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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Temple: Undergraduate Capstone Project is Best Practice in Public Health Education

Where do we look for solutions to tomorrow’s public health challenges? The answers may start with public health degree programs. As associate professor Dr. Sarah Bauerle Bass and other CPH faculty write in a new article in Pedagogy in Health Promotion, Temple’s undergraduate public health students complete an innovative “capstone project” which fuses public health practice and liberal arts learning objectives with the concept of civic responsibility — making it a role model for public health schools across the country.

The capstone project is a writing-intensive two-semester course sequence that centers on program planning and evaluation. Students get to know a target community, conduct needs assessments, write a grant proposal and develop a community-based public health intervention. Students apply the practical and theoretical knowledge they have acquired in their coursework, honing and strengthening the skills they will use after graduation.

“Everything learned in these classes directly translates to the workplace,” says Dr. Bass. “We ensure students get not only the skills they need to work in entry-level public health jobs, but also the mindset of thinking about their work in a larger context.”

And for public health professionals, Dr. Bass says, it is understanding that larger context which is most important. “Our public health graduates will be working in communities. It is important that they understand not only how to assess a community’s resources, but also how to work within that community. This course is grounded in this principle.”

Full article is available at http://php.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/09/26/2373379916670657.abstract.