Team Practice & Culminating Experience

Public Health Profession Team Practice


The SF State MPH program includes a rigorous, faculty-supervised public health profession team practice experience. The experience is an opportunity for students to put into practice the theory and concepts of an ecological approach to health. The two semester, 9-unit, three course (H ED 820/821/822) public health profession team practice experience aims to provide students with:

  • a firm understanding of how to plan, conduct and present community health assessments, and
  • training in professional public health practice skills.


The team practice involves collaboration with community partners to develop and conduct a community health assessment over two semesters (spring and summer of the first year). Students work in small teams on various tasks and activities, including literature review, data collection, analysis and reporting.

  • The entire class, in collaboration with the instructor and community partners, develops all aspects of the assessment and implements the selected assessment methods.
  • The class then analyzes the collected data and develops findings and recommendations.
  • These practice courses culminate in the development of an assessment report, a user friendly community brief, and a formal presentation of assessment findings and recommendations to key stakeholders. 

Past Class Community Assessment Projects

For may years, SF State Department of Health Education and the Health Equity Institute at SF State have supported the MPH Team Practice and the Community Assessment for Change course and implementation of community assessments focused on housing and health. Up until this year, the assessment done has been part of a multi-year collaboration with HOPE SF - an effort led by the Mayor's Office and SF Foundation. Its aim is to transform some of the most distressed public housing sites in San Francisco.

In 2017, our focus shifted - there will still be assessments conducted that center on housng and health, but the collaboration is expanded and different. SF State Department of Health Eucation and Health Equity Institute at SF State collaborated with UCSF's Preterm Birth Initiative to develop a community based participatory research partnership focused on preterm birth and housing in San Francisco. The 2017 MPH Team Practice and the Community Assessment for Change Course was a key part of this partnership.

The following details the titles of the community assessment projects from 2012-2016. For more information, please visit the Health Equity Institute: The HOPE SF Learning Center Website to access the community briefs and final reports that resulted from these efforts.

  • 2012 MPH Community Assessment Project: Peer Health Strategies in HOPE SF Communities
  • 2013 MPH Community Assessment Project: Mental Health of Children and Their Families Living in HOPE SF Communities
  • 2014 MPH Community Assessment Project: The Health and Well-Being of Youth Living in HOPE SF Communities
  • 2015 MPH Community Assessment Project: Art and Healing in HOPE SF Communities
  • 2016 MPH Community Assessment Project: Assessment of HOPE SF Onsite Health and Wellness Activities

Future class assessments will continue to focus on critical public health equity issues in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What Students Say About The Team Practice Experience:

  • "The team practice is a wonderful opportunity to learn a skill-set in real time."
  • "I love being in the field, working with people, and working in groups."
  • "I have been able to work with a community that I haven't had the opportunity to work with before."
  • "The team practice is professional development. It is so hands on, and builds critical practical skills that you know you will use once you leave the university setting."

Culminating Experience

H ED 890 Master of Public Health Culminating Experience Seminar

The MPH culminating experience seminar provides students the opportunity to integrate, synthesize, apply, and demonstrate mastery of the MPH competencies acquired in the program. Through a review of the professional literature, class readings and assignments, critical discussion, and instructor, advisor, and peer feedback, students develop professional products that showcase MPH competency mastery, as well as their unique interests and passions within the field of public health.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Examine critical issues in the field of public health
  • Demonstrate application and integration of MPH core competencies through the development of professional products appropriate for use in the field
  • Demonstrate skills in graduate level writing competencies
  • Practice formal presentation skills