Snyder (c) leads discussion with members of Hygiend Club on how group was formed and how model could be modified and replicated to aid children's and community's health.
Student discusses practicum work in Zambia
Lauren Snyder, second-year master's student, shares her field training experience with World Vision International in Zambia.
What was the practicum purpose: (your role, project goals, target population, etc.) As a research assistant, I was working on a study to promote higher rates of adoption of proper hygiene and sanitation in rural Zambia. We were investigating this issue because it is estimated that improper sanitation and hygiene is the cause of 30% of the under-five mortality worldwide, yet only less than one in three people in Zambia follow these types of practices.
What was the most rewarding part of your summer practicum? The most rewarding part of my practicum was the field work. Getting to speak to women and mothers about what motivates them to practice healthy behaviors for themselves and their children was an incredible experience. Also visiting schools, getting to talk to the students, and even going to a cooking lesson put on by one of the hygiene clubs were experiences that helped shape and solidify my career and research goals.
What skills did you gain as a result of your practicum? Although my Tonga language skills are still quite low (we had a translator), I gained many skills from this practicum. Since I began at the formation of this study, I learned a great deal about research project planning and study design. I also learned how to work in a different cultural and with all types of people. Further, I learned how to translate our findings to meet the interests of many different audiences, a skill that will be useful to me throughout my career!
Field training, which may also be referred to as field placement, internship, or practicum, is required of all Master's students in Maternal and Child Health. Field training consists of individualized, experiential learning that provides students with opportunities to strengthen their competencies while applying their academic training to a Department- approved field site. Because the field of MCH is so broad and includes many different facets of public health, there are few restrictions placed on the type of site that can serve as a field placement. The site must:
- Include as a major focus some aspect of maternal and child health;
- Provide training that the student has not received before; and
- Be a place where the student has never worked before, unless the role is different and the project is approved by the student's advisor.
MPH students must complete at least 8 weeks of full-time work (40 hours per week). MSPH students must complete at least 6 weeks of full-time work (40 hours per week). Please Note that students registering for credit hours during Summer sessions must pay summer tuition. Please see Yvette for guidance.
Students will also be expected to complete a Field Training Report to receive a grade for the field practicum course. The report should be a concise analysis of the training experience and is approved by the student's advisor. Please see Appendix A of the Master's Handbook for more information about field training and the required report.
- During orientation, in-coming students will attend a panel discussion in which students who have recently completed their field trainings will provide information and advice on finding a placement.
- Begin discussing career goals and potential general placements with faculty advisor.
- Submit your CV via the Sakai site.
- Begin exploring options.
- Advisors may be able to assist in finding potential sources of funding and placement opportunities. Information about fellowships and paid internships will be posted on the MCH Field Training Blackboard site.
- In addition, the website and listservs associated with the Office of Global Health and the Student Global Health Committee are excellent sources of health.
- Continue to network.
- In a Nitty Gritty MCH Practicum Session, the Student Services Manager will discuss the general requirements of the field placement, such as registration issues, goals and objectives, funding, and deadlines.
- Submit applications to those agencies with early deadlines.
- Begin targeted placement search.
- Soon after the beginning of the new semester, begin focusing on field training.
- Interview with potential placement sites.
- Attend Logistics Meeting organized by the director of career development.
- Register for summer session(s).
- Apply for Departmental International Field Training Award and the Center for Global Initiatives International Internship Awards, if you are eligible.
- Finalize field training selection - by the posted deadline in early April.
• Begin working out the details of your learning agreement with your Faculty Advisor and Field Preceptor.
- Submit one copy of the Learning Agreement, signed by the Faculty Advisor, Field Preceptor, and student, via the Blackboard site by the posted deadline. Submit copies of the Learning Agreement to the Faculty Advisor and Field Preceptor.
- Office of Director of Career Development will send confirmation letters to Field Preceptors.
- Complete field placements (with exception of second-year dual degree Social Work students and students in some other circumstances).
- Complete necessary paperwork..
- All evaluations (student and preceptor), the database entry form, and the field report should be completed within 72 hours of completing the placement or returning to Chapel Hill after the placement, whichever is later. Extension may be requested if, for example, necessary data from the field site aren't available. All evaluations and the database entry form are completed online. The field report must be submitted via the Blackboard site.
- Thank you letters sent to preceptors (completed by Director of Career Development).
- Field Training Database updated (completed by Director of Career Development).
Last updated October 07, 2013