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All MPH programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public
Health are required to provide a culminating experience in which students demonstrate
their skills and integrate knowledge. In the MPH in Community-Oriented Public Health
Practice (COPHP), this experience is the capstone. The idea is to apply theoretical
knowledge learned in the classroom to a situation that mimics the demands of
professional practice. Faculty coach students through this project, and they assess at its
conclusion how well students have mastered the identified body of knowledge and
whether they have acquired the competencies required to be public health
professionals. For their capstone projects, students establish relationships with
clients—typically government public health agencies or community-based
organizations—who have real work to do and can support such a learning experience
for COPHP students. We have developed an approach to the capstone that allows
students a wide range of choices of types of projects while providing a highly
structured and motivating environment in which to complete the work. To help our
students produce strong culminating projects, we have developed strong expectations
and norms. We also apply our own tracking and organizing tools and adhere to our
clearly defined philosophy and culture.
Accreditation, Capstone, Client, Culminating project, Literature
review, Research, Thesis.
University of Washington School of Public Health Seattle, WA, USA.