Practicum by Program
The practicum is a supervised work experience for emerging administrative healthcare professionals in a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. Students from this program will engage in an 800 hour project in a healthcare setting, such as hospitals, and long-term care and community clinics. The purpose of the practicum is to provide students with the opportunity to apply academic learning in an interdisciplinary environment, and to integrate public health concepts and skills from their program of study. The aim of the practicum is to meet as many learning outcomes as possible; the depth and breadth vary by site location and project availability. This is done in the context of carefully planned and implemented field-based experience, in a real world setting. The practicum is participatory in nature, rather than observational. It is designed to address students’ program learning outcomes and career interests, while also making contributions to the placement site/organization.
Students will be placed with a professional healthcare organization for 400-800 hours. While these hours will be spent at the organization, the student’s work will be guided and evaluated through the Student Practicum Course on Canvas and LiveText. The units students are required to register for will vary according to the hours that will be completed during that quarter.
Understand the Healthcare Environment
- Demonstrate knowledge of structures/functions and evolving issues in healthcare, and the ability to apply this knowledge to diverse healthcare organizations.
- Understand the process of decision-making in the healthcare sector.
Demonstrate Leadership Skills & Accountability Aptitude
- Articulate and evaluate professional values and ethics, demonstrating an understanding of healthcare administration from a faith-based perspective.
- Demonstrate the ability to work as a team member and to support and value diverse opinions and perspectives.
Integrate Strategic Awareness & Innovative Thinking
- Understand and demonstrate how the organizational vision and goals influence operations and how to strategically develop these guiding principles.
- Apply complex concepts, develop creative and innovative solutions, or adapt previous solutions in new ways.
Demonstrate Business Management Skills & Stewardship Principles
- Understand and explain financial and accounting information, and apply financial techniques to set goals and measure organizational performance.
- Demonstrate the ability to persuade others to support a point of view, position, or recommendation, while assessing and responding to the feelings and concerns of others.
Demonstrate Public Health, Policy & Global Awareness
- Understand the legislative environment and how health policy at the local, state, and federal levels impact organizations.
- Understand and articulate how patterns of disease affect populations at the local as well as at the global levels.
- Respond to and engage collaboratively with diverse local and global cultures and communities to address challenges in the interests of population health.
The efficacy and confirmed success of epidemiology promises an exciting future for those who meet the challenges of this advancing science. Two concentrations are offered by the program: Medical Epidemiology and Research Epidemiology. Each is designed to meet a particular professional need. The MPH in Medical Epidemiology concentration is designed for those with a health profession background who wish to conduct or participate in research related to their health profession. The MPH Research Epidemiology concentration is designed for individuals interested in a career studying the relationship of risk factors to a variety of disease outcomes (e.g., the effect of nutrients, inactivity, stress, high blood pressure, environmental exposure, obesity, or immunologic characteristics on heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, longevity, infectious diseases, reproductive outcome, etc.)
- Collaborate with or serve as a research consultant to health professionals.
- Conduct high-quality epidemiologic research—including appropriate design, data collection, statistical analyses, and interpretation and reporting of results.
- Be familiar with disease surveillance as practiced in state, county, and national health agencies/departments.
- Critically review the health literature and identify strengths and weaknesses of design, analyses, and conclusions.
The MPH in Global Health program prepares committed professionals who are both technically competent and cross-culturally skilled in creating and facilitating sustainable health and development programs in diverse settings and populations. Utilizing an experiential, evidence-based model of learning while building on
the global health competencies defined in the model developed by the Association of Schools of Public Health in 2011—the program enables graduates to contribute to a better quality of life for all people—especially those who are vulnerable, underserved, marginalized, and disadvantaged.
Graduates of the program may qualify for positions in nongovernmental, faith-based, and community- based organizations; county, state, and national health departments; private foundations; public health enterprises; and public health practice organizations. Graduates also find positions in government and transnational organizations, such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and national assistance organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Further academic training is also an option for graduates interested in teaching and research. Those with prior field experience and additional language/s proficiency (for example, French or Spanish) are generally given preference both during student admission and later when applying for jobs.
