244132 Integrative and Applied Learning in Undergraduate Public Health Instruction: Internship

Monday, October 31, 2011

Karen A. Kemper, MSPH, PhD , Department of Public Health, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Kathleen Meyer, MS , Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Lee A. Crandall, PhD , Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Background: Our undergraduate public health internship began in 1994 with 30 students. The program provides students with an extended opportunity to apply information learned in the classroom. Currently we place 130 students into internships annually. The program has continuously evolved to better prepare undergraduate public health students for careers in a variety of health professions and support priorities of our curriculum. Several innovative strategies have been added to ensure that students are well prepared to enter the public health workforce (internship preparation class, e-portfolio). As more attention is given to undergraduate public health instruction it is important to evaluate our capstone student experience to ensure that learner outcomes reflect national expectations for public health students. Methods: We evaluate emerging aspects of the Integrative and Applied Learning domain of the Undergraduate Public Health Learning Outcomes Development project using samples of preceptor reports and student portfolios. We use a rubric to assess core constructs found within documentation of internship accomplishments (e.g. action-based learning outcomes, experiential learning). An inventory of sites, preceptor qualifications, populations served, etc. is constructed. The students' electronic-portfolio and public health essays are the key documents used to evaluate learner outcomes. Results: The internship structure and supervision mechanisms will be discussed. Student experiences, achievement of competencies, and impact on student learning and professional growth will be reported. Conclusion: A well-designed and supervised internship is critical to providing a consistent learning opportunity for students to apply and integrate knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. List two innovative learner outcome evaluation strategies used in an undergraduate public health internship program. 2. Describe methods for evaluating aspects of the Integrated and Applied Learning Domains of the Undergraduate Public Health learning Outcomes Development project.

Keywords: Professional Training, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the founding faculty of our 20 year old undergraduate public health program and have worked closely with the internship program and internship coordinator. I have worked on the evaluation and development of the internship program and presented this work at the 2001 SOPHE conference and published an article in Health Promotion Practice in 2004. Our internship coordinator and our department chair are co-authors of this presentation.
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.