Editors: Bud Nicola, Amy Hagopian

Experiential Teaching for Public Health Practice

Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $99
Printed Copy: US $99
ISBN: 978-1-68108-388-9 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-387-2 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2017
DOI: 10.2174/97816810838721170101


Developing an effective program requires a sound administrative system and a supportive educational culture including the support of program handbooks, a Master’s project (Capstone), practicum, and skill development seminars. Experiential Teaching for Public Health Practice describes the underlying PBL and community framework for a teaching program along with a description of the competencies needed to meet workplace demands and educational accreditation requirements. It has been developed by members of University of Washington’s Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program (COPHP) curriculum. This curriculum mirrors core programmatic areas of population health, community development, quantitative research methods, environmental health, health behavior and health promotion, evaluation, policy, and management and leadership.

Key features include:

- Structured template outlining the basics of PBL programs

- Case examples given in each curricular area

- Detailed appendices with sample cases and links to original source documents

- A focus on principles of racial equality

This book is designed to give the reader hands-on help in designing and improving educational programs. It is suitable for all higher education administrators and faculty looking to improve the teaching and learning effectiveness of any academic program.


How can we best prepare the public health workforce for today’s world?

Diseases and disabilities in the human population today are extraordinarily complex: from chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer; to infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, H1N1 influenza, and Ebola; to illnesses related to occupational and environmental conditions such as asbestosis and lead poisoning. Further, the causes and determinants of these diseases and conditions are frequently multi-factorial and include broad social, economic, and environmental factors such as income, education, and influences associated with where we live, work, learn, and play. Indeed, further progress in promoting the health of all Americans may well depend on an enhanced approach to what constitutes public health practice—one that seeks explicitly to positively affect “upstream” social, economic, and environmental determinants of health.

We know that working on problems whose causes and solutions are unclear requires collaborating with and leading many different groups. This means that the people working in public health from a variety of different professional backgrounds require training that prepares them to deal with this complexity and with the different groups of stakeholders required to collectively address complex public health challenges.

As the Regional Health Administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Region X in the Northwest part of the United States, I have experience in observing and leading teams of public health professionals to work on major public health issues and have had an opportunity to work with a program that is effective in training students to become impressive and confident practitioners. The MPH in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program at the University of Washington in Seattle has created a rigorous academic environment that allows students to engage closely with health problems in the community and that teaches students to learn by doing.

Students help our region’s practitioners solve real problems and develop practice skills that will be used every day to move public health teams to take effective data-driven preventive action.

I urge other schools of public health to consider how they can best incorporate the lessons from this effective and inspiring program into their own teaching methods. Such efforts will prepare members of our future workforce for the complex challenges that await them.

Patrick O’Carroll
Regional Health Administrator, Region X
U.S. Public Health Service
Seattle, WA


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