply theory in the
implementation and
evaluation of health
interventions, programs
and policies.
FE Learning Competency
Use theory to develop
evaluation tools for the
Healthy Kids Learn
Better Program.
Learning Activities
Competency Writing Activity
Track Competency
3. Design and
implement strategies to
promote health.
FE Learning Competency
Design strategies to
promote health among
children in the Healthy
Kids Learn Better
Learning Activities
Competency Writing Activity
Track Competency
Enact cultural
competency in diverse
social and cultural
FE Learning Competency
Respect different
beliefs, cultures,
values, economic and
education levels
throughout the
Learning Activities
Competency Writing Activity
Track Competency
Design and implement
strategies to promote
FE Learning Competency
Develop a training
manual for
representatives of
identified childcare
organizations who will
be trained on the
Healthy Kids Learn
Better Program.
Learning Activities
1) Create training
2) Present to childcare
Competency Writing Activity
Track Competency
3. Design and implement
strategies to promote
FE Learning Competency
Design a mixed-methods
outcome evaluation plan to
assess effectiveness of the
Healthy Kids Learn Better
Program training manual.
Learning Activities
1) Create evaluation plan
with program coordinator.
2) Revise existing survey
of training manual
effectiveness to include
new components of
3) Develop a focus group
script to evaluate
effectiveness of training
4) Identify sampling
Theory Discussion Exercise
• What do you do if the theory you are wanting to apply
does not fit the specific FE Learning Competency you
have developed?
• What do you do if you cannot identify a theoretical basis
for your project?
• In what classes have you learned theory?
• Remember: All placements must be theoretically
Ethical Practice and Cultural Competence
• What would the practitioner need to be prepared to DO to
ensure ethical behavior and/or culturally competent
behavior with respect to the following?
• Development of an informational brochure on diabetes
management for Russian refugees and immigrants
• Interviews about sexual health practices within the Latino
• Community meetings with female members of three Oregon
communities around the topic of domestic violence
Research Requirements
• When is IRB required?
• See Handbook, pg 9, #15 – What to do if my FE has a research component?
• Try to avoid strict research experience that does not already have full IRB in
place (we need memo w/ agency IRB info)
• In evaluations or program development, as long as only used internally, a
memo from preceptor may suffice (see sidebar in handbook)
• The following will trigger questions from FE Coordinators and Human Subjects
Research Review Committee (HSRRC):
• High Risk Groups
• Interviewing
• Collecting Surveys
Are Field Experiences paid positions?
• Not usually but can be paid
• Paid position may be negotiated between Preceptor and
• University is not involved in arrangements
What is the Field Experience Agreement?
(usually not required by agency)
• A signed interagency agreement between PSU and field
placement site
• Delineates roles, responsibilities, and institutional terms of
• Not in handbook; will be provided by FE Coordinators
• Tailored to each placement
• If required for your placement, must be complete and on
file prior to start date
• Contact FE Coordinators to see if your placement
requires this agreement.
How do I register for PHE 504?
• Different than registering for other classes
• Application and Learning Contract is signed by student,
preceptor, and faculty advisor & approved by FE Coordinator
• Field Experience Agreement (if required) is signed by site
agency, faculty advisor, and PSU
• Copies of both the completed Application and Learning
Contract and FE Agreement (if required) should be provided to
preceptor and FE Coordinators
• Student completes goldenrod colored Special Registration
Form, available in SCH. Receives departmental stamp upon
FE Coordinators approval
• Manual registration; please allow a few extra days for
Bi-weekly reports
• Due starting at the end of week 2 of placement and every 2 weeks
thereafter (even through term breaks)
• Brief updates (less than 1 page, may be bullet points)
• Sent via email to both FE Coordinators w/ Last Name and FE Update in
• Can be text or attachments
• Update on past two weeks (challenges, highlights, etc)
• Plans for the next two weeks
• Reports are one opportunity to problem-solve and specify issues that
have surfaced during the course of the placement.
• Always contact the FE Coordinators with problems requiring
immediate attention and indicate immediate nature in subject line
Changes to Competency Matrix
• Bi-weekly reports provide the opportunity to identify challenges
during the Field Experience
• Often changes to FE Learning Competencies and Learning
Activities are required
• All proposed changes to matrix
• must be submitted to FE Coordinators for approval using track
• Send copy to Preceptor
• Approval required BEFORE activity occurs
• Students must fulfill all FE Learning Competencies as they
relate to the required OMPH Track Competencies
How do I complete the Field Experience?
