Mentored Activity: Defining and Characterizing your Community

The first two steps of the COPC process are “Defining and Characterizing the Community.” Utilizing the readings assigned in this module, consider the following two questions:

1. How would you define your community?

2. How would you characterize your community?

With the help of your community mentor, identify at least three other key informants who live and work in the same community and ask them if they would be willing to be interviewed about related health issues within the community. During these interviews we suggest that you explain what you are doing, what you have learned about COPC and the process you used in identifying this individual. Each of the four interviews (at least three with community members AND one with your community mentor) should include the follow key questions:

  • What needs, weaknesses, and strengths do you see in the defined community?
  • What do you think are the main problems within the community that need to be resolved?
  • What do you think are the most important health concerns and needs in the community?
  • What are some of the social determinants that influence health in the community?

Interviews should be between 15 and 30 minutes in length, but some may go longer if the person has much to say. If you cannot find key informants to interview, discuss the key questions with your mentor. 

Take notes or record the interviews (with permission), as you will use the information obtained in these interviews to write the upcoming peer activity.