From Albania to Zimbabwe: A Decade of Diverse Opportunities at the Rollins School of Public Health Open Access

Howatt, Evelyn Louise Anne (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/m900nv06b?locale=en
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Abstract

Background: Students pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) often complete a summer field experience (SFE) between their first and second years of study. The Summer Field Experience Survey was created in 2004 to monitor, evaluate, and improve SFEs. An MPH student has implemented the survey each year.

Methods: Respondents include MPH students from global academic programs at RSPH as well as other students who receive funding from the Global Field Experience fund or the Global Health Institute. We sent an online Survey Monkey questionnaire to these students in August 2013 and after achieving a 90%+ response rate analyzed the data and prepared reports. For trend analysis we used results from reports for years 2004 -2012 and original survey data for years 2010 - 2012.

Results: 149 students responded to the survey in 2013; 104 (69.8%) students participated in a non U.S.-based SFE and 45 (30.2%) in a U.S.-based SFE. The number of students participating increased by 51% since 2004. SFE students have worked for over 300 organizations in 84 countries. The average cost of an SFE has fluctuated around $3,500, while students receive an average of $2,180 in funding. About 50% of students conduct human subjects research and submit a proposal for IRB approval. The proportion of students who plan to use their SFE for theses has decreased by 20% since 2004. About 80% of students each year are satisfied with their SFE, while 87% feel their SFE was a valuable experience. 61% would recommend their SFE placement.

Discussion: Based on student feedback, we encourage students to participate in an SFE as a valuable part of their public health education. The results of this survey have been used to improve student experiences including informing Emory IRB and Emory Travel Clinic policies and information sessions for students. Annual implementation, analysis and dissemination of the results by a new student each year remains a challenge. Limitations for the trend analysis stem from an evolving evaluation process that lacked consistent survey questions across years.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction....................................................................................... 2

Chapter 2: Background & Literature Review ........................................................ 3

Chapter 3: Methods............................................................................................. 5

Chapter 4: Results............................................................................................... 8

Chapter 5: Discussion.......................................................................................... 35

Chapter 6: Recommendations.............................................................................. 38

Appendices......................................................................................................... 40

References......................................................................................................... 46

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