Field Experience Guidelines

HSCI 495 Field Experience

Undergraduate Student Field Experience Requirements

Students in Public Health Education and Health Care Management in the Department of Health Science and Human Ecology are required to complete a field experience. The field experience is intended to provide a supervised application of content and theory basic to health education and health care.

Health services organization and delivery, general managerial and leadership skills, and other health service management skills are common themes in the department's health care management program.


The field experience includes a 240 hour health care management students experience which takes place in an appropriate health care setting. Settings may include hospitals, managed care organizations, government agencies or health departments, community organizations, advocacy programs or other related health settings.
The entire field experience process takes two quarters, beginning with the field experience search process which takes place during HSCI 489 Pre Field Experience, experiencing the field placement in HSCI 495, a senior seminar in HSCI 493, and ending with the required final project report, portfolio, and poster presentation.

The Goal of the Field Experience

The field experience is intended to provide an applied practical experience where students have an opportunity to integrate knowledge, skill, and expereince.

The purpose of the field experience is to:

  • Provide an opportunity to work with health care professionals on a meaningful project related to health care management.
  • Integrate classroom material with planned, supervised, and practical work experience.
  • Provide an experience that exposes students to employment opportunities and health specializations.
  • Provide opportunities for leadership in health settings.
  • Provide an opportunity for students to apply competencies..
Ultimately, the field experience further contributes to helping CSUSB meet its goal to strengthen its ties with the community by contributing to the betterment of health of the population living in the vicinity of the University.

Field Experience Objectives

    During the field experience the student will be able:

  • To apply competencies and knowledge gained throughout the HSCI experience.
  • To obtain first hand experience in a health care setting.
  • To apply knowledge and skills acquired throughout the HSCI curriculum.
  • To explain how health care management fits into total public or community health.
  • To demonstrate a concern for health, human rights and dignity in the context of community health.
  • To analyze and explain the organizational structure of the host organization, including its mission, goals, values, constituencies, funding, impact on clients and other constituencies, relationship with the community and effect(s) on oneself.
  • To discuss human rights and ethical principles to be followed when working with community organizations.
  • To demonstrate problem-solving skills.
  • To demonstrate skills to work effectively across diverse sub-groups and cultures.
  • To demonstrate skills to work effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • To demonstrate leadership skills.
  • To demonstrate the ability to formulate an idea from conception to completion of a project.
  • To explain the role of politics in the work environment.
  • To demonstrate the ability to navigate effectively among various constituencies and agendas in order to accomplish the stated objectives.

Field Experience Benefits

Health Science field experience has three beneficiaries:

  1. Students: apply health care knowledge taught in class into practice inside the community and learn from the actual experience in the real world of health care.
  2. Community: working with a preceptor to improve the health of the community through services provided by the future health cadres.
  3. Institution: foster closer relationship between the Department of Health Science, the faculty, the site of internship, students and the community.

Students are required to:

  1. Determine a project based upon the organization's needs, work, or mission;
  2. Develop a field plan or scope of work based upon the above;

Types of Field Experience

Each student and assignment is individually determined Each relationship between the student and the preceptor is unique. Flexibility is important. Students and projects vary as to required supervision. One student may have a major project within one department of the organization while another student may have several smaller projects from a variety of organizational sub-units. Some placements are predetermined and require the student to fit into the specified conditions. Other placements are flexible and built around the students' specific skills and interests. The work should be flexible enough that the student can be exposed to a variety of meetings and decision-making at all levels of the organization. The diversity of student background permits a variety of projects in which students can participate.

Preceptor Responsibilities (overall responsibilities include but are not limited to):

  1. Assist the student in developing project objectives to be achieved during the internship.
  2. Orient the student to the staff, organization (including the dress code), and the community the organization serves.
  3. Plan with the student specific activities as well as their role, responsibilities, and supervision during the internship.
  4. Inform the student of required training, background check, fingerprinting or other necessary preliminary requirements.
  5. Determine with the student the dates of the internship, daily attendance, and hours of attendance.
  6. Share with the student other learning opportunities that might exist in the organization.
  7. Orient the organization's staff to the student's project objectives.
  8. Set up a site visit date and time for the faculty internship coordinator to visit the site.
  9. Approve and sign the student's internship project plan and letter of agreement prior to the onset of the student's activities with the organization.
  10. Complete and review a performance evaluation with the student at the end of the internship.
  11. Sign the bi-weekly log indicating hours and completed Department Information.