Field Training FAQ's

When should I do my field training?

Field training should be scheduled after you have completed the majority of your required coursework—this is typically after your second semester. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for and coordinate your field training—at least two months prior to your anticipated start date is ideal.

Field training can be completed in the fall, winter, spring or summer semesters.

Who are my key field training contacts?

Faculty Advisor

You will be assigned a faculty advisor to supervise your field training experience.

Assistant Director, MPH Training

Robert Furlani, Assistant Director, MPH Training, will work with you and your faculty advisor to help you select a field training site and provide you guidance regarding your field training experience. You can contact Mr. Furlani at furlani3@buffalo.edu.

Field Training Site Mentor

The field training site mentor provides onsite supervision and support throughout your field training experience.

How many on site and credit hours are required for field training?

Students are required to register for one 3-credit field training experience of 120 work hours. Some students choose to do another field training experience at the same or at a different site, which can range from 1 – 6 credits (40 work hours per credit), depending on the activities. Students enrolling in the MPH program in the fall semester of 2018 and after are required to register for one 4-credit field training experience of 120 hours and completion of interprofessional education activities.

How do I register for field training?

You should register for field training prior to the start of your field training experience. Register for course number 544 associated with the appropriate department (CHB, EEH or STA) followed by your advisor's initials. You need to register for the semester in which you will complete the training. For example, if you plan to conduct field training in the summer, then you must register for the summer semester session. You cannot register for field training credit in one semester and complete it in another semester.

Are there any special requirements for international students on F-1 visas?

An international student on an F-1 visa must obtain authorization through International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to complete the field training component of the MPH Program. Ask your faculty advisor to submit a recommendation letter to ISSS to apply for this authorization immediately after your field training site has been finalized. View sample academic advisor recommendation letter.

What if I am a multi-award (combined degree) program student?

Students in the MPH/MSW, MPH/JD or the Preventive Medicine Residency Program share field training across both programs. Students who perform field training in the other program area must discuss the proposed experience with their MPH faculty advisor prior to initiating the field training experience. You must also complete the Field Training Waiver or Shared Credit Form in order to fulfill the field training requirement for MPH degree completion. The form is to be completed at the conclusion of your field training experience.

Multi-award students are required to complete the Field Training Report.

Questions regarding the field training requirement for multi-award students should be directed to your faculty advisor.

Students in all other multi-award programs are expected to complete MPH field training. Additional information can be found at multi-award program.

How do I choose a field training site?

Review the list of UB-affiliated organizations and then schedule a meeting with your faculty advisor and Robert Furlani, Assistant Director, MPH Training. They can provide information regarding the sites and make a recommendation based on your interests, background and experience.

Once you and your faculty advisor have agreed on a field training site, contact Mr. Robert Furlani at furlani3@buffalo.edu. Mr. Furlani will contact the site to seek approval. As part of your field training experience, Mr. Furlani will facilitate an interview with you and representatives of the organization. The purpose of the interview will be for you to gain a better understanding of activities you will perform, identify a site mentor and establish your field training schedule.

Can I complete field training at a non UB-affiliated site?

It is possible to complete your field training at a location that is not affiliated with UB; however, only after consultation with and approval from your faculty advisor. All field training guidelines, procedures and paperwork still apply to a non-affiliated site. You would also need to remain in close contact with your faculty advisor throughout the experience.

Can I complete my field training through the Office of Global Health Initiatives?

You may complete your field training experience through the Office of Global Health Initiatives. The mission of the Office of Global Health Initiatives is to identify, engage in and advance innovative and sustainable solutions to significant global health problems.

Can I complete field training at my current place of employment?

You may complete your field training at your current place of employment, although the experience must extend beyond your regular work duties and provide an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge gained in the academic portion of the MPH program.

What if I complete field training over two semesters?

A student who completes field training over two semesters, even if it’s with the same organization, must complete and submit all required forms each semester (Forms 1 thru 4, timesheet logs, and a field training report).

How am I graded for my field training experience?

Based on meetings with you, your site mentor, and field training documentation, including evaluations, your faculty advisor will assign a grade of satisfactory (S), or unsatisfactory (U).

What if I can’t complete field training?

If you register for field training credit and are unable to begin or complete the training, your faculty advisor may assign an interim incomplete grade (I/U). Your faculty advisor will provide you with guidance on how to complete field training in a subsequent semester or time period.

