Public health graduate education helps future practitioners to develop relevant skills, yet students have few opportunities to gain experience with community-level public health practice beyond work with health departments. Although the importance of academic-community partnerships is mentioned in the classroom, many students believe that they lack the time to pursue hands-on public health work in their local communities. Despite this, community-based organizations recognize the potential benefits of collaborating with public health students. This article describes the inception and implementation of the Connection Community Consultant Group, a program designed to increase interactions between students of public health and community-based organizations as well as to provide a forum for the application of students' developing public health knowledge and skills. Students who participate in the Connection gain public health practice experience in areas such as environmental health, healthcare access, health education, and violence prevention. The Connection serves as a model program for a mutually beneficial exchange: Graduate students can develop public health practice skills, and community-based organizations can capitalize on these skills to meet short-term needs.
- Community-based organization
- Public health practice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health