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. …