Can I obtain a waiver for field training if I have public health experience?

Field training plays a significant role in a student’s development; therefore, waiving field training is discouraged. However, if you are a public health professional with relevant prior experience, you can request a waiver by completing the Field Training Waiver or Shared Credit Form. Your faculty advisor will review the application to determine your eligibility for a waiver.

To be eligible for a waiver, your prior experience must have been:

  • A public health experience. This may include assessing, monitoring or conducting surveillance of health problems or services in a population; establishing health objectives and priorities for populations/groups; conducting research on population-based health problems; developing policies and intervention strategies to meet public health needs; participating in disease prevention and health promotion programs; or studying the natural history of disease or health-related effects in a population. Individual patient care in a hospital, clinic or physician office setting is not sufficient to be considered public health experience.
  • Relevant to your MPH concentration.
  • The experience must have addressed appropriate field training competencies for your concentration.
  • A cohesive, focused experience of appropriate quality as determined by your MPH concentration director.
  • Of sufficient duration—at least 120 hours in a single cohesive experience for a three-credit waiver, and 240 hours in one or two cohesive experiences for a six-credit waiver.

What documentation is required for field training?

There are four electronic field training forms, a daily timesheet log and a field training report that you are required to complete. The four electronic forms and timesheet log are located on the digital field training forms system. A field training report is submitted to your faculty advisor after completion of the field training experience and is submitted outside of the digital field training form system.

  • Form 1, Confirmation of Field Training, Form 1 details the field training core and concentration specific competencies, tasks, activities and/or projects you will perform during your field training experience.  If your field training extends beyond one semester, you will need to complete Form 1 for each semester. When to submit: Form 1 should be completed prior to the start of your field training experience.
  • Form 2, Early Review of Field Training, Form 2 documents your progress to date and any changes in the original plan. When to submit: Form 2 should be completed approximately three to four weeks into a 12-week placement, or during the second week of a six-week placement.
  • Form 3, Field Site Mentor’s Evaluation of the Field Training, Form 3 is used by the site mentor to evaluate your performance.  Once your site mentor has completed and signed Form 3, you and your faculty advisor will sign it. When to submit: Form 3 should be completed at the end of your field training experience.
  • Form 4, Student Evaluation of Field Training, Form 4 serves as your evaluation of your field training experience. When to submit: Form 4 should be completed after Form 3 has been signed by your site mentor, advisor and you.
  • Timesheet Log, Use the Timesheet Log to record the date and hours you worked, and list your major activities and accomplishments. Timesheets are approved by your site mentor and reviewed by your faculty advisor. When to submit: Timesheets should be completed each day of your field training. 

 

What should be included in my field training report?

The field training report is submitted to the faculty advisor after completion of your field training experience and is submitted outside of the digital field training form system. You should also provide a copy of the field training report to your site mentor.

Your field training report should address the items outlined below:

  • Describe the organizational unit where the field training took place; its relationship to the overall organizational structure of the agency and the services provided; program and public health objectives; and specific population groups targeted.
  • Describe the vision, mission and core values of the organization.
  • Describe the legal authority and ethical basis of the organization.
  • Describe your duties, including those related to any projects and in the context of the entire organization. Describe any projects in which you were involved, including, for example, the issues and problems, the methods used to define and address the problems, and your recommendations. Copies of relevant materials developed during the field training should be attached, if appropriate, such as literature reviews or products developed.
  • Provide examples of collaboration with diverse communities and constituencies (for example, individual clients, practitioners, agencies, community organizations, researchers, etc.).
  • Describe your involvement with interprofessional education/practice and provide examples of related activities and actions you experienced during your field training. Please make sure to address the main tenets of interprofessional education which include communication, teamwork, roles and responsibilities and ethics.
  • Provide examples of knowledge and skills learned, and include any experiences that improved your ability to engage in culturally appropriate ways with diverse communities and contribute to the empowerment of those communities.
  • Describe how core or foundational, and concentration-specific competencies were addressed.

Why is it important to keep a journal for my field training experience?

It is strongly recommended that you maintain a daily journal to record and describe activities and events encountered during your field training experience that are relevant to field training competencies. The journal will be a valuable asset in writing your field training report.