259137 Community Assessments as an Opportunity for Innovative Graduate Public Health Pedagogy, Student Practicum Opportunities and University - Community Collaboration

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:44 AM - 10:56 AM

Jessica Wolin, MPH, MCRP , Health Education Department/Health Equity Institute, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
September Jarrett , Mayor's Office, Interagency Planning, City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco
Maria X. Martinez , Office of the Director, San Franciso Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Paul Rueckhaus, MPH, MA , Health Education Department, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
The MPH Program at San Francisco State University partners an ethnically and socio-economically diverse student cohort with community based organizations to collaboratively implement community assessments. In 2011/12 this integrated academic-practice experience is part of a partnership between the University, local public health department and HOPE SF, a City initiative to transform 8 distressed public housing sites. Through the Community Assessment for Change course, 22 MPH students and the instructors are collaborating with community partners to assess opportunities for and barriers to implementation of peer-to-peer health promotion strategies in HOPE SF communities. The project is guided by an Advisory Group of community agency staff, residents and faculty. Assessment methods integrate academic and practice activities designed and undertaken by students including, a comprehensive literature review conducted collaboratively using web-based research software; over 40 key informant interviews; and, a workshop bringing together local researchers with the Advisory Group to discuss best practices. Students engage in 3 hours a week of class time and approximately 300 hours of practice activities during the project. Final products include 1) literature review; 2) workshop proceedings; 3) report and presentation of findings and recommendations to key stakeholders. Key learnings include benefits and challenges of conducting community assessments that incorporate collaboration in the classroom between students as well as University-Community partnerships. Overall, this project is a model of how assessment design and implementation can bring together students, faculty and community organizations to explore community needs and strengths while creating a robust learning opportunity and mechanism to foster community change.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe benefits to students, community partners and instructors of models of University-community partnerships to conduct community assessments that incorporate both graduate student practicum and community health issue of local importance. Describe challenges to students, community partners and instructors that arise in the development and implementation of collaborative community assessments as well as strategies to overcome them. List technological and pedagogical innovations to foster collaboration between students, instructors and community partners in the development and implementation of collaborative community assessments.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have taught the practice based course Community Assessment for MPH students at San Francisco State University (SFSU) for the past 8 years and have served as the Director of Practice for the SFSU, MPH program for the same period of time. I have lead numerous community-campus partnerships and am also the Associate Director of Community Practice for the Health Equity Institute at SFSU.
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.