Supporting students from the application and admissions process through the completion of their degree and Commencement ceremony.
The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Office of Student Services (OSS) supports prospective and current students from the application and admissions process through the Commencement ceremony celebrating the completion of their degree. The mission of OSS is to enhance the development of FSPH students by providing a supportive and safe environment in which they can achieve success. In addition to connecting students with information and resources, the office fosters a sense of community among UCLA Fielding students.
As a central hub for student services within the UCLA Fielding School, OSS augments and complements the support provided by each student’s academic department. Prospective and current students are encouraged to approach OSS staff with any questions or concerns related to admissions, enrollment, advising, FSPH and UCLA campus resources, and ideas for community building. The office also offers assistance to students who need special accommodations, and serves as a liaison to support offices across the UCLA campus. Among the office’s many functions:
Overseeing Admissions and Financial Support
In conjunction with the school’s five academic departments, OSS oversees FSPH admissions — and, given that affordability is a major consideration for nearly every student, the office also works closely with incoming and continuing students, offering a variety of economic support mechanisms to help ease the financial burden of pursuing graduate education. Incoming students are considered for FSPH school-wide fellowships and awards based on merit, need, diversity, and a demonstrated commitment to public health. Continuing students are also considered for funding through an open application system and via departmental nominations. The school offers limited support to MPH students for their fieldwork experience. Support is also available from the UCLA Graduate Division and other UCLA-based centers. Students are nominated for awards for which they qualify, and information about campus and other opportunities is widely disseminated via a student listserv and Slack channel.
Students experiencing economic difficulties and requiring other economic support mechanisms are directed to campus offices appropriate to their situation, including the Community Programs Office, which addresses food instability; the Economic Crisis Response Team, which provides support to students with financial crises; the Financial Wellness Program, which promotes financial literacy via workshops and one-on-one counseling; and the UCLA CalFresh Initiative, which consists of a team of trained students who assist fellow undergraduate and graduate students in applying for a grocery allowance of up to $250 per month. FSPH has also partnered with the UCLA Financial Aid & Scholarships Office to offer short-term, no-interest loans to students for living expenses and emergency situations.
To enhance students’ UCLA Fielding experience, OSS works closely with departments, student groups, and other FSPH offices to produce special programming and events on timely topics, as well as social occasions. These efforts bring students together across FSPH departments, as well as with students in other health sciences schools (medicine, nursing, and dentistry) and other parts of the UCLA campus. In addition, OSS engages with students on an ongoing basis to ensure that they remain on track to meet requirements for graduation.
Soliciting Feedback, Ensuring Transparency
In response to student input, OSS has undertaken steps to increase transparency and bolster communications between the FSPH administration and students. The office has worked closely with the Public Health Student Association (PHSA) and Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to ensure that findings from their annual surveys are distributed to the student population as well as posted online. OSS has also initiated an online form for students to submit questions and provide feedback; this information is shared with PHSA, which consults with OSS and appropriate offices or departments on next steps. In addition, OSS releases a summary of submissions and actions initiated.
The office also supports the FSPH Ambassador Program, in which passionate, involved, and dedicated FSPH students promote and represent the diversity and uniqueness of the school through a collaboration with central administrative offices. The student ambassadors plan and execute social, networking, professional development, and other events, as well as representing FSPH on student panels and events such as FSPH Open House and Admitted Students Day, and assisting with the recruitment, retention, and continued mentorship of all FSPH students. These talented, diverse, and enthusiastic students play a vital role in fostering a strong sense of community at the UCLA Fielding School.