206797 Bridging Theory and Public Health Practice: An Analysis of Community-Based Preceptors' and Students' Responses Regarding Competency-Based Graduate Public Health Education Practica

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:20 PM

Augusta M. Villanueva, PhD , School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Mary E. Hovinga, PhD , School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Jonathan L. Cass, MPH , School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Objectives: This study focused on the analysis of responses from students and community-based preceptors regarding community-based practica in competency-based graduate public health education. A pedagogical model integrating problem-based learning (PBL) and Service-Learning (SL) applied to public health practice in urban Philadelphia serves as its core. Methods: Survey evaluations were completed by students and preceptors at the conclusion of the experiential learning experience to assess outcomes and collaborators' satisfaction. Results: Students reported attaining high level of ‘learning by doing' with increased ability addressing “real world” problems, and a commitment to working in the community. Preceptors reported satisfaction with students' competency, ability undertaking much needed projects, and reciprocal learning. Conclusion: Experiential learning in competency-based graduate public health education derived from PBL and SL provides a valuable experience, and may help explain how PBL enhances students' ability becoming a self-directed, collaborative, applied problem-solver within the context of communities that are often different from their own. Similarly, the SL ethos of this educational model suggests students value their experience and actively become community advocates. Students' self awareness, and personal and professional development appear to be enhanced as a result of the experiential learning, enabling them to become more knowledgeable about public health practice, to expand their professional prospects, and to enhance the workforce.

Learning Objectives:
1) Explain rationale for integration of problem-based learning (PBL), Service-Learning (SL), and graduate public health education delivered in the context of concrete urban community needs; 2) Describe the impact of this educational model on students’ learning, collaborators’ capacity-building ability, and the community at-large; and 3) Advance a health and human rights framework within the context of applied public health education

Keywords: Public Health Education, Community-Based Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Coordinate and provide oversight for students' MPH practica
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.