Faculty Internships in Environmental Health: Planning and Implementation

Journal of Environmental Health, December 2005 | Go to article overview

Faculty Internships in Environmental Health: Planning and Implementation


* The National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council requires that each environmental health student complete an internship or practicum class.

* Many faculty members, however, have not had field experience.

* Faculty internships could be a means of bridging the gap between academician and practitioner.

* They are beneficial primarily for two groups of professors:

--those who, after earning doctorates, enter the teaching profession without any practicum experience, and

--those who have worked full time as environmental health practitioners but have been out of the field for a significant number of years.

* Different internships can be negotiated depending on the needs and resources of the faculty member, the university, and the sponsoring agency.

* Flexibility is key.

* The length of the internship, the activities performed by the faculty intern, and the level of compensation may vary.

* Most tenured faculty who take a sabbatical leave receive full salary for one semester or a half salary for two semesters from the university.

* For a summer internship, during which faculty may not receive a university salary, compensation may be negotiated.

* Another possibility is an exchange program in which a faculty member switches positions with a practitioner in the field of environmental health.

* The author served as a faculty intern at the Vigo County Health Department in Terre Haute, Indiana, from August to December 2002. …

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