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 2005 Project was Control of Childhood Obesity in Connecticut.
During this past spring, 25 students of our program, working alongside and in partnership with more than 130 community-based stakeholders across Connecticut, completed 2,083 hours of service-learning in pursuit of answers to 3 questions:
Can the present and future burden of childhood obesity be estimated for Connecticut?
What is the current capacity of Connecticut’s health and social service system to address the crisis we confront today?
Can new policy and regulatory strategies be put forth to reduce the severity and scope of the problem?
This occasion and the accompanying report mark the completion of their project and acknowledges the considerable contributions that many have made to the success of this educational experience. Through those combined efforts, students gained experience and skill addressing one of the most significant public health issues of our time; also, 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.
Buhl, Luce; Meliso, Pamela ; Roman, Susan ; Zito, Katie ; and DeChello, Laurie , "Halting Childhood Obesity in Connecticut" (2005). UCHC Graduate School Presentations. 3.