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ASPPH Presents: Reaching Beyond our Students: Recruit, Educate, Engage

Originally scheduled for the 2017 Undergraduate Summit for Public Health and Global Health Education, this webinar features three presentations:

  • Creation, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Undergraduate Public Health Summer Program for High School Students at a Health Sciences University  ~ Keri Griffin, PhD, MPH, MPA, MCHES, MCPHS University
  • Public Health Stealth: Including Public Health Concepts in a General Capstone Class ~ Beth Canfield-Simbro, PhD, MPH, CHES, University of Mount Union
  • A Focused Approach to On-Campus Recruitment through Career Communities ~ Susan EC Simmons, PhD and Sarah Cady, BA, Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington

 Find out more about each presentation below.

 Creation, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Undergraduate Public Health Summer Program for High School Students at a Health Sciences University

Keri Griffin, PhD, MPH, MPA, MCHES, School of Arts and Sciences, MCPHS University, Boston, MA

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the benefits of early exposure to the discipline of public health among rising high school juniors and seniors.
  • Describe the process undertaken to bring a three-day summer Immersion program to fruition.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of undertaking this type of summer immersion program.

MCPHS University is the oldest educational institution in the city of Boston. For nearly 200 years the institution has been exclusively devoted to preparing professionals for careers in clinical practice including pharmacy, nursing, optometry, physical therapy, and physician assistant studies.

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health Program is one of the most recent additions to the University. Since 2012, the program has been growing and changing to meet the needs of its students. This growth in interest and program enrollment closely mirrors the trend of increased interest in the undergraduate public health discipline demonstrated by the de Beaumont Foundation.

Though growth in the undergraduate public health student population has been well documented, as well as the types of positions and programs these students pursue post-graduation, what remains to be demonstrated is how and why these students are attracted to the discipline and the types of academic supports that can best encourage successful matriculation, graduation, and post-degree position placement.

To begin assessing why students are drawn to- and encourage increased knowledge of the field, a three-day immersion program was developed to provide exposure to the discipline to rising high school juniors and seniors who expressed interest in learning more about undergraduate public health. As a part of the Immersion, students completed pre- and post- program assessments inquiring about their knowledge of the discipline, where they look for information about undergraduate programs, their impressions of the three-day program, and their likelihood to consider enrolling in a baccalaureate public health program. This presentation will detail the process, impact, and expected outcome evaluation of the summer immersion program. Details about the Immersion, including the processes of promotion and recruitment, the University resources that were leveraged to create and staff the program, and next steps for continued data collection and analysis will be reported.

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 Public Health Stealth: Including Public Health Concepts in a General Capstone Class

Beth Canfield-Simbro, PhD, MPH, CHES, University of Mount Union, Alliance, OH

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe ways to incorporate public health ideas into the general education curriculum.
  • Identify possible tie-ins with general education curriculum at your institution.
  • Examine how public health content is incorporated into a general education capstone course.

While the Institute of Medicine recommends that every undergraduate have access to education in public health, it is not always possible to have a major, minor, or required introductory course in public health at every undergraduate institution. Curriculum infusion is a method where public health concepts can be integrated into general education courses, thus furthering the reach of public health without additional courses; in an era where undergraduate institutions are trying to do more with less, this idea is very attractive to administrators. The author will share her experience infusing public health concepts like poverty, food insecurity, environmental sustainability, and health care into a capstone course focused on systems thinking. First year seminar ideas that involve public health concepts will also be shared, and participants will be encouraged to examine curriculum infusion possibilities at their institution. Even in a small, private liberal arts college this can have a large impact; hundreds of students have learned about public health topics in general education classes during the past four years of a new general education curriculum which has encouraged interest in graduate study in public health among undergraduates from different majors.

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A Focused Approach to On-Campus Recruitment through Career Communities

Susan EC Simmons, PhD and Sarah Cady, BA, Office of Career Services, Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington, Bloomington, IN

Learning Objectives:

  • Apply a unique career fair model to your campus community for the purpose of tailoring recruitment opportunities for students while engaging alumni and employers.

One of the challenges in managing career recruitment opportunities in a School of Public Health offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees across diverse academic disciplines is creating recruitment events that meet the unique needs of students and employers. Another challenge is to engage a broad base of alumni as key stakeholders in the continued success of the school while maintaining their sense of belonging to a specific academic area. In order to meet these challenges, we developed a series of unique career fairs, focused around career communities, that combine traditional employer tabling, personalized alumni networking, and educational panels. Participation statistics and evaluations of participant satisfaction were gathered for each event. Outcomes of this career fair model included high ratings of student and employer satisfaction, an increased level of on-campus alumni engagement at career events, and reports of a more meaningful career fair experience for students. This career fair model can be applied to a variety of academic institutions and fosters the development of career communities that enhance the involvement of students, alumni, and employers. The customizable nature of this model works well in schools of public health that offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees across a variety of majors.