For those students matriculating into the RSPH in Fall 2018 and after, please review the information listed under Applied Practice Experience Program. Any student that matriculated into the RSPH prior to Fall 2018, please review the information listed under Practicum Program.
Applied Practice Experience Program
What is an Applied Practice Experience?
An Applied Practice Experience (APE) is a unique opportunity that enables students to apply practical skills and knowledge learned through coursework to a professional public health setting that complements the student’s interests and career goals. The APE must be supervised by a Field Supervisor and requires approval from an APE Advisor designated by the student’s academic department at RSPH. To successfully fulfill the APE requirement, students must a) complete a minimum of 200 clock hours in one or two public health agencies, institutions or communities; b) meet student-selected MPH foundational competencies and concentration competencies; c) produce at least 2 deliverables that benefit the APE agency; d) enter and track all APE-related information, deliverables and required approvals in the RSPH APE Portal; and e) registration in the student’s Department 595 course (i.e. BSHE 595, BIOS 595, etc.) is required in the student’s final semester of enrollment.
Prior to the start of a student’s APE, the student must receive departmental approval from the designated APE Advisor in their department.
Students can use a number of different strategies to identify a project suitable for fulfilling the APE requirement. Resources include:
- Handshake/ROL job postings
- Contacting organizations of interest
- Faculty/staff relationships with external organizations
- Campus info sessions & workshops
- Career fairs (2/year)
- Atlanta community events
- Online resources from the Office of Career Development
- List of past opportunities
After a potential APE has been identified, student’s should schedule a meeting with the potential Field Supervisor to discuss project goals that are mutually beneficial to the student and the organization. In addition, the student should download and bring a copy of the APE Student and Field Supervisor Worksheet to use as a guide during the meeting and to ensure all requirements and expectations are discussed upfront.
Log into the APE Portal using the student’s Emory ID and Password. The systems are linked with the OPUS system, so when they log in, demographic/academic data (i.e., name, expected graduation date, department, degree seeking, and program concentration, if any) should already be populated in the fields on the profile page. If these fields are not pre‐populated or if the information is incorrect, the student should correct the information (all fields are required).
Students will select their assigned ADAP and APE Advisor from the dropdown list on the profile page. If they do not know who their assigned APE Advisor is, they should contact their ADAP. Note: The Department’s APE Advisor(s) is not the same as the student’s Faculty Advisor.
Students should upload a current version of their resume (their Field Supervisor, ADAP and APE Advisor will be able to view the resume from within the portal). Should they need to update their resume, they may upload a newer version of the resume, which will overwrite the existing version.
Upon completing a minimum of 9-credit hours, the student can add an APE into the system via the “My APE” Tab. To add a new APE, they must have the following information available:
- First name, last name, and current email address of the Field Supervisor (who will oversee and supervise your work)
- The community partner and branch/division (if any) of the associated organization
- Address of the APE worksite
- Expected APE start and end dates
- CEPH MPH/MSPH Foundational Competencies and Concentration Competencies they plan to attain through the proposed APE
- APE learning objectives and strategies
- Proposed deliverables
After the student submits their APE information, their designated APE Advisor will receive an email asking them to review and approve (or if changes need to be made, deny with comments) the proposed APE competencies, learning objectives, strategies and deliverables. (Please note: In the Environmental Health department your ADAP may also need to provide approval prior to the APE Advisor. If the student is unsure, they should check with their ADAP for confirmation.) Once the competencies, learning objectives and strategies have been approved by the APE Advisor, the Field Supervisor will receive an email asking them to review and approve (or if changes need to be made, deny with comments) the proposed APE competencies, learning objectives, strategies and deliverables. Once the student receives approval from the APE Advisor and Field Supervisor they may begin their APE and hours will begin to count toward this requirement. The student should be using a system or other means of keeping track of their APE hours (i.e. Kronos, Excel template available online, etc.).
Midway through the APE, the student and Field Supervisor will receive an email asking the student to document the hours worked to date. Students are encouraged to review their progress toward meeting the selected competencies, learning objectives, strategies and completion of deliverables with their Field Supervisor at this time. If the project circumstances or plans have changed and the objectives need to be adjusted, the student can make changes at this time. [Additional changes to learning objectives/strategies or changes needing to be made at other times during the APE can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.]
About two (2) weeks prior to the end of the APE, the student will receive an email reminding them to complete the student evaluation. The student will need to log into the portal to complete the student evaluation, upload deliverables and enter total hours completed. Once the student evaluation has been completed, the student’s Field Supervisor will receive an email asking him/her to verify the total number of hours the student worked as well as to complete an evaluation of the student’s performance and competency attainment. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their Field Supervisor completes the evaluation in the APE portal prior to the designated deadline. The student will also be asked to evaluate their APE experience.
At the conclusion of the APE, the APE Advisor will review and provide a final approval of the information the student entered into the portal and will certify that the student has attained the selected CEPH MPH/MSPH Foundational Competencies, Concentration Competencies and proposed deliverables. The APE Advisor will also review the student and supervisor evaluations to ensure the objectives and strategies were satisfactorily accomplished and mutually beneficial.
Following the APE Advisor, the ADAP will ensure all steps were completed in the APE portal and the student enrolled and completed the Department’s 595 course to clear the student for graduation.
MPH/MSPH Foundational and Department Competencies
To access a list of the foundational and department/concentration-related competencies, visit https://www.sph.emory.edu/academics/competencies/index.html
All Rollins students, including those who have prior experience working in a public health setting, are required to complete a supervised practicum experience.
What is a practicum?
A practicum is a 200–400 hour work experience that allows students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they’ve learned at Rollins into a public health setting, like a nonprofit organization, hospital, local or state health department, or for-profit firm.
The experience will be supervised by an experienced field supervisor on the job site. In addition, the student’s ADAP and practicum faculty advisor (PFA) at Rollins will provide guidance and oversight for the practicum. Practica are a requirement for all Council on Education for Public Health-accredited schools and can be paid or unpaid, based on the situation.
Note: A capstone, thesis, or special studies project will not count toward the practicum requirement.
My position with the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) provided clarity on survey design methodology, survey analysis, and understanding what information can be produced for distribution to public and state officials. I also had the opportunity to utilize and improve my knowledge of SAS with the support of extremely knowledgeable practitioners at GDPH.
A Practicum Should
- Be a planned, supervised, and evaluated work experience that enables students to apply the knowledge they’ve gained at Rollins into a practical, professional public health environment.
- Take place after completing the first semester at Rollins (or at least 9 credit hours).
- Have well-defined objectives and a process to track and evaluate performance, competency achievement, and practical experiences. View examples of student practicum objectives.
- Be supervised by a qualified field supervisor (a public health practitioner qualified to evaluate the student’s professional competence).
- Meet at least one of the school’s core competencies and one of the department-specific core competencies. View core competencies
Rollins provides several sources to help you locate ideas for your practicum. View our suggestions for finding a practicum
Once a student has located a potential practicum, they should meet with their ADAP and/or program faculty advisor to make sure it is suitable and meets the guidelines mentioned above. Likewise, students need to meet with their site supervisor to discuss and construct objectives for the experience.
Students should check with their department to get details on the practicum approval process prior to entering the Practicum Portal.
The following departments have made the required practicum approval form available online: behavioral sciences and health education, biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, and global health.
Once the student’s supervisor has approved the practicum and objectives, the student may begin their practicum. The portal system will send the student and their site supervisor an email mid-way through the practicum and at the end of the practicum to remind each of key tasks. Though not required by Rollins, some employers prefer that students track their hours on a timesheet.