Preceptorship in Community Health Education

Undergraduates choosing Community Health Education are also committing to lead individuals, groups, and communities to better health through prevention. During their General Education participants in this major are advancing what they understand about biology, chemistry, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, communications, social and/or behavioral sciences and statistics. Participants use their General Education courses to prepare for more applied courses about health care, environmental health, alcohol and other drugs, sexuality, aging, nutrition, mental and emotional health, injuries and violence, disease, biometry, epidemiology, theories of health behavior, and courses on the practice of community health education. Frequently participants in their applied courses engage in projects outside the classroom where they learn to apply new concepts while serving the community. Participants in the Community Health Education Program discover that service learning is a hallmark of this course of study.

During their last undergraduate semester, majors in Community Health Education participate in a full-time 15-credit service-learning course named the Undergraduate Community Health Education Preceptorship. Faculty created this experience as a capstone for undergraduate coursework, and participants find this to be a cornerstone for their career.

Frequently new majors in Community Health Education imagine a future job they would like to assume after graduation, but few realize all the possibilities they will discover during their coursework. The most common practice settings include governmental public health agencies, health care organizations, worksite health programs, educational organizations, and voluntary or non-governmental organizations. The sequence and breadth of courses in the major will help participants develop and refine their interests.

About a year before the conclusion of course work, program participants work with a faculty member to align with a preceptorship site reflecting their interests in specific settings, health concerns, populations, and sometimes locations. The faculty adviser arranges a visit between the student preceptee and the agency preceptor who will mentor the student during the preceptorship. Alignments are finalized when the faculty member, student preceptee, and agency preceptor agree on the features of a student-generated proposal.

The objectives of the preceptorship are three fold: (1) to apply realistically the knowledge and skills attained in the campus setting to specific practical community health education issues in the agency setting, (2) resulting in practical service to the agency, and (3) better student preparation for future employment and/or advanced education.

The Preceptorship experience will take place in an agency which employs Community Health Educators and which has health education as a major part of its mission. The agency must provide first-hand involvement in such activities as:

  • Needs assessment
  • Program development and implementation
  • Instruction
  • Public speaking
  • Written communication
  • Materials and media preparation
  • Community organization
  • Public relations and publicity
  • Program evaluation
  • Services coordination
  • Resources acquisition and dissemination

The Preceptorship is offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. Limited opportunities may be available during the Summer semester. Prerequisites for the Preceptorship include:

  1. Successful completion of all forms
  2. Successful completion of all coursework
  3. CGPA of 2.75
  4. MGPA of 2.75
  5. Recommendation by the Department

Community Health Education majors are encouraged to learn more about the Preceptorship by going to the Preceptorship Digital Library. If you have trouble accessing the Preceptorship Digital Library site, please contact the Preceptorship Coordinator at rjecklin@uwlax.edu.