Course Number and Title:  HSC4876 Internship in Health Education
Credit Hours:  15 credit hours (students enrolled in the Health Studies specialization may elect to complete a 6 credit hour internship)
Semesters Offered:  Fall, Spring, and Summer C
Time Commitment: 40 hours/week for 12 weeks (students enrolled in the Health Studies specialization who elect to complete a 6 credit hour internship will earn 20 hours/week) 

HEB Internship Sites

For more information, please review the HSC 4876 Syllabus.

The health education internship is a graded practical experience in which the intern maintains a professional Health Educator workload in a community health or wellness setting.  The internship course (HSC4876) is a capstone experience designed as a culminating requirement for the Bachelor of Science in Health Education (BSHE) degree program.  As such, interns must have all coursework completed prior to beginning the internship.

The internship is meant to be a time of service and innovation to the supervising agency as well as a significant learning opportunity for the intern.  Only through a practical experience such as this can the efficient application of knowledge, ideas, and skills in a realistic work setting occur.  With this, both the intern and agency should benefit immeasurably.  The major objectives for the health education internship experience should enable the intern to:

  • Complete tasks required of a professional in the health education field.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills attained during course studies to practical community health and/or wellness issues.
  • Develop skills and increase knowledge in areas of interest within their specialization.
  • Contribute significantly to the activities, events, and projects of the internship agency.
  • Prepare for future employment or advanced education in the health education, or related fields.

HEB Internship Guidelines and Responsibilities

The internship experience includes, but it not limited to, those agencies which employ health educators in a community/public health or worksite health promotion/wellness setting (public health units, voluntary health agencies, hospitals/clinics, hospital and corporate wellness centers, area health education centers, nonprofit health agencies).

Specific internship goals, objectives, and job duties will be communicated to the University Internship Coordinator via the Internship Application (submitted in HSC4800).  Evaluation of the internship goals, objectives, and job duties will be accomplished through bi-weekly reports, as well as the midterm and final evaluations.  The agency supervisor and intern will receive all necessary forms and instructions from the university supervisor prior to the beginning of the internship semester.  Note: HSC4876 will be run through e-Learning in Canvas (http://elearning.ufl.edu/).

Intern job duties should be based on the strengths, needs, and interests of the intern and agency.  However, intern job duties must align with the Responsibilities and Competencies of Health Educator Specialists (NCHEC, 2015).  The Seven Areas of Responsibility contain a comprehensive set of Competencies defining the role of the health education specialist. These Responsibilities serve as the basis of the CHES and MCHES exam. The NCHEC Responsibilities and Competencies of Health Educator Specialists are listed below.  Note: It is highly encouraged that interns complete a major project, start to finish, during the internship experience.

HSC 4876 Prerequisites

  • Grade of C or better in HSC3032 (Foundations of Health Education) and HSC4800 (Health Education Professional Development).
    • All students must enroll in HSC4800 the semester prior to internship semester (* fall residential interns must enroll in HSC4800 the spring term prior to internship semester).
    • It is in HSC4800 that pre-internship students receive detailed information about the HEB internship, as well as the required internship paperwork and associated deadlines.
  • Satisfactory completion of all academic requirements for graduation including all required credits within the major, all general education credits, and all University requirements.
  • Satisfactory submission of all required departmental and site-specific documentation in support of your internship application.
  • Formal approval from your intended internship site.

Expectations of the Student Interns

  • Conduct him/herself as a professional; and, dress appropriately. Uphold University of Florida Student Conduct Code.
  • Consider him/herself as an integral part of the agency and follow the rules and regulations of the agency.
  • Prepare thoroughly for and conscientiously conduct each task related to the internship.
  • Consult with the agency supervisor on a regular basis and in any situation in which he/she is unsure of the appropriate measures to be taken.
  • Complete and submit all assignments to the University Internship Coordinator by the given deadline.
  • Contact the University Internship Coordinator if a problem should arise that is not satisfactorily resolved.
  • Read and adhere to all policies and procedures contained in the HSC4876 syllabus. Register for HSC4876 using the section number provided to you by the University Internship Coordinator.
  • Make sure that your internship site has all of the materials that they require of you (i.e., proof of vaccinations, certifications) to begin experience.
  • Become familiar with all HEB required forms and the due dates, as indicated on the internship website. Make sure that your site supervisor is also aware of these forms and their due dates.
  • Arrange advance meetings with your site supervisor to complete and discuss all forms.
  • Regard your relationship with your site supervisor in the same manner as your relationship with university faculty. Expect your site supervisor to guide, correct, and advise you on a regular basis.
  • Demonstrate personal characteristics appropriate for a professional (including, but not limited to) voice, speech, reliability, manner, confidence, enthusiasm, and rapport with others.
  • It is the responsibility of the intern to review and abide by specific guidelines/policies in place the selected internship site.
  • Assume the responsibilities and obligations of the other professional employees. (Some limitations of responsibilities will be necessary because of your limited experience and technical authority.) Follow the same calendar and daily schedule required of staff.
  • Sign in and out if required. Be punctual. Work the entire number of hours at the times agreed upon by you and your site supervisor. Notify your supervisor if you are unable to attend as planned and follow appropriate agency procedures (see Attendance section).
  • Respect the confidentiality of the workplace, its clients and its workers.
  • Discuss your performance of assigned duties with the site supervisor on a regular basis. Evaluate yourself on the strong and weak parts of your performance. Take the initiative to ask the site supervisor for feedback concerning your performance.
  • Be positive and enthusiastic about the internship. Offer to assist in all organizational activities.
  • Should patients, clients, and/or subjects request additional attention, clear such requests with the site supervisor.

Expectations of the Agency Supervisors

  • Familiarize him/herself with the materials provided by the university before the start of the internship.
  • Provide on‐site experience through the Agency which is pertinent and meaningful for students enrolled in the Health Education & Behavior Department at the University of Florida, and that includes job duties aligned with the responsibilities and competencies of health educators.
  • Ensure that 85%, minimally, of an intern’s work day consists of job duties aligned with the responsibilities and competencies of health educators. No more than 15% of an intern’s work day may consist of job duties outside of the responsibilities and competencies of health educators.
  • Provide the intern with a complete orientation to the site including an overview of the organizational structure, operations, and facilities along with a detailed explanation of all policies and procedures. Inform the student of any known risk or safety issues surrounding his or her work environment or duties.
  • Keep the Department informed regarding the level of education each student receives, as well as the student's level of performance and to notify and consult with the Department in the event that the student fails to make satisfactory progress.
  • Make sure the intern clearly understands all responsibilities and expectations.
  • Provide a planned instructional program that reflects sound learning experiences for the intern.
  • Share with the intern the on‐going program plan.
  • Conduct frequent evaluative sessions with the intern based on regular observation. Discuss and review all reports and evaluations with the intern. Offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Communicate progress of the intern with the University Internship Coordinator (Bi‐Weekly Comments Sheets; Midterm Evaluation; Final Evaluation).
  • Maintain regular communication with the University Internship Coordinator including when help is needed or a problem arises that requires a solution.
  • Inform the University Internship Coordinator of an intern's lack of attendance, punctuality, or any problems that occur.
  • Sign all forms which require your signature, and submit by the published due dates.