Epidemiology in Action: Applied Research in the Classroom

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SJSU Second Annual Student Success Symposium

Conference Location

San Jose, CA


Epidemiology is a required course for Public Health majors and is typically taken in students’ junior year. For the past four years, students taking the course have completed a team research project where they select a health topic, develop a cross sectional study to assess that health issue, collect and analyze data, and present their findings. With weekly deliverables, the project is scaffolded to match course content, allowing students to immediately apply the critical thinking and research methods that they learn in the classroom to real-world problems. Topics range from food insecurity to depression to drug use and for many students this is their first experience conducting research, a high impact educational practice. In 2018, students replicated their class project and presented their findings at the American Public Health Association annual meeting. Current modifications to the project aim to incorporate IRB approval and connect with community partners so research is immediately applied by county agencies or organizations – e.g. working with Tobacco Free Communities to assess youth vaping. Students who wish to publish or present their work are mentored to do so after they complete the class, during their senior year.


Public Health and Recreation