Document Type

Report

Abstract

The UCONN Master of Public Health Program’s Practicum Project

The Practicum Project is a supervised service-learning experience that integrates curriculum with hands-on experience in a public health setting. All 2nd year students are expected to work collaboratively in assessing the extent, causes and public health responses to a selected public health problem confronting citizens of Connecticut. The focal topic for the 2007 Project was The Challenges of Living with Disabilities in Connecticut.

During this past spring, 17 students of our program, working alongside 50 communitybased stakeholders across Connecticut, completed 1,800 hours of service-learning in pursuit of answers to the following questions: • How is the concept of disability defined by various health and social service providers? • What are the estimated numbers of persons living with disabilities in Connecticut and what is the range of their disabling conditions? • What arrays of services are in place to facilitate the full integration of persons with disabilities into their communities? • What opportunities exist to expand our understanding of the challenges faced by persons living with disabilities and promote public policy on their behalf?

This occasion and the accompanying report marks the completion of the 3rd in a series of practicum project reports by UCONN MPH students. Through their combined efforts, students gained experience and skill addressing one of the most significant public health issues of our time; they gained insight into the breadth and capacity of our public health system and established invaluable relationships with public health practitioners, agencies and institutions around the state. Their report documents a rich campus-community partnership to advance public health goals.

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