CGPS Team Presents at CETL Faculty Workshop

Public Health Practicum Experiences for Graduate Students: Is It Working?

From L to R: Richard Parent, Titilola Balogun, Brianna Parsons, and Sharla Willis at the CETL Faculty Workshop with the poster results of their CETL mini-grant-funded research project, “Public Health Practicum Experiences for Graduate Students: Is It Working?”

Each year, the University of New England’s Center for the Enrichment of Teaching and Learning (CETL) offers mini-grants to support research into the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to faculty and staff. In Spring 2017, Titi Balogun, Practicum Coordinator for the Graduate Programs in Public Health at UNE Online, convened a team of co-investigators to create an application for research funding for this program. Joining Titi were Sharla Willis, Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator for the Graduate Programs in Public Health at UNE Online, and Richard Parent, Director of Assessment at UNE Online.

The goal of the project, which is the first College of Graduate and Professional Studies (CGPS) proposal to receive funding through this program, was to gain insight into the perceptions of students in the Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH) field practicum experience and their supervising preceptors. The data obtained were used to redesign the Master of Public Health (MPH) practical experience. Brianna Parsons, Research Coordinator for the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at UNE Online, was invited to join the team to bring her expertise with educational theory and qualitative analysis to the mix.

The project showed that the MPH practical experience is viewed positively both by students and their preceptors, and proposed changes to the practicum seek to increase student satisfaction and professionalization. The team presented their research findings at the annual CETL Faculty Workshop on May 21, 2018.

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