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The Culminating Experience

DL Culminating Experience Handbook

The Culminating Experience (Integrated Learning Experience) is a project that synthesizes and integrates the knowledge and competencies that students acquire during their coursework. All students in MPH and MSPH programs at the SPHTM must complete a culminating experience. The distance learning programs use the public health analysis (PHA) for the culminating experience. All MPH and MSPH students are advised to complete a PHA on a topic of their choosing, as outlined below. The Culminating Experience project results in a high-quality document that could be used in your workplace or with external partners. Some PHA projects may result in a publication in a journal.

Public Health Analysis

The Public Health Analysis, or PHA, is a planned project that addresses public health issues and solutions. Students select a project in an area of interest or of use in their workplace. The PHA requires literature research into the issue, analysis and application of knowledge and findings to develop recommendations to address the problem. The PHA is very flexible in format and may address an issue relevant to the student’s career goals. The final product may take many forms.  

Some examples include:

  • Investigating and proposing solutions to a public health or workplace problem 
  • Evaluation of a workplace program or project 
  • Developing a training manual with materials and learner evaluations
  • Critical review of a public health or workplace issue with analysis and recommendations
  • Policy statement based on a critical analysis with supporting research

Consult the DL program manager. Discuss your ideas and approaches for your public health analysis with your program manager and she will assign a faculty advisor with expertise relevant to your PHA to work with you. You and your advisor will develop 3 specific objectives for your completed PHA that demonstrate program competencies from your studies and work to outline your project. You will also work to adapt or develop an assessment rubric to determine successful completion of this project. Make sure you consult with your advisor regularly and provide updates throughout the project.

At the completion of the PHA, the student submits a high quality written document. 

The PHA will then be evaluated using the rubrics in the culminating experience handbook or the project specific rubric as developed in collaboration with your advisor.

The advisor will review the final project and discuss outcomes and assessments with the student, respective to the appropriate rubric.  Upon successful completion of the Culminating Experience, the student will provide the advisor a copy of the signed Culminating Experience Completion form for signature and submission.

PHA Report Rubric