Students should review the following description of the practicum forms and deliverables before completing them. Visit Forms and Documents for downloadable forms and other resources. See Alternative Practicum if you are a qualifying concurrent degree student or resident.
Practicum prerequisites need to be completed by all MPH students during the first quarter in their program.
The Learning Contract outlines a proposal for the work to be undertaken during the practicum placement that must be approved by the student’s Site Supervisor, Practicum Faculty Adviser, and MPH Program Director before the start of the practicum placement (See Forms & Documents for the current Learning Contract Form). It requires each MPH student to describe the nature and scope of the practicum work, including the products for the site (see sample activities and products), how the products meet five (5) of the 22 MPH Foundational Competencies, and how they align with the needs of the public health organization.
Note: A maximum of ONE (1) competency can be selected from the “Evidenced-Based Approaches to Public Health” section, which helps direct students toward choosing practice-oriented competencies and developing tasks that lead to a practical solution.
In the example below the student selected one research-oriented competency  from the “Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Health” section, and four practice-oriented competencies.
Student Name: Leah Neff Warner
Practicum Organization: Kitsap Public Health District
Practicum Project Title: Sparking Conversation in a Community Health Assessment, Jefferson County, Washington
View Leah's Project Description, Competencies, and activities
Practicum Project Description
I will work with the Kitsap Public Health District in their provision of assessment and epidemiologic support to the Jefferson County Community Health Assessment (CHA). My specific role will be to support the qualitative methods of the CHA, which are new to the assessment this year. My activities will include designing key informant interview and focus group questions, conducting 10 interviews and 3 focus groups, analyzing the data, presenting key findings, and integrating them into the broader CHA report. My contributions support the agency’s needs by increasing their capacity to include qualitative methods and engage community partners to result in an inclusive, representative understanding of Jefferson County’s health. This project aligns with my professional goals by expanding my experience in local public health services, developing my skills in qualitative methods, and prioritizing health challenges unique to rural, underserved settings and diverse populations.
Practicum Competencies and Activities
COMPETENCY : Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context.
● Work with the CHA team to identify qualitative methods and develop data collection questions and materials appropriate for Jefferson County.
● Explain the strengths, limitations, and reasons for selecting certain qualitative methods in the health assessment.
COMPETENCY : Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels.
● Develop questions for key informant interviews and focus groups that explore ways in which health inequities manifest in Jefferson County.
● Analyze the data from the discussions to identify experiences, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that relate to health inequity.
COMPETENCY : Assess population needs, assets and capacities that affect communities’ health
● Identify key informants and stakeholders and facilitate interviews and focus groups for qualitative assessment of Jefferson County’s health needs.
● Identify and describe themes present in the transcripts.
COMPETENCY : Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
● Communicate the purpose of the qualitative activities and key results to participating Jefferson County community leaders and members.
● Adjust my approach as needed to communicate culturally-appropriate and professionally-relevant content.
COMPETENCY : Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue
● Apply a systems thinking perspective to understanding the context, connections, and barriers affecting health needs in Jefferson County.
● Apply systems thinking frameworks when analyzing transcripts to identify themes that may contextualize findings from the quantitative assessment.
● Describe linkages, building blocks, and actors in the Jefferson County health system and articulate ways in which the health system dynamics relate to the qualitative findings in the CHA.
1. Student reflects and documents changes to the practicum mid-way through the experience in the Midpoint Review.
2. Contact the student’s Practicum Faculty Adviser or SPH Manager of Experiential Learning if guidance or assistance is needed.
Site Supervisor Evaluation
1. Site Supervisor evaluates student’s practicum activities, including a minimum of two products for the site, and professional attributes in the Site Supervisor Evaluation.
2. Site Supervisor reviews the evaluation with the student, providing the student with an experience similar to performance evaluations that typically occur in the workplace.
