Practicums and Applied Learning 

Studies beyond the classroom are a defining component of the Public Health program

The Public Health program at COCC opens educational opportunities for co-op work experiences (credit-based internships) and independent studies, where students can design a project that is topic- or agency-specific. These experiences lay a foundation for career interests through applied, immersive learning.

Sample Practicum Sites

Deschutes County

Deschutes County Public Health
(resource mapping project)

Central Oregon Health Council

Central Oregon Health Council
(summer research projects)

Jefferson County

Jefferson County Public Health
(on-site work)

Graduate Collette Kokesh concentrated her co-op experience on working for an Indigenous peoples' public health nonprofit. "I did a literature review and organized tons of information to help the nonprofit with future grant writing for numerous things, from workshops to curriculum, to just ideas in general for how other people are improving the nutrition and health of Indigenous people." In particular, Kokesh developed her research and collaborative working skills, culminating with a "professional end product" that she shared with the nonprofit's leadership.

"The Public Health program opened up many opportunities for me as a student. I'm excited to be in the field of public health — whether that's in education, health care, community-based health, or with a nonprofit." — Sofia Stranieri, bachelor's degree in human development and family sciences, with a minor in public health, Oregon State University

"The Community Health Worker courses provide a broad range of experiences that enable a student to walk into any public health department and have a basic understanding of what is going on and be able to jump in anywhere. COCC student interns have helped my department with everything from our COVID response to mental health outreach to our harm-reduction program and the regional opioid taskforce." — Michael Baker, health services director, Jefferson County Public Health