Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for MCH Students
What is a deployment?
We frequently respond to requests, and seek out opportunities, for MCH graduate students to be deployed to a state agency or nonprofit. The student works directly with a masters-level professional to assist the organization or agency with a time-limited project. The student receives a scholarship from the Center, which is paid directly to the student via a one-time stipend at the end of their deployment. See below for more information.
Are there specific objectives that Center has for the deployment project(s)?
Yes, the focus of these deployments is to (1) provide students with experience working in an MCH or public health agency or organization, (2) build the capacity of the organization or agency that students are deployed to, and (3) support organizations/agencies providing programs that serve and support maternal and child health populations, especially vulnerable populations.
Projects might include program or policy development, data gathering and analysis, or health promotion, all of which would make ideal learning opportunities for students while helping your agency or organization with its important work. We’ve deployed students to help the MN Prison Doula Project create a pregnancy guide for incarcerated women, comb through WIC data and communicate about cancer topics.
What are the benefits of a deployment to the student?
There are many! During their deployment, MCH trainees work to fine-tune and develop the competencies MCH professionals need in order to work with MCH populations. An MCH leader inspires and brings people together to achieve sustainable results to improve the lives of the MCH population; in order to accomplish this, MCH leaders need excellent project management skills to ensure services and programs are running smoothly and efficiently. A deployment will help build or hone the skills needed to communicate effectively, and plan, organize and prioritize projects, all of which will benefit the MCH populations students serve.
Deployments will create a solid foundation for building key skills that employers in every sector are looking for; among them, the ability to (1) communicate effectively and (2) plan, organize and prioritize projects. The MCH populations students serve will depend on these skills, which complement the MCH theories, concepts, and history students learn about in the classroom.
Finally, deployments help students build their MCH network, all while gaining practical experiences.
What are the requirements for a deployment?
- All students completing a deployment will contribute to a Student Spotlight feature as part of their deployment
- Center deployments are restricted to those currently enrolled for a minimum of 3 credits in the MCH Program at the time of their deployment
- Students may need to fill out paperwork required by the agency or organization they’re deployed to
- Students should plan for business casual attire unless told otherwise by the agency or organization they’re deployed to
- Students cannot use deployments to teach or fill TA appointments
- Students cannot be deployed and have an RAship (and vice versa)
- Students receiving support from Center funds (provided through HRSA) must be a citizen of the US or a foreign national having in his/her possession a visa permitting permanent residence in the United States, or a non-citizen national.
How does the stipend work?/What’s the process for getting paid?
- You will be paid at the end of the completed project. If the deployment is for two semesters, a stipend will be provided at the end of each semester.
- All projects must be completed and the stipend paid by the grant budget end date (June 30 of every year)
- Because the deployment is classified as a “Student Technical Support” position by payroll, students are exempt from FICA withholding. This means if your deployment stipend is $750, you will receive $750.
- Stipends range between $750-$1,500 and depend on the project, Center funding, and the number of deployments offered in a given year.
How do I apply?
You will reach out directly to the supervisor listed on the job description by the deadline (last page). Supervisors will reach out directly to those students they wish to interview. Interviews will be conducted in person or over the phone. Once the position is offered and accepted, the supervisor contacts the Center director to facilitate paperwork.
Please apply only for the deployments that you are able to commit to and are interested in. If you have applied to more than one deployment and are selected for an interview, please be frank with them and let them know that you are applying for several deployments.
If you are offered a position, please don’t leave one supervisor waiting while you wait to hear from another. Please let the offering supervisor know whether you’re accepting the offer or not within 48 hours.
Please note that you cannot be deployed and have an RAship (and vice versa), nor can you be deployed to multiple agencies. This allows more students to take advantage of more opportunities.
Who oversees the deployment project?
The day-to-day supervision, mentorship, and task management comes from the agency/organization since supervisors are the most familiar with the ins and outs of the project needs, goals and anticipated results.
Can I use a deployment for my applied practice experience (APEx)?
That depends. If a student would like to utilize a deployment as part of theirMCH Program degree requirements, they need to have their faculty advisor approve the project to ensure that the project fits the Program requirements and objectives.
If you’re considering a deployment for your applied practice experience, you must work with the Epidemiology and Community Health Student Services office (epichstu @ umn.edu) to confirm all requirements and arrange paperwork. We recommend checking in with Student Services well ahead of time to make sure it’s feasible, and reviewing the “applied practice” section of your MCH Program Guidebook for more information. The Center is not responsible for making these arrangements.
Have an idea for a deployment?
We want to hear about it! Email mch at umn.edu.