An integral part of the Specialization is the field engagement of students. This engagement comprises of the following components:
Faculty led field exposure trip (2-3 days) to a specific site facilitated by host field organizations. The aim of this component would be to expose the students to several public health/community issues/models of health care etc. Since 6 weeks internship in health is not mandatory for the specialization, this field work component would ensure that all the students begin on the same page.
Field project 8 weeks (November to Mid-January)
The approach in field engagement has been to provide specialization students an opportunity to use their field engagement as a valuable experience to understand public health issues within the overall people-centered perspective fundamental to the program. It seeks to organize this component in the following ways:
- Students are allocated among team members based on their interests and start working with them from early on in Semester III to develop their Field Project proposals
- Help identify an organization that will support and contribute to their understanding of their particular topic of interest
- Close mentorship during the field experience is provided to guide students in achieving their research/learning goals
- Forums for dissemination of field experiences and learnings (photo exhibitions, blogs, public performances etc).
- This support is extended to other students interested in health domain too.
With this broad objective, the initiative has identified and partnered with a large set of possible field sites where students could fruitfully conduct their field work, with organizations that have longstanding and innovative community-based research projects/interventions. The initiative will continue to build these partnerships. These partnerships have proved to be fruitful in final placement of students as well. Such efforts have included inviting partner organizations to meetings, seminars, and round tables; developing a brochure to communicate the objectives and content of the specialization course; and independent interactions through research collaborations, conference participation etc.
The specialization courses have a strong practicum component with diligent planning in the design, execution and assessment of these components
Facilitating interactions with public health practitioners
In order to enhance students’ understanding and engagement with the field, interactions are regularly organized with public health practitioners who have long standing engagement with this field.
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