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The internship experience is a vital component in the overall training of students in the Public Health and Nutrition Department at Eastern Illinois University. The internship is designed to provide the student with professional work experiences. Internships assist the student in applying knowledge and competencies obtained in the classroom while acquiring practical skills needed to function as a professional in the health field. It is also meant to be a time of service to the cooperating agency.
The 8 credit, 320 clock hour internship experience takes place in agencies that employ health education and health promotion specialists such as public health departments, voluntary health agencies, hospitals or clinics, agencies that offer corporate wellness programs, disaster preparedness and emergency management agencies, and/or mental health and rehabilitation facilities. The internship should provide opportunities to gain experiences in one or more of the Eight Areas of Responsibilities of Health Educators (assessing needs; planning, implementing, evaluating and managing health education programs; serving as a health education resource person; advocating for health). See: National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.
Provide the student with practical experiences in health-related, safety, and emergency management settings under appropriate supervision by competent personnel.
Facilitate development of the student’s personal skills and knowledge needed for professional growth and employment.
Enhance the student's understanding of the role of health and safety-related agencies or organizations in the health care delivery system in contributing to individual or community quality of life.
Provide the student with opportunities to gain experiences in one or more of the Eight Areas of Responsibilities for Health Educators Specialists. (assessing needs; planning, implementing, evaluating and managing health education programs; serving as a health education resource person; advocating for health).
Apply the knowledge and skills attained during course work to practical health-related settings and issues.
Contribute significantly to the activities, events, and projects of the internship agency.
Demonstrate skill in one or more of the Eight Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists.
Describe the overall structure and function of the internship agency and the role of the agency in contributing to individual or community quality of life.
Assess professional strengths and weaknesses during the internship experience.
PUBH 3700, 4175, 4250.
Submission of the Professional Portfolio
Internships are typically 8 credit hours - 320 clock hours.
Students must begin the process of arranging the internship NO LATER than the semester prior to interning. Deadlines for internship arrangements:
December 1 for Spring internships
April 1 for Summer internships
August 1 for Fall internships
It should be considered an actual job experience sometimes involving a 40-hour workweek, 8-week time slot. Internships can be arranged on a part-time basis and spread out over the entire semester if the student's class schedule allows for adequate blocks of time and the agency is in agreement with a part-time schedule.
The Internship time frame coincides with the official calendar of Eastern Illinois University for semester start and end dates.
Students receive Credit/No Credit as a grade for the internship.
Identification, location, and selection of the site are the responsibility of the student.
The internship site should be a health-related facility or program with a health-related professional acting as the intern preceptor.
The site should be able to offer the student experiences in at least one or more of the competencies contained in the Eight Areas of Responsibilities for Health Educators Specialists.
Possible internship sites can be identified through discussions with previous interns, faculty and advisors.
Sites can also be found by exploring some of the links below.
General Internship Search Engines
Step 1: Schedule a meeting with the Department of Public Health and Nutrition Academic Advisor to discuss the placement (semester) of the internship within the academic program plan AND how many credit hours will be needed.
Step 2: Read and review ALL of the information at the Internship Webpage.
Step 4: Schedule an appointment with the PUBH Internship Coordinator.
Prior to meeting with the PUBH Internship Coordinator, complete the following:
Review information for identifying a site for your internship under the Site Selection information.
Be familiar with the Eight Areas of Responsibilities for Health Educators Specialists.
Be familiar with Competencies and Task Form.
Review the Portfolio Guidelines (portfolios are due by midterm prior to the semester interning.
Review the Sample Internship Resume
After meeting with the Internship Coordinator:
Explore and narrow down potential internship sites.
Complete the Internship Site Identification Form if you haven't; update if you need to with the required information for one to three potential sites. NOTE: You ARE NOT required to identify more than one site but are permitted to identify up to three.
Submit the Internship Site Identification Form and attach a copy of your internship resume.
Step 5: The Internship Coordinator will make official contact with the site and provide copies of the communication to you by email or mail. You SHOULD NOT contact sites prior to meeting with the Internship Coordinator. The agency may ask you to reach out to them or they may reach out to you directly.
Step 6: Agency Meeting or Interview
During the interview or meeting, be prepared to discuss with the agency preceptor and the Seven Areas of Responsibilities of Health Educators Specialists and the Competencies and Task Form.
If an internship is offered and accepted, immediately report back to the PUBH Internship Coordinator the beginning and ending dates anticipated for the internship.
Step 8: Student Internship Agreement Form
The Internship Coordinator will send a Student Internship Agreement Form to the agency for official signatures. Once the agency signs and returns the form to the Internship Coordinator, the intern will be contacted to sign the Agreement Form.
