Direct Hands-On Experience
All Emergency Health Certificate students must complete 3 credit hours (135 hours fieldwork) of practicum prior to completion of certificate. The practicum experience is meant to give students direct, hands-on experience comparable to a career position suitable for someone with a Certificate in Emergency Health. This will not only supplement the student’s coursework and enrich their academic experience, but also prepare the student for employment after completion of their certificate.
Before You Start
It is recommended that you start thinking about your practicum experience in your first semester of the certificate program. You should brainstorm potential practicum sites that align with emergency health, management and preparedness. Keep a running list of possible practicum sites and mentors. Remember that the practicum is a stepping stone to your career. Find a practicum that should provide you with the knowledge, skills and networking to launch you into your career after graduation. Be intentional and don't try to ‘just get it done’.
A great place to start is setting up an appointment with the Emergency Health Certificate Program Director to address potential practicum sites and learn about practicum experiences that have been completed previously.
Choose a Practicum Site
After identifying potential practicum opportunities, you should choose a practicum site and mentor and begin the process of starting your practicum experience.
Practicum Objectives Form
Once a practicum site is located, you must complete the Practicum Objectives form. This form will outline specific objectives of the practicum as well as a brief description of the experience and practicum site. This form must be signed by the practicum mentor and the emergency health certificate practicum director.
Register for Practicum Hours
When you are ready to register for the practicum credit hours, and the objectives form has been submitted to the academic advisor please coordinate with the advisor for a permission code for PBHLT 6980. Please be mindful of registration dates to ensure adequate time to obtain all of the needed forms and permission code for registration. Students must register for a total of 3 credit hours towards the Emergency Health Practicum before completion of the certificate. Note: It doesn’t matter when students are registered for the credits: this can be during or after the student actually does the required hours.
During Your Practicum
Under the supervision of the practicum mentor, the student must complete the Time Record form to track the hours dedicated to the practicum. Please note, at least 135 contact hours must be committed in order to successfully complete the practicum requirements.
Examples of logged hours include:
- Time spent at the practicum site. The majority of the practicum should be at the practicum site under direction of the practicum mentor.
- Time spent in preparation for the practicum, outside of the practicum site.
The time record is used to record hours and activities completed at the practicum site. The student must submit their time record form to the Emergency Health Certificate Advisor at the end of the practicum. The form must be signed by the practicum mentor in order to be deemed complete.
At the End of Your Practicum
5 Page Paper
Upon completion of the practicum experience, the student is required to complete a 5 page summary paper outlining their practicum experience. The paper should hit on the following points:
- Briefly describe the practicum in relation to how it increased your experience in emergency health, management and preparedness.
- State the focus of the practicum: identify how the focus is relevant to the Emergency Health Certificate; and, state the objectives that address both the student’s and the mentor goals and expectations.
- Describe the key responsibilities and activities of the student as it relates to the objectives of the practicum.
- Outline the results of the practicum, such as what you learned and how this experience will benefit your career goals.
A credit/no credit grade will be assigned for the practicum by the emergency health practicum director based on the mentor's feedback of the student's performance, and the 5-page report.
Receiving Credit for Your Practicum
Note that PBHLT 6980 – Emergency Health Practicum is a Credit/No Credit course. If all paperwork is completed and submitted to the Division of Public Health by the last day of class, a CR/NC grade will be assigned and submitted to the registrar's office for that semester. If paperwork is not received until after this deadline, the student will receive a T (In Progress) grade. Therefore, if the student wishes to graduate on a given semester, they must make sure all paperwork is submitted by the last day of class for that semester.