Connecting with a Student

MPH Practice Open House 2017
My Practicum posting is live on CareerConnect. Now what?

This is a sometimes difficult waiting period for preceptors, while students are gathering information about Practicum opportunities, doing independent research on organizations with whom they may want to work, and talking with faculty and other students. Here are some FAQs about this stage of the process.

How long do students typically search for their Practicum?
For an academic-year Practicum, students are actively looking from mid-September through mid- to late October. It depends on the deadlines for their particular field of study, but this is when we see the most activity. For a student who needs to have a Learning Agreement (scope, deliverables, etc.) submitted by early November, they should have identified their preceptor by mid-October, so that they can then work out the details with you to draft this document.

I met some students at the Practice Open House that would be great to work with. How will they follow up with me?
If you have posted on CareerConnect, students should apply through CareerConnect. However, if they reach out to you directly by email, that is fine too. We have tried to make the process as flexible as possible. If you met some interesting students at the Open House and you collected their contact information, feel free to reach out to your top candidates directly in any way that you like. Although ideally a candidate is being proactive and contacting you first, the networking process is new for many students, and so contacting them to set up a time to meet or talk can help move this along more quickly.

I found a student I want to work with. What do I do next?
You should arrange to meet or talk with the student directly. If you decide to move forward, you should discuss your timeframe, schedule, and the scope. Then the student will be drafting a Learning Agreement for you and their instructor to review and approve. There is no formal “offer” process, and you do not need to do anything else in CareerConnect at this time.

The student I am interested in has a Federal Work Study award. I’d like to learn more about how much I would be expected to pay if it is in my budget to do so.
The Federal Work Study Program subsidizes the compensation for these students so that it is very affordable for a host organization. We have provided some cost scenarios here. Because the Practicum is a degree requirement, host organizations are not required to compensate students. However, students are very appreciative of compensation if it is available, particularly students on Federal Work Study.

No one has applied. What does that mean?
Through CareerConnect, we can see that students do a lot of “shopping” for a Practicum opportunity before they apply. Many postings will get 1 or 2 applicants, some receive about 5, and some do not receive any applications through CareerConnect. It is possible that some of these are confirmed outside of the CareerConnect system, because we do not restrict this process in any way; however, unfortunately, not every posting results in a student placement. The interests of each incoming group of students varies widely from year to year, so it is hard to predict whether a student will fill your posting. We recognize that you still need to move forward with your work – so you will need to decide whether to give it more time, or to find another plan to complete the project without a student. Feel free to contact us to talk this through.

If I don’t find a student this time, are there other opportunities to recruit?
Yes, there are two MPH programs. One group of students must complete their practicum (120 hours) during the academic year; and the other group completes their practicum (300 hours) during the summer. The MPH practice office sends out requests for postings in late summer for the academic year and in early winter for the summer. Currently we host a Practice Open House in September for academic year placements, and are tentatively planning a similar open house for February 2018 for summer placements.

I still have questions!
Please contact us to set up a time to talk by phone or come to our office to meet with us in person.