Site Products and UWSPH Written and Visual Assignments
Each student must submit a minimum of two practical, non-academic work products, produced in the practicum setting and for the practicum setting, that demonstrate individual competency attainment. Examples of suitable work products include project plans, grant proposals, training manuals or lesson plans, surveys, memos, videos, podcasts, presentations, spreadsheets, websites, photos (with accompanying explanatory text), or other digital artifacts or learning.
In addition, each student must submit a written assignment and a visual assignment for UWSPH. If one of the work products is visual (e.g., poster, video, infographic, PowerPoint, etc.), students may use it to fulfill the UWSPH visual assignment with permission from the student’s Practicum Faculty Adviser and Manager of Experiential Learning.
Visit Practicum Examples for appropriate practicum activities and site products.
UWSPH Written Assignment
Practicum Project Title
1. Introduction (150-250 words, approx. ½ page)
a. How did you get involved with your organization?
b. Why this organization? What attracted you to it?
c. What problem were you asked to address?
2. Organization analysis (250-500 words, approx. 1-2 pages)
a. What is the purpose/goal of the organization (department, unit, or team)?
b. Identify and describe your role in the organization – and how power, positionality, privilege, and other socio-structural factors impact the way you experienced your practicum experience?
c. What have you observed to be factors in determining policies and practices within the organization that either help or hinder its ability to address its mission (e.g. elimination of structural bias, social inequities, and/or racism)?
3. Project description (250-500 words, approx. 1-2 pages)
a. Describe your experience with and products for the organization.
b. How will the resulting information, activities, and products be used and by whom?
c. What decisions will it inform? What are the short-term and long-term impact on the organization?
d. What did you discover or learn about the problem or issue upon the completion of your practicum experience?
e. What would you recommend to the organization’s leaders?
4. Self-evaluation of competences (500-700 words, approx. 2-3 pages)
a. List and briefly elaborate on the five competencies you obtained through your practicum experience.
b. Describe any unexpected accomplishments and challenges, if applicable.
c. How could have your practicum experience been made better?
d. Who are the contacts you have developed for future work as a public health professional?
e. What would you recommend future students to prepare for their practicum? For example, I am glad I did X; I wish that I had done Y differently.
a. What impact did your practicum experience have on you as a public health student/professional?
UWSPH Visual Assignment
The visual assignment prepares students for the annual practicum symposium and other academic and professional conferences. View SPH branding page for a complete list of templates and logos. Students typically submit a poster for the UWSPH visual assignment. However, if a student submits a visual product for the site, they may submit the visual product in place of the visual assignment. In most cases, UWSPH accepts the following visual products: poster, video, infographic, and PowerPoint. Email the Manager of Experiential Learning to confirm.
● Students can set up their poster with this Poster Template (pptx), or use any design program such as Illustrator, Publisher or InDesign to design their poster.
● Posters must be 36" x 24" size.
● All posters are required to have the UWSPH masthead.
Online Faculty Evaluation and Practicum Credit
After a student submits required site evaluations, site products, and UWSPH written and visual assignments, the Manager of Experiential Learning will notify the student’s Practicum Faculty Adviser to complete an online evaluation.
The Practicum Faculty Adviser is encouraged to communicate directly with the student’s Site Supervisor towards the end of or immediately after the practicum experience and before completing the online evaluation. The Practicum Faculty Adviser will be asked to score each of the five MPH foundational competencies selected by the student, using a scale of 1-5 as shown below to evaluate competency attainment. Comments are optional unless the student receives a score below 3 = Adequate. Submitting the online evaluation generates a notification email to the Departmental Staff Adviser to assign C/NC credits for practicum.
The MPH Alternative Practicum Fulfillment Form is intended for MPH students pursuing the following concurrent degrees: MD/MPH, MSW/MPH, OEM Fellows, and Preventative Medicine/Public Health Residents. Students should email the completed alternative practicum form and two work product for the alternative practicum site to Janice North, Manager of Experiential Learning, and copy the Departmental Adviser. (See Forms & Documents for the current Alternative Practicum Form)