• Meet all of the measurable FE Learning Competencies that support OMPH Track
• Student responsible for submitting 1 packet, in hardcopy by 5pm on Monday of
the 9th week of the term in which the placement will be complete. Packet to
• Updated FE Student Checklist Form (updated and signed by student)
• Most recent approved Matrix
• Summary Report
• Evaluation Report (by student – see form on pg 19 of handbook)
• Student Research and Service Questionnaire
• Final Products (cleaned if needed for IRB)
• Request that Preceptor complete the Student Evaluation Form and return it to FE
Coordinators by email.
• Form and due date (end of week 9) to be provided to preceptor by student.
• Meet with advisor to debrief, as recommended
What is the Purpose of a Field Experience
Summary Report?
To clearly demonstrate how your specific FE Learning Activities and Competencies are
reflections of the required OMPH Track Competencies.
This summary report should be a minimum of 10 pages, typed, single-spaced, and
should contain the following information (see pg 17of Handbook):
• Section I: Introduction
• Overview of organization and of your position
• Section II: Evaluation of Track & FE Learning Competencies
• State each FE Learning Competency and Learning Activity exactly as in your matrix
• Describe how you met and demonstrated mastery of each
• Reflect with descriptions of challenges, things you would change, additional work you would
pursue, etc
• Section III: Reflections and Recommendations
• Discuss your professional competency in relation to experience and matrix, career goals, and
area of emphasis.
What is the Purpose of a Field Experience
Evaluation Report?
• To reflect on the overall experience of the placement
• To identify the challenges and successes of the
• To provide ideas on how the field experience can be
• To assist with future placement of students
What is the Purpose of the Preceptor’s
Student Evaluation form?
• Allows the preceptor to comment on the student’s
• Provides additional information to advisor and FE
Coordinators regarding student performance
• Starting in Fall 2014, will also help determine final grade
• Provides useful process information for the faculty advisor
as s/he places students in the future
How is the PHE 504 grade determined?
The Field Experience Final Package is reviewed by both
your academic advisor and the FE Coordinators.
• Pass:
• Demonstrable accomplishment of ALL learning competencies
• Preceptor’s Student Evaluation form submitted with favorable
• Required paperwork (including summary report, final products, FE
checklist, evaluation form, updated matrix) complete and submitted
• Not Passed:
• Learning competencies not demonstrated
• Required paperwork not complete and/or submitted
• Poor preceptor Student Evaluation
Establishing a placement, step-by-step
• Step 1: Orientation
• Step 2: Preliminary research
• Step 3: Meet with Faculty Advisor
• Step 4: Research potential sites
• Step 5: Contact FE Site and begin draft Application
• Step 6: Solicit Feedback on Application
• Consult with Preceptor, Advisor
• Communicate with FE Coordinator(s) about plans 1-2 weeks prior
• Begin risk management (Human Subjects, international travel, immunizations,
background checks)
• Step 7: Signatures and Submittal of Application no later than the
Monday of the 5th week of term prior to planned field work
term,1 full term prior if international placement.
• Revise as required by FE Coordinator
• Step 8: Register for PHE 504, Start Experience
Orientation &
Application due
(if international)
for PHE
Application due
-2 terms
-2 terms,
5 wks
-1 term
-1 term,
5 wks
Wks 2,4,6,8
Meet w/ FE Coordinator(s)
to review draft project
description and matrix
Week 9
Summary of paperwork to be completed
Before placement
• Application & Learning Contract
• Graduate FE Student checklist (signed by student and advisor)
• Application and Learning Contract
• Current CV/Resume
• Health Promotion Track Advising Sheet
• Unofficial Transcript
• Career Objectives
• Courses Related to Experience
• Position Description
• Learning Competencies Matrix
• Products List
• Other risk management, travel, or IRB documentation (as required)
Summary of paperwork to be completed
During placement
• Bi-weekly email communication with FE Coordinators, for duration of
At conclusion of placement (in hardcopy)
• Graduate Field Experience Student Checklist
• Final approved Matrix
• FE Summary Report
• FE Evaluation Report (filled out by student)
• Student Research and Service Questionnaire
• Final products (cleaned)
• Preceptor’s Student Evaluation Form
To prepare in advance
• Update your resume
• Have career objectives in writing
• Think about skills you would like to augment before graduating
when selecting a field experience
• Research possible FE sites
Other processes
• Human Subjects/IRB approval (if research placement)
• International travel approval
Further information
• For more information, please refer to the Graduate Field
Experience handbook at:
• Questions?
Liana Winett, DrPH
Field Experience Coordinator
[email protected]
Chris de Venecia, M.A.
Field Experience Assistant Coordinator
[email protected]

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