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Demystifying the Oral Comprehensive Exam April 8, 2015.

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1 Demystifying the Oral Comprehensive Exam April 8, 2015

2 Context  Offered Fall, Winter, Spring.  Must be registered for 1cr at time of exam (“test prep” credit or a course)  Exams must be complete by the 8 th week of the graduating term (date will be provided)  You schedule the exam with your team; don’t wait! Exam provided Monday-Friday. You need a 3hr interval with Chair and the second two hours with the balance of the committee.  You will reserve a small classroom; contact SCH  If you are planning on a November exam, please note dates of APHA and AGA conferences.  An email soliciting exam takers for a given term will go out over the SCHgraduates listserv. You must respond to this email to be assigned a team.  Exam may be taken twice, a minimum of one term apart, generally with the same committee.

3 Format  Three hours, total, including:  1 hour prep time with questions provided by Chair, to collect your thoughts  1.5 hours with committee .5 hour committee discussion and results  3-5 Competency-based questions, plus additional queries based on responses  Panel of three SCH faculty, generally Chaired by your advisor.  Teams determined by Track Coordinator

4 Where do these questions come from?  Question bank developed by Health Promotion track faculty  Span the breadth of HP competencies (on website, in handbooks, on syllabi – do review)  The questions you are asked will represent that breadth  Some questions have more components than others, hence the range of 3-5  The exam Chair selects the questions for your exam

5 The BIG Question: Can a team of three faculty determine that you are able to appropriately synthesize and apply the concepts and skills learned while in this program to a variety of real world scenarios?

6 Or…. Can we observe that you are thinking like a public health professional? DRAFT 040215

7 Getting There Within Courses  History and Evolution of Topics  Context  Concepts  Skills & Applications  Definitions  Formulae  Rationale  Benefits & Liabilities  Concerns & Approaches to Limit Them  Etc. -- You learned it, please know it and how to use it Among Courses  Appropriately bring concepts and skills together:  outside of their class silos  in a coherent plan of action  for a specific population, problem, and context  Be able to identify and assess the benefits and liabilities of varied approaches  Determine what can be done to mitigate concerns, and understand what the implications are if you can’t  …then determine the best course of action

8 In Other “Words”: Class A xxx Class B xxx Class C xxx Class D xxx

9 One Potential Study Model Health Problem/Disease Population Setting Problem Statement Theory Methods Design Measurement Evaluation Communication Policy Implications Other Implications Ethical Considerations Assuring Cultural Competence Benefits/Liabilities What else needs to be done to assure the best plan? Practice by changing one of the three top elements at a time, and “flip” all the subsequent variables accordingly.

10 Final tips  Do be prepared to speak to a number of contexts; Don’t be completely wedded to one model or plan!  Recognize that all skills and topics have bearing on one another, and be prepared to reason through those impacts.  Do feel free to ask for clarification, explain your thinking as it evolves, and present coherent possibilities.  Do practice giving your answers out loud: much of your professional life will be spent representing your ideas verbally, which is why we emphasize this skill in our program and in our exam. Speak with confidence!  Do prepare with a study group and practice asking one another questions that synthesize and apply material from throughout the program.

11 Questions?

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