The Applied Practice Experience is a 3-credit course in which students must complete at least 2 high-quality products that are useful to the host organization.
The Applied Practice Experience (GPH 743) should address five (5) competencies, at least three (3) of which must be foundational. The goal of the applied practice experience (APE) is to demonstrate the application of public health concepts learned throughout the Master of Public Health (MPH) program and to enhance skills such as leadership, communication, and collaboration.
Just like any other course that you will have taken in the program, enrollment in GPH 743 will require registration for the course and completion of blackboard assignments, therefore plan to take time off work if necessary.
Planning Your Applied Practice Experience
The following steps may be helpful in your planning process. If you require assistance throughout this process, please contact your Practicum Coordinator.
Planning Process Steps
As you take your core and required courses, start thinking about where or what type of practical experience to complete. The following questions may be helpful in identifying a project:
1. What skills would I like to develop/enhance? (e.g. quantitative skills, communication, and facilitation skills)
2. What strengths or expertise would I bring to the organization?
3. What type of setting would I like to explore? (e.g. state department, small community -based organization, domestic, international)
4. How much flexibility would I need to complete a project? (consider whether your schedule and availability are compatible with those of the organization)
During the practice experience, students are expected to work in the field alongside other public health professionals. This is also an opportunity to build important professional networks.
Once you have a list of potential sites, start making contacts early. It is often useful to request an informational interview in order to learn more about the organization and identify potential projects.
Contact your Practicum Coordinator to discuss potential sites and preceptors.
Have your site establish a Memorandum of Understanding or an Affiliation Agreement between their organization and UNE. If any modifications are needed, have them make edits using “track changes” in Microsoft Word. If the site prefers to use their own Affiliation Agreement template, they can contact the Practicum Coordinator via email. (Please note that this process can take up to two to three months to complete.)
Beginning your Applied Practice Experience:
All core and required courses must be completed prior to beginning the applied practice experience. There will be no petitions. To register for the course all students must complete the following required paperwork:
1. An affiliation agreement between UNE and your APE site. Please begin this as soon as you’ve identified a site as this process can take up to 3 months to complete.
2. APE Site and Preceptor Pre-approval Form
3. Applied Practice Experience Learning Contract
Electronic forms are also available. Contact your practicum coordinator for DocuSign forms.
Complete and submit the required forms at least three weeks before the first day of class.
Once the forms are approved, and you have received a clearance email from the Registrar, you can register for the course – GPH 743 via Uonline.
As additional helpful resources for you, we have recorded the following webinars:
*Please remember to log into Gmail using your UNE username and password in order to view these recordings.
Applied Practice Experience Manual
Please carefully read the Applied Practice Experience Manual before beginning your planning process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What paperwork will I need?
You should have a practical experience site, preceptor, affiliation agreement, project, and final product approved prior to registering for the course. All paperwork is due 3 weeks before the start of the semester. Any paperwork submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
Do I need to contact the practicum coordinator before I submit the needed paperwork?
Yes. The APE site, preceptor, project and final products must be pre-approved before the paperwork submission deadline. Practicum coordinators will not approve sites, preceptors or projects that do not meet minimum expectations. Therefore, before obtaining signatures it is important to have a discussion with your practicum coordinator first.
Will the program provide sites for completion of the APE?
Due to the fact that we have students all over the US and in other countries, the program cannot provide sites where you can complete an APE. There is a list of sites where students have completed practice experiences in the past that can serve as a guide for your search, and your practicum coordinator can provide additional guidance on how to begin your search.
When will I work on my capstone paper?
According to the new CEPH guidelines, what is currently known as the capstone paper will be referred to as the integrative learning experience (ILE). The ILE (GPH 744) will be taken as a standalone 1 credit hour course in your last semester in the program. It can be taken alone or with another elective course.
I have completed my core and required courses but I don’t have an APE site yet, can I register for the ILE course to save time?
No. The ILE is the final course you will take in the program. As with any other discipline, you write your thesis at the end of your program, not midway through. If you have completed your core and required courses, but have not yet found a site, take your electives while you search.
What are some examples of acceptable final products?
This is not an exhaustive list, but final products that you can complete for your APE include:
• Surveys (Quantitative or qualitative)
• GIS Maps
• Program evaluation reports
• Scientific posters
• Policy evaluations
• Grant proposals
• Health promotion materials
• Training course curriculum
• Site-specific reports
Previous Practice Experience Sites
View the following List of Previous Practice Experience Sites. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and we cannot guarantee that the sites on this list are currently taking students. This list should only be used as an example of potential sites and projects. Keep in mind that approval of sites on this list is based on the availability of an appropriate preceptor and project.
Information for Preceptors
Learn more information about the Applied Practice Experience.