Community Health Education Internship - The Experience
When we hear the word 'networking' many people think of 'doing lunch', selling ourselves, and handing out business cards. If we changed the word to 'Connecting' we might feel better about it. Most people really enjoy being nice and helping one another when they can. So, if you ask someone for help or information, most people will gladly provide it. Your search begins with he people you know! Never underestimate the knowledge and influence. Don't forget -- you are not asking for a job! You are seeking information, a lead, a contact, or a referral. Put as much work as you would when doing research project. More networking tips.
All Community Health Education majors must complete an internship during the last semester of the senior year. CHE interns are placed throughout the US and abroad to work hand in hand with a variety of populations and a variety of settings. The 12 credit internship is a culminating experience that provides a student with the opportunity to:
- Observe a professional health educator in practice
- Complete a health education project that is mutually beneficial to the student and the organization
- Synthesize knowledge and skills into health education practice.
- Practice health education competencies and prepare for employment in various community settings.
Explanation of CHE Placement Process
Internships in the undergraduate program primarily occur in a spring semester of the senior year. Students should begin planning for the internship once they are accepted into the professional program which is generally the fall semester of their junior year in the program. The following suggested timeline can help in the planning process.
Junior Year, Fall Semester
PERSONAL PLANNING: In order to get a better sense of where you would like to complete your internship, you may need to spend some time thinking and writing about who you are, what moves you, what your goals are and where you see yourself in the near future. In your planning process, answer the following questions and add any additional thoughts or questions of your own as you see fit.
- What is your understanding of Public Health as a field of practice.
- Provide your definition of Public Health, Community Health Education, Health Promotion.
- What Health Education Competencies do you see as your strength? In which areas do you feel you need additional effort?
- What are your long term career goals?What are your shorter-term one year and five year career goals?
- What issues (if any) move you? What are you passionate about?
- What populations (if any) interest you?
- Take a few paragraphs to summarize your professional and/or educational experiences especially as they relate to your current and future goals?
- How do you see the internship experience fitting into your plan for personal and professional growth?
Junior Year, Spring Semester
ADVISING AND PRE-REGISTRATION: During your spring semester advising session, register for HEA 426: Internship Planning course. Share your personal plan with your faculty advisor, course instructors, personal mentors, or even your peers to get feedback. Use this time to practice introducing yourself and skills to others (as if preparing for an interview) and to identify potential sites or preceptors for further investigation.
INTERESTS: Based on your personal plan, make a list of the type of agencies or organizations you would like to work for as a professional health educator. Search a variety of places for internship announcements: web, professional organizations, career services, faculty, your peers, and community agencies. You can also look in the phone book in the front section of "Community Agencies" for potentials.
RESUME AND COVER LETTER: Refine your resume (tailor your objective for an internship/service learning experience) and draft a cover letter. In the HEA 426 course you will use both for your informational interviews or applications, but right now you will need your resume for networking. UNCG's Career Services Center can assist with developing the resume and cover letter, conducts mock interviews, and can help with your internship search.
Senior Year, Fall Semester
Students will complete HEA 426: Internship Planning the fall semester of their senior year. This course is designed to prepare students for the culminating internship experience and encourages the student to demonstrate initiative in acquiring experiences and skills related to his/her individual professional needs in preparation for a career as a health education practitioner. By the end of the semester, the students will better understand the role of a student intern, identified a quality site and preceptor, and identify an appropriate internship project.