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Field Experience: School of Health Sciences: School of Health Sciences

Field Experience for Public Health and Health Sciences

Welcome to our site! We're glad you're here and we're happy to assist you. By scrolling down or clicking on the underlined tabs to the left you will find:  'How to use this site', 'Meet our Students', 'About Us'



How to use this site

To find information on the required practicum for the MPH program you can:

- Use the drop down tabs in the teal colored banner above (click on Health Sciences)

- Open the tabs to the left and click on the underlined words

- Scroll down on each page

Meet one of our Students

“The moment I realized my work could positively impact the community I serve was when I implemented my practicum with the Coastal Health District’s public health ambassadors program. The project focused on implementing first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative in Savannah, Ga. I conducted interviews and a community health assessment. As future public health leaders, we must focus on implementing healthier food choices, habits, and physical activities.”
Krystal Kirkland                      
Master of Public Health (MPH) Graduate and Ph.D. in Public Health Student 



About Us

Walden’s program coordinators and directors, practicum director, field education coordinators, and practicum faculty members are committed to working collaboratively with students and preceptors to support successful completion of practicum experiences. 

Students should begin their inquiry with the Field Education Coordinator. Delays in obtaining information may result if students inquire first from a program director or practicum director and then must be referred to the field education coordinator. 


School of Health Sciences Practicum and Program Team Members:

Field Education Coordinator - MPH program:  Janine Hradsky, M.A.

Director of MPH Practicum and Continuing Education:  Jennifer S. Perkins, Ph.D., M.P.H., CHES

Academic Program Coordinator - MPH program: Shana Morrell, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Academic Program Director - MPH program: Michelle M. Burcin, Ph.D., M.P.H., MCHES

Dean, School of Health Sciences:  Jörg Westermann, Ph.D., M.A., Dipl.oec.Univ. 


Our roles

Field Site Preceptors 

Preceptors are qualified individuals within practicum placement settings, who are responsible for guiding a practicum experience.  It is expected that preceptors will be accessible to students and provide guidance and feedback that promotes growth of knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with Walden’s training goals, as well as with preferred practices in the profession. Preceptors are to provide mentoring and guidance appropriate to student roles in practicum sites, including ongoing feedback about student progress in meeting practicum goals.

Field Education Coordinator

The field education coordinator is a Walden employee who helps students to understand the practicum policies and procedures. The field education coordinator answers questions about the practicum application process, reviews materials to ensure that students have completed all required application and documentation steps, and works collaboratively with the practicum coordinator and program coordinator through the approval process. Once practicum applications have been approved, the field education coordinator ensures that students are enrolled in their appropriate practicum courses.

Director of MPH Practicum 

The practicum director is a Walden administrator that oversees the field experience coordinator and is responsible for course instruction/development and student research monitoring. Administrative duties include: assessing preceptors and practicum sites for appropriateness, approving Practicum Applications and Learning Agreements, and placement of students. The director also participates in university and school based residencies, continuing education and committees.  

Practicum Faculty Member

Walden faculty members teach practicum courses. Practicum faculty members collaborate with students and inform practicum coordinators about any difficulties that arise during the practicum experience. Shortly after the initiation of the practicum, practicum faculty members coordinate a conference call with students and preceptors, which is intended to ensure that the practicum goals are being addressed, that both student and preceptor understand the key points of the practicum experience, that an opportunity for questions is provided, and that any problems are identified and resolved.

Program Coordinator

Program coordinators are Walden faculty members, whose primary role is to manage and continuously improve a degree program. Program coordinators support students throughout their programs, including during the practicum. 

Program Director

The program director is a Walden administrator, whose primary role is to provide academic leadership to their specific program(s). The program director oversees activities related to program and curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation. The program director resolves student and faculty member issues that arise throughout the programs. 


Meet our Dean


Dean, School of Health Sciences:

Jörg Westermann, Ph.D., M.A., Dipl.oec.Univ. 

Dr. Westermann serves as dean for Walden’s School of Health Sciences as well as program director for the M.S. in Health Informatics and M.S. in Clinical Research Administration programs. Prior to joining Walden in 2006, he served as the director of the Certificate in Public Health program at the University of Iowa where he also was a faculty member in the Department of Health Management and Policy. In addition, Dr. Westermann was a faculty member at Ohio University and Des Moines University. 

He has been published in more than 10 journals and reports, including Journal of Healthcare Management, Health Services Management Research, and Journal of Health Administration Education, and has presented at professional conferences for associations such as the American Public Health Association and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. Recently, he was re-elected to a term on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association and also served as president of the Iowa Public Health Association. Dr. Westermann has served as fellow for the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) as well as consultant to programs considering CAHME accreditation.


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