Applied Learning Experience Preceptor Information

The ALE is a practice experience, completed as half credit coursre in the final two semesters for  MPH students, and a single full credit course of study for MS-HCOM students, which offers students an opportunity to integrate and apply public health and/or health communication knowledge and skills gained in the classroom to a real world public health and health communication problems.  Further, it is an opportunity for students to provide service to the community by working at an organization that promotes and protects the health of the public from a population-based perspective.  MPH and HCOM students identify their ALE field sites in the second-to-last semester of study and use most of that semester to develop work plans to guide implementation of their projects; they spend the following – final – semester implementing their projects.
What are the criteria for the placement?
To qualify as an ALE placement site, an agency or organization must be willing to designate a preceptor who will provide guidance to the student, be available to meet with the student on a regular basis, hopefully weekly,  and provide feedback on student performance to the ALE course director.

What are the criteria for an ALE project
The best ALEs involve a well-defined project that is needed by the host agency and can realistically be completed within one semester. Students should be viewed as a consultant to a specific project rather than as an intern for the agency. MPH students are required to spend a minimum of 160 hours, and HCOM students are required to spend 140 hours, over the course of a semester performing their work on behalf of their field agency; it is generally expected that they will spend at least eight  hours per week on site. ALE projects must be population-based, related to a student’s concentration, blend theory and practice, and have significance to the agency or organization in which it is based.

What is the role of the ALE Preceptor
Preceptors are a critical element of the ALE.  We ask that preceptors play not only the traditional supervisory role, but also recognize their role as mentors. We request that preceptors find a way to spend some regularly dedicated time with a student—preferably, on a weekly basis if possible. .  Finally, we ask that preceptors evaluate student performance at two points – midway and near the end of the project – by completing evaluation forms or talking with the ALE instructor.  We also encourage preceptors to attend the student’s final oral presentation.

How do I become an ALE Preceptor

Please contact Doina Iliescu, the ALE coordinator, via phone or e-mail to discuss any question that you may have [; 617.636.3519.]

For more specific information on the public health or health communication content of the ALE, contact Paul Hattis, Senior Associate Director, MPH Program [] or Sue Gallagher, MS-HCOM Program Director and MPH HCOM Concentration Leader [].