Utilizing an experiential approach, the competency-based curriculum is built around three primary themes:
- Developing and maintaining a sustainable, healthy environment
- Supporting and empowering communities, families, and individuals in their efforts to attain optimal health and development
- Advocating for social justice, human rights, and equity among vulnerable populations
Graduates are expected to apply cross-cultural skills and demonstrate technical competence in:
- Assessing systems, services, capacity, needs, resources, and the multifactorial determinants of health and disease
- Planning, implementing, managing, monitoring, and evaluating comprehensive, integrated health and development programs
- Building and facilitating multidisciplinary, intersectoral collaborations within and between countries/regions
- Advocating for justice, equity (including gender equity), human rights, and universal access to health and social services that contribute to individual and community well-being
- Contributing to basic, applied, operational, and translational research to advance health and development
The program is designed around three learning domains that enable graduates to have:
- A broad, comprehensive knowledge base or theoretical framework covering the major concepts and key issues in global health
- Appropriate competencies and skill sets (for example, in program planning/evaluation, grant proposal preparation, communication and informatics, research, advocacy, leadership, etc.)
- A Christian, faith-based worldview that informs their activities in the practice environment
The MPH in Health Education focuses on educational, interpersonal, community, and legislative factors that promote positive health behaviors. The curriculum
emphasizes interventions based on scientific data, as well as established behavioral and learning theories that promote public health through the processes of education and community organization.
Students who complete the curriculum may function as community health educators in a variety of public and private settings. They are academically prepared to:
- Conduct community assessments
- Design, implement, and evaluate health education interventions
- Organize health promotion efforts
- Assist individuals and communities to better utilize techniques of health behavior change
Students select course work from each of several practice and content areas to enhance the applied portion of the curriculum. Professional practice is addressed during the laboratory and field experience portions of the curriculum. Students may develop skills while working in community agencies and in medical care, school, and work/site settings. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Credentialing Examination in Health Education, Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) or MCHES. The examination is offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.
Upon completion of the MPH in Health Education, you will be able to:
- Design, develop, implement, market, and evaluate health promotion and education programs utilizing principles from human learning motivaton, communication, organizational behavior, and health behavior changes.
- Collaborate with other professionals in using resources to educate the public about health.
- Evaluate and appropriately apply public health research findings to the practice of health education.
- Provide leadership or technical assistance for public health projects in selected settings.
- Meet didactic and professional practice requirements for certification as health education specialists.
Healthy Policy & Leadership
The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in health policy and leadership attracts students who have a strong desire to address the social determinants of health and the complex organizational and policy challenges characteristic of current health systems. Students are competitively trained in health organizational leadership and management, health care economics, policy analysis and development at the local, state, federal and international level, advocacy and civil engagement, strategic communications to advance policies, health care negotiations and conflict resolution, strategic planning, and integrative health policy strategies.
Our students graduate exceptionally prepared for a broad array of careers at the intersection of health, health policy, management, and public health. Our graduates
secure careers in health and public health agencies at the local, state, federal, and international level, community organizations, advocacy organizations, and health care organizations including hospitals, health clinics, and medical groups.
Students have the unique advantage of being trained by respected faculty in an institution that is part of a health system with over 80 hospitals (14,153 beds) across 17 states and the District of Columbia, over 300 health facilities in the United States, and hospitals in over 21 countries on 6 continents. As part of a values-centered learning in a faith-based academic institution, our graduates are encouraged to demonstrate key values including, but not limited to, integrity, compassion, and a commitment to social justice.
Upon completion of the MPH in Health Policy and Leadership, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate leadership by communicating a shared vision, influencing change, and being a champion for solutions to organizational and community challenges.
- Describe the policy process for improving the health status of populations.
- Produce health policy communications for appropriate stakeholders, using appropriate channels and technology.
- Demonstrate leadership in health policy and advocacy for public health issues.
- Identify issues that influence access to care, including health services to special populations.
- Apply systems thinking to current challenges in the health system.
