The Public Health Capstone (PBH 405) is 2 unit class that provides students with both practical internship experience in an approved public health agency and a senior paper. Ideally intended for seniors or advanced juniors, students are required to complete at least 120 hours in research, health education, program implementation and evaluation, or other approved objectives and goals. The Capstone may be completed in the Summer, Fall or Spring of senior year or some combination thereof, but approval is necessary. To the extent possible, student interests will be matched with an appropriate study.
The semester prior to the capstone internship placement, students are coached to identify potential placements, complete the Contract, Goals and Objectives so that they may begin at the start of the semester. Finishing the 120 hour placement with completed documentation in a timely manner satisfies course one unit.
The second unit includes writing a Senior Capstone paper, creating a professional level conference abstract and poster, attending course meetings and completing required paperwork. All Capstone students participate in on-campus seminars (once or twice per month) to provide a forum for sharing experiences, develop career objectives, and stimulate creative thinking related to their professional development. Students must attend at least one local or regional professional Health or Public Health conference during their Capstone experience.
Seniors or advanced juniors in good academic standing may apply for the capstone when they have completed sufficient coursework as outlined in the PBH course of study. Depending on the internship placement, students may need to complete several health requirements (e.g. proof of immunizations), drug testing and a criminal background check before the internship commences.
Step One – Meet with the internship coordinator at least one semester before beginning the Capstone
Complete the Internship Application form before your appointment date/time with the Internship Coordinator.
Step Two – Identify and pursue the internship placement
Over the semester prior to the capstone, identify at least 3 internship opportunities and complete interviews;
- Select one internship site from the Site Contact Listing.
- Identify the site contact on the Site Contact Listing and make appointment for interview.
- Complete the TCNJ Affiliation Agreement if not listed on the Site Listing. For new agencies, coordinate with the agency to fill out the yellow highlighted parts of the contract, obtain the signature and submit to the Department. An executed contract (completed contract) will be sent to the agency. When complete, please upload the completed Internship Application here.
- Once accepted by an agency, complete the Capstone Acceptance Form, sign the form, have your supervisor sign the form and submit the form. Once submitted it is directly sent to the Department of Public Health administration.
Step Three – Setup your internship Goals and Objectives at least by the first week of your internship.
Review the internship handbook and fill out the last two pages to setup your Goals and Objectives with your on-site supervisor. You must achieve intensive work in at least 3 Goals and Objectives AND take a leadership role on at least one project. It is advised to be responsible for and complete a number of materials or projects (e.g. creating brochures or a web page). Then get approval from the capstone coordinator and their signatures. When complete, please upload the completed intership handbook here.
Step Four – Track your hours and get signatures on your timesheet using the Capstone Timesheet Program.
The Capstone Timesheet Program will be shared with you through a Google invitation. Make sure that you download the program to your local drive. Do not open the Capstone Timesheet Program on the shared Google drive. If you do not receive the Google invitation, please contact the Public Health department office at Publichlt@tcnj.edu.
- Download the Capstone Timesheet Access Database from the Google Drive. You must have the Microsoft Office Access Program on your computer to use this program. If you do not have this software package, contact the Public Health department office at Publichlt@tcnj.edu for assistance.
- Once you have the Capstone Timesheet Access Database on your computer, follow the instructions on the Captstone Timesheet Access Database Instruction sheet found here to use the Capstone Timesheet program.
When the timesheet is complete, email the pdf file to your supervisor and have your supevisor sign the timesheet and return to you via email. Then upload your completed and signed timesheet here (use this link each time you need to upload your completed timesheet) the document
Your supervisor will be provided evaluations via email at the midpoint which is 60 hours and the final which is 120 hours.
Step Five – Keep an internship journal
Keep an internship journal to document you activities as well as provide information about your experiences. Bring these journal to your capstone classes for your supervisor to check off.
Step Six – Write your paper
In the semester that you are working on your paper, you will be assigned to a supervising professor. The course syllabus will include due dates. Click here for a sample syllabus. Please review the paper guidance, click here for paper guidance document.
Step Seven – Complete your poster or oral presentation
Identify a professional meeting, prepare an abstract or complete entry for a presentation. The TCNJ Celebration of Student Achievement (COSA) is a good venue for this presentation. Sign up via email available each semester. Upload your completed poster here.