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  • Preceptorship



    The Preceptorship (CHE 780) is designed to be a practical experience in Community Health Education.  It is meant to be a time of service and innovation to the agency, as well as, a significant learning opportunity for the candidate.  Only through a practical experience such as this, can the efficient application of knowledge, ideas, and skills in realistic problem settings occur.  Both the student and the agency should benefit from this 400-hour practical experience.

    Major Goals

    1. To enable the candidate to apply realistically the knowledge and skills attained in the CHE Program to specific practical community health education issues at an agency 
    2. Practical service to the agency 
    3. Better student preparation for future employment and/or advanced education. 


    The experience includes, but is not limited to, those agencies which employ Community Health Educators (e.g., Departments of Health, Voluntary Agencies, Hospitals and Clinics, Industry, Governmental Agencies).  In these types of settings, students will have an opportunity to experience some of the following Community Health Education processes: 

    • Program development and evaluation
    • Community organization
    • Public relations
    • Resource and referral
    • Publicity for ongoing programs
    • Small or large group training
    • Selected research activities

    Selecting a site

    The most important element in selecting a setting is the availability of a competent Preceptor (on-site supervisor) in alignment with the candidate’s area of interest.  This person will be the student’s mentor during the Preceptorship experience, directing work activities, and evaluating progress toward individual, agency, and University goals.

    A Proposal of Involvement for the experience will be developed through an interview involving the Community Health Education (CHE) Graduate Program Director, the appointed agency representative, and the student. The description will be based on the following criteria:

    • Strengths of the student
    • The needs and interests of the student
    • The strengths of the agency
    • The needs of the agency 

    Investigations into possible Preceptorship experiences should begin in the candidates’ second semester. There are files of previously utilized Preceptorship sites for review. These are accessed through the Community Health Education Graduate Program Director. Most Preceptorship experiences occur in the third or fourth semesters.

    Once a Preceptorship site has been identified, an agency interview will be scheduled. The interview will include the candidate, the agency Preceptor, and the Director. The candidate will develop a Proposal of Involvement which will then be reviewed and approved by the Program Director. The Proposal will outline specific learning objectives and procedures as to how they can be achieved during the Preceptorship. The Proposal and a resume will be submitted to the Preceptor by the Program Director before the Preceptorship begins.

    All graduate students in Community Health Education will have an eight credit graduate Preceptorship requirement (CHE 780). While the eight credits may be divided between semesters in order to align with other program requirements, a minimum of three credits of CHE 780 must be initially taken. If the Preceptorship is divided between two semesters, the full eight credits will be recorded on the ending semester. Graduate students enrolling in CHE 498 (for those without at least one year of health-related experience) or 780 must successfully complete a minimum of six graduate credit hours in Health Education to include HED 703 and at least one of the following courses: HED 701, HED 720, HED 706, and HED 770.

    • Graduate students not having one year of health-related experience will need to be involved in a preliminary Preceptorship experience (CHE 498). This specific determination will be made by the CHE Graduate Program Director at the time of admission.
    Fall, Spring, or Summer Preceptorship  

    This field training experience will be offered during the Fall and Spring semesters, and, in special instances, during Summer Sessions. Determinations regarding schedules are made by the Community Health Education Graduate Program Director. The following parameters have been developed:

    1.   Fall or Spring Semester

    • The 400-hour field experience will commence with the first official class day and terminate with the final official class day. This usually will be 14 weeks.
    • Vacation days during this time period will commensurate with the agency vacation schedule.

    2.   Summer Session

    • The 400-hour Summer Session field experience will be used whenever a student realistically cannot participate during a full semester.
    • The field experience will commence 2 weeks prior to the Summer Session’s first official class day. This will be 10 weeks.
    • Vacation days during this time period will be commensurate with agency vacation schedule.
    • The student will work a minimum of 5 hours per week per credit 

    Requirements for the Preceptorship include:

    • Completion of all documents
    • Acceptance into the Graduate Program
    • A GPA of 2.85 for CHE 498; 3.00 GPA for CHE 780
    • Recommendation of the Health Education and Health Promotion Department 

    Note: Special on-site arrangements can be developed with the agency Preceptor during unusual circumstances which require a departure from the inclusive timeframes cited above. In these instances, the minimum of 400 hours still must be maintained. Contact the CHE Graduate Program Director if there are questions

    Precetorship locations examples:

    • State health departments in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa
    • County health departments in Western Wisconsin and Minnesota
    • Medical centers, to include the Marshfield Medical Foundation and Clinic, Gundersen Health Systems, and Mayo Health System
    • Corporate sites, to include the 3M Corporation and Sentry Insurance
    • Non-profit organizations, to include the American Cancer Society, American Health Association
    • International Preceptorship experiences are possible. These can be discussed with Dr. Gilmore