The Community-Based Master’s Project (CBMP) comprises the culminating experience required of full-time Drexel MPH students and MD/MPH students. The culminating experience for the Executive Program is completion of a report addressing a public health issue of importance.
The CBMP occurs during the second year.
Students spend at least 1.5 days each week at a community-oriented, health-related agency, working as an integral part of the organization. In preparation for developing their final paper, students are required to identify an issue or problem of significance to the target community or agency, synthesize the literature, develop an approach or methodology to address the issue, and either implement and test the validity of a proposed approach or set out a detailed prescription for addressing the problem. Projects must be focused so that they may be completed within one academic year.
The completion of a CBMP project and accompanying master’s paper are required as part of the Drexel MPH degree.
Students must complete and defend a master’s paper based on their CBMP experience, and present the research at a poster session to faculty, peers and their community preceptor. Some students go on to publish their results.
The CBMP is designed to integrate public health academic studies with public health practice skills. CBMP projects must:
Address a need identified by the host organization
Benefit the community or a particular target population
Support SPH goals and objectives
Directly relate to a student’s academic goals, objectives, and professional interests
Involve appropriate SPH faculty as preceptors and advisors.
In consultation with SPH faculty, students select a CBMP site from a database of community organizations that meet the following criteria:
Structure can accommodate a Service Learning orientation
Public health need relates to SPH goals, learning objectives and learning activities
Commitment to supporting student projects and facilitating students’ full participation.
How it Works:
Students develop and complete a learning agreement in consultation with faculty and community preceptor. A student’s CBMP is supervised by a committee comprised of: 1) a School of Public Health faculty member from the student’s designated department serving as CBMP committee chair; and 2) the community site preceptor. It is possible to have a chair from another department, but this must be approved by the School’s department chairs. The CBMP committee provides ongoing support and guidance to students during the project. Other SPH faculty can act as additional resources during the project. The CBMP committee must agree regarding successful completion of the project, including report, defense and poster presentation.
Sponsoring agencies designate a qualified member of their staff to serve as the community-based preceptor for each assigned SPH student. The preceptor guides the student’s experience on site, helps him/her think critically about the concrete details and meaning of activities, and facilitates interactions with agency staff and community members.