- Apply the principles of strategic planning to make recommendations for organizational and community health initiatives.
- Understand the principles of finance and economics and their implications for health policy and management.
In the Lifestyle Management Program, health professionals with relevant clinical health professional degrees are empowered to provide lifestyle change interventions and promote healthy behaviors for patients with chronic diseases or patients at risk of chronic diseases, while understanding the population determinants of wellness, health, and disease. The curriculum emphasizes interventions based on scientific data and established behavioral and learning theories that promote individual and public health through the processes of education, health behavior change, and health promotion.
The curriculum focuses on teaching public health practice classes that are needed to possess core skills in publich health, in evaluating the scientific literature, and in understanding and applying the science of disease prevention in the context of mind-body interaction. More practice-oriented classes teach the scientific basis
and applications of exercise prescriptions, nutrition counseling, tobacco cessation, and health behavior-change techniques.
Graduates may use their skills acquired in the program to enhance their current clinical knowledge and skills in medicine, nursing, clinical psychology, osteopathy, pharmacy, or other health professions. They are academically prepared to apply preventive methodologies to chronic diseases and risk factors; conduct individual health assessments; provide medical lifestyle counseling; properly evaluate and apply lifestyle medicine-related research findings, and lead and evaluate health promotion projects. Health professionals who are not physicians are not able to practice medicine when awarded this degree.
Upon completion of the MPH in Lifestyle Medicine, you will be able to:
- Possess a core field of knowledge of public health, with emphasis on the application of preventive methodologies to chronic diseases.
- Accurately assess lifestyle-related risk factors for chronic diseases.
- Provide appropriate interventions in regard to these risk factors, e.g., medical behavior counsling in exercise, nutrition, and tobacco dependence.
- Evaluate and properly apply lifestyle medicine-related research findings.
- Provide leadership for and evaluate community-based health promotion projects.
Nutrition, Coordinated Program (MS, MPH)
The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree curriculum in nutrition and dietetics enables students to meet the didactic and supervised practice requirements for registration eligibility in dietetics. The purpose of registration is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public by encouraging high standards of performance by persons practicing in nutrition and dietetics. Students in the MPH or DrPH degree curricula may establish eligibility to write the registration examination to become a registered dietitian (RD) by completing this program. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), www.eatrightpro.org.
Upon completion of the MPH in Nutrition with coordinated program in dietetics, you will be able to:
- Integrate knowledge of biological mechanisms underlying the effect of food and nutrients on health to the solution of public health problems.
- Function independently and collaboratively as leader or member of a team to plan, manage, and evaluate community-based nutrition promotion activities.
- Critically analyze studies and apply findings to nutrition interventions.
- Scrutinize public policies and processes related to food and nutrition and explore their impact on health outcomes.
- Articulate the role of vegetarian dietary practices on human health, the environment, and ecology.
- Demonstrate effectiveness in the nutritional care process consistent with competencies defined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
- Apply systems management and use of resources to the provision of nutritional services.
The Population Medicine Program is designed to meet the needs of practicing health professionals who have experience in direct patient care and wish to augment their current careers with additional information and skills in population management. The students will be competent to analyze the health of a patient population and understand the social, environmental, and biological determinants of health in that population. Individuals who may benefit from this program are
practicing health professionals, such as physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, and psychologists, and students who are currently enrolled in clinical practice-related doctoral degrees (e.g., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., Pharm.D.). This degree will provide clinicians with cutting edge knowledge and a skillset to integrate population-based healthcare approaches into their everyday clinical practice.
Upon completion of the MPH in Population Medicine, you will be able to:
- Competently engage in research and practice activities within the field of population medicine and describe the core framework for population-based health care approaches.
- Apply population-based healthcare approaches at the patient and community level.
- Conduct population-based applied and translational research, including the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data.
- Identify the need and design, implementation and evaluation of a population-based program(s), or intervention(s) intended to prevent, treat or manage public health related concern(s).
- Develop and report findings which are culturally and linguistically appropriate for intended target audience (patient, community, and academic).