INTERNSHIP POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

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INTERNSHIP POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

All MPH students in the SOPH are required to complete a minimum of three (3) credit hours in an internship experience (PUH/HB/EPI/HCO/ENH 697). The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), our accrediting body, requires that the internship provides an opportunity for each public health student to develop skills in basic health concepts and demonstrate the application of these concepts through a practice experience that is relevant to the students' areas of specialization.  The internship is a practice-based (rather than administrative or research) experience; therefore, the student experience is required to include opportunities to engage with other professionals and to participate in activities that will advance their public health career potential.  Each internship placement is different, but all depend upon the ability of the student to work with minimal supervision.

The internship experience must be appropriately planned, supervised, and evaluated.  Each student undertaking an internship must acquire permission of the student's SOPH advisor and the on-site preceptor/supervisor.  Students are only allowed to complete internships for academic credit.  You must be registered for PUH 697 during the time the internship is being completed.  A minimum of 180 contact hours is required for the MPH internships.  MPH students should have completed all public health core courses before registering for an internship.  Usually, this means that students must wait until their third semester to complete the internship. To be sure about when you are eligible to register for your internship, check with your department's program coordinator.

GRADING POLICY

A final grade will be awarded by the faculty internship advisor and based upon the internship supervisor's evaluation and the student's final products.  All internships are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS (complete prior to registration)

The student is responsible for the completion and submission of the "UAB School of Public Health Internship Description and Agreement Form." This is a signed agreement between the student, preceptor, and faculty advisor and is to be submitted via the SOPH InternTrack system.  

This form documents each person’s responsibilities and expectations, including a description of the learning objectives and MPH competencies of the placement, the activities to be performed by the student, and the anticipated final products. The following final products are required for all MPH students completing their internship: Evaluations (Student and Site Supervisor), 5-page minimum paper on the internship experience and a poster presentation.  More information on the final products can be found in the syllabus for the internship course.  The final paper and poster should be submitted via the SOPH InternTrack online system.  Students should contact the Internship Coordinator in the Office of Student Services for the deadline regarding all final products.   

Given the nature of public health practice, it is possible that the student may be analyzing, interpreting and perhaps even contributing to the collection of data. If there is any question as to whether an internship will require IRB approval, it is the student’s responsibility to submit an application to the IRB. Please be advised that the IRB approval process might significantly extend the time needed to prepare for an internship; therefore, discuss the scope of your internship with your advisor so that no IRB infractions occur.

FOR STUDENTS TRAVELING OR COMPLETING THEIR INTERNSHIP ABROAD

For students completing an international internship, you must register with Education Abroad for the UAB Faculty-Led Program: PUH/ENH/EPI/HB/HCO 697 in Various Locations Program. When you reach the program description, click "Apply Now". When selecting UAB faculty member responsible, select your faculty advisor at UAB SOPH. 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS (F-1 AND J-1 VISA HOLDERS)

NOTE TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: According to university policy, international students must complete additional requirements for the International Student and Scholar Services office before beginning their internship. Students must apply for Curricular Practical Training ("CPT") by completing the steps listed in the F-1 curricular practical training document here.  The Office of Public Health Practice will complete the academic letter.   

REGISTRATION

Prior to registration, students should consult with their academic advisors to determine optimal times for completing their internships. All 180 hours required by the internship should be completed in one semester. Students register for the internship experience through their designated faculty internship advisor. Each department will have an individual course number for the internship experience. Check with your department program coordinator to get the correct course number.

MIDPOINT THROUGH THE INTERNSHIP

The mid-point meeting is an opportunity for you to reflect on where you are in your internship and evaluate what needs to be done for you to gain the most out of your experience.  Approximately halfway through the internship, the student and site supervisor complete the mid-point meeting evaluation via the InternTrack System.  The student should set up a time to meet with your site supervisor and faculty advisor to review this information.  The both the internship supervisor and faculty advisor will need to confirming the meeting took place.

INTERNSHIP POSTER SESSION

At the end of the internship, prior to the end of exams for that semester, a poster session will be held to showcase the internships completed during that semester.  Students should follow the instructions on the Poster Requirements page when creating their poster. You will receive additional instructions and details regarding the poster session prior to the event. Attendance is mandatory, as it is a required component to the internship experience.  Failure to attend without permission from the Internship Coordinator will result in a No Pass grade for the internship course. Limited exceptions will be made for students completed internships out of the state or country, that are completing the MPH program online, or cannot attend due to medical reasons.  Students who are unable to present during the poster session must request for an alternate presentation option by completing a request in InternTrack. This link will be available in your course timeline on the front page of InternTrack. This form should be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the internship poster session. 

Alternative Option:  Eligible students may submit a request for an alternative poster option through the Alternative Internship Poster Presentation Request form in InternTrack. Students eligible for this opportunity include those that are still completing internships internationally/out of state, unable to attend due to medical reasons, and/or completing their residency program at the time of the poster session. Completion of the form does not guarantee permission to complete the alternative option. If approved, students will crease a poster using the template provided on the Poster Requirements page. This poster should be uploaded to InternTrack (exact date to be announced by the internship coordinator). Students will then be responsible for arranging a time and method of presenting their poster with their faculty advisor (i.e. verbal presentation through Skype, narrated slide, phone call, Go-to-Meeting, etc.).

FINAL PAPER

All students must complete a written assignment and poster at the end of the practicum. The purpose of the assignment is to have the student reflect on the practice experience. This is an opportunity for the student to describe what was done, what was learned, and to place the experiences within the context of the organization, the community and the MPH program. The student should think creatively about his/her contribution to the profession and the professional value of the placement. The final paper must be submitted through InternTrack during the last week of class (the internship coordinator will give you the actual date). HOWEVER, a student's internship faculty advisor may request an earlier deadline to review the paper before final submission. Please consult with your internship faculty advisor for specific deadlines. See the Paper Requirements page for more details. 

AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE INTERNSHIP

Both the student and the internship supervisor will complete an evaluation via the InternTrack during the last week of the semester. In addition, the student should also submit the agree-upon final products to the same designee.


INTERNSHIP CHECKLIST

  • Check with your department’s program coordinator for any special department/program requirements
  • Identify, choose, and consult with a faculty internship advisor
  • Identify an internship site 
  • Apply for the internship opportunity through Hire A Blazer or on your own
  • Complete and submit “UAB School of Public Health Internship Agreement” via InternTrack
  • Obtain electronic approval of your agreement from your internship faculty advisor and site supervisor 
  • If necessary, complete and submit IRB Approval Form
  • If international student, complete and submit appropriate form to the International Scholar and Student Services Office
  • If traveling abroad, register with Education Abroad
  • Register for the appropriate course and number of hours
  • Formally check in with your site supervisor and faculty advisor during a mid-point meeting approximately halfway through the internship
  • Submit evaluation forms and final products (paper and poster) last week of semester to your program coordinator
  • Attend poster session
  • Complete any additional final product(s) requested by the internship site