Step 9: Registration for PHN 4275. Once the Student Internship Agreement Form is signed and the internship officially arranged, the Public Health and Nutrition Department will automatically register the student for internship credit in PHN 4275.
Follow all requirements for securing an internship.
Comply with ALL agency/organization policies and guidelines concerning the following:
Sick days and holiday observances
Requirements such as criminal background checks and immunizations.
Complete all requirements of the internship including logs and the Final Summary Report by due dates.
Contact PUBH Internship Coordinator immediately if problems arise.
D2L Assignments include but are not limited to:
Final Summary Report
The agency or organization benefits from the internship program by acquiring an “extra” staff member. Interns increase productivity while reducing down-time and recruiting costs. Interns can provide assistance with special projects and free up staff for other work, helping an organization to stay on target with projects and deadlines. Interns bring diversity to the workplace. Student interns enhance public relations image and raise an organization's profile on campus and in the community. Interns can bring a different perspective to the work environment. In some cases, employers use internship experiences as a screening tool to assess the skills and abilities of prospective employees.
Public Health and Health Administration majors are preparing for professions in school and community health, health administration, and as first responders.
The curriculum incorporates the competencies and sub-competencies highlighted in the Eight Areas of Responsibility of Health Educators Specialists
Students are being trained to do needs assessments, to plan, implement, evaluate and manage health education programs, to serve as health education resource persons, and to communicate and advocate for health and health education.
Studies have examined the variables that contribute to successful internships from both the students’ and site supervisors’ perspectives. Site supervisors value communication about the expectations of the internship experience from the university. They attribute quality internships to the student who shows initiative, works independently, is self-motivated, and who exhibits professionalism in the work culture by showing up to work on time, following policies and procedures, and performing duties in a responsible manner.
Students perceive effective internships with variables such as regular supervision and the identification of a specific person to act as the intern preceptor. Students feel valued when they have a designated space for their use, are included in staff meetings and other interactions among staff in the agency, and are compensated for their work. Payment is not required for EIU Public Health Interns, but best practices show students value any type of compensation such as parking passes, meal discounts, mileage reimbursement, and other incentives when available and/or feasible.
Students appreciate being provided with specific responsibilities and clearly identified tasks but are also given some opportunities to be productive and creative on individual projects. Below is a list of potential projects or activities suitable for interns:
Conduct a needs assessment for a particular area or population served by the agency.
Plan a health education program in response to determined needs.
Assist with the implementation of a planned health education program.
Assist with the development of an evaluation tool for a program.
Assist with the coordination of health education services.
Act as a professional resource person in responding to requests for health information.
Develop health education media such as brochures, flyers, posters, slide-tape presentations, news releases, etc.
Participate in the organization of health fairs and exhibits.
Assist with research projects or data collection.
Attend and observe planning or administrative meetings.
Attend professional conferences and/or meetings when possible
Sign the Internship Agreement Form and return it to the university prior to the start date of the internship.
Designate a specific staff member who will be responsible for coordinating and directing the student's internship and provide a planned and supervised experience.
Orient the student to all applicable policies and regulations of the agency.
Provide the intern with:
A broad work exposure to the programs and services of the agency.
Opportunities to participate in the routine professional activities of the agency such as staff meetings, planning sessions, and special events.
An opportunity to work on a project(s) that provide experiences in one or more of the Eight Areas of Responsibilities of Health Education Specialists.
Professional working space, facilities, and resources for the intern's use if possible.
Notify the EIU Public Health Department Internship Coordinator of any situation or problem which may threaten the student’s successful completion of the assignment.
Complete two Intern Evaluations during the internship.
Approve students for registration in the Internship and placement at an appropriate site.
Identify an Intern Supervisor to act as liaison between the department and site.
Maintain communication with the cooperating agency by mail, email, telephone and/or personal contact concerning progress of the student intern.
Maintain regular contact with the student intern.
Assign a grade for the internship (credit or no credit).
Instruct students on the importance of confidentiality.
Insure that students are following the rules and regulations of the internship site.
The University is a member of SURMA - an intergovernmental self-insurance pool that provides its members with a program to fund liability exposures. Employees, students in internships and agents are “covered persons” under this self-insurance program and are subject to its terms and conditions. The coverage of said employees is limited to occurrences or professional services that are within the scope of their assigned duties. The program provides coverage with limits of (amount up to $1,000,000) per occurrence and covers civil liability for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage to tangible property resulting from occurrences in the conduct of university business, and damages arising out of certain professional services. Upon request, the University will furnish a certificate of insurance evidencing such coverage.