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Service-Learning

Definition
Tools and Resources
Discipline-Specific Resources, Including Syllabi
Publications
Training Institutes
Training and Technical Assistance
Electronic Discussion Groups
Web Links

Definition

Service-learning is a structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection. Students engaged in service-learning provide community service in response to community-identified concerns and learn about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as citizens.

Service-learning differs from traditional clinical education in the health professions in that:

  • Service-learning strives to achieve a balance between service and learning objectives - in service-learning, partners must negotiate the differences in their needs and ex-pectations.
  • Service-learning places an emphasis on addressing community concerns and broad determinants of health
  • In service-learning, there is the integral involvement of community partners - service-learning involves a principle-centered partnership between communities and health professions schools.
  • Service-learning emphasizes reciprocal learning - In service-learning, traditional definitions of "faculty," "teacher" and "learner" are intentionally blurred. We all learn from each other.
  • Service-learning emphasizes reflective practice - In service-learning, reflection facilitates the connection between practice and theory and fosters critical thinking.
  • Service-learning places an emphasis on developing citizenship skills and achieving social change - many factors influence health and quality of life. The provision of health services is not often the most important factor. In service-learning, students place their roles as health professionals and citizens in a larger societal context

Citation: Seifer SD. (1998). Service-learning: Community-campus partnerships for health professions education. Academic Medicine, 73(3):273-277.

Tools and Resources

CCPH and our members have developed a number of tools and resources for service-learning, including PowerPoint presentations and proceedings.

Please click to view and print these service-learning tools and resources (printable with Adobe Acrobat Reader)

The Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice has developed a number of tools for community-academic partnerships between health departments and schools of public health. Although focused on public health and the practicums required by MPH programs, these tools are also useful for service-learning partnerships in a wide range of health professional disciplines.

The California State University's Service-Learning in Family Health AmeriCorps program has developed several service-learning evaluation instruments, submitted by CCPH member Season Eckardt:

Please click to view information about the Health Professions Schools in Service to the Nation Program, a national demonstration program of service-learning in the health professions

Please click for an annotated bibliography of service-learning research in higher education between about 1993-2000.

 

Discipline-Specific Resources, Including Syllabi

CCPH maintains a growing collection of service-learning syllabi and course materials. Please click on a discipline below to view service-learning syllabi and course materials from that discipline. To view and print some of these materials, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Help us expand our collection! To submit your service-learning syllabi and/or course materials, please email file attachments to info@ccph.info. Be sure to include any pertinent copyright, authorship and institutional information.

Note: Inclusion of service-learning syllabi and course materials on the CCPH website does not constitute endorsement by CCPH.

BiostatisticsMiscellaneous Health
ChiropracticNursing
Community DevelopmentNutrition
Dental Hygiene/DentistryOccupational Therapy
Geriatrics/GerontologyOptometry
Health AdministrationPharmacy
Health EducationPhysical Education
Health EthicsPhysical Therapy
Health GeographyPsychology
Health LawPublic Health/Prevention
Honors Program Social Work
InterdisciplinarySociology
MedicineSpeech Pathology and Audiology
AnthropologyWomen's Health

Additional sources of online service-learning syllabi by discipline:

Anthropology

Biostatistics

Chiropractic

Community Development

Dental Hygiene/Dentistry

Geriatrics/Gerontology

Health Administration

Health Education

Health Ethics

Health Geography

Health Law

Honors Program

  • Students in the Vaughan-Beaven Service Learning Honors Program at Kettering College of Medical Arts participate in a course of study that, critically analyses the service needs of the local, regional, national, and/or global communities, and participates in meeting identified needs. CCPH Fellow Paula Reams developed, piloted, and evaluated this new service-learning honors program in a health professions college.
  • For a description of the program's Service-Learning Contract click here.
  • For the program's Student Attitude Assessment Survey, click here.
  • For a description of the Service-Learning Honors Program click here.
  • For a description of the courses in the Service-Learning Honors Program click here.

Interdisciplinary

  1. A Tapestry of Visions: Weaving Service-Learning into a School for Health Care Professions Curriculum - authored by Candace Berardinelli and Rhonda Sims, Regis University.
  2. Integration of Service-Learning with an Interdisciplinary Focus - authored by Penny S. Brooke, University of Utah College of Nursing.
  3. Interdisciplinary Service-Learning: A Model for Community Partnership - authored by Juliann G. Sebastian, Judy Skelton, Lynne A. Hall, Ruth A. Assell, Betsy DeWitt McCollum, Karen P. West and David Fahringer, University of Kentucky.
  4. Interdisciplinary Student-Community-Patient Education Service - authored by Cristal M. Piper, Bernard J. Horak, Denice Cora-Bramble, Doreen Harper, Janet Hale, and Gene Kallenberg, George Mason University and George Washington University.
  5. Linkages: A Program of Service-Learning - authored by Susan White and JoAnne Henry, Virginia Commonwealth University.
  6. Start Small and Think Big: The CARES Interdisciplinary Service-Learning Program - authored by Judith A. McKinney, West Virginia Wesleyan College.
  7. Violence Intervention and Prevention Program - authored by Margaret Ann Mahoney, Northeastern University.

Medicine

Miscellaneous

Nursing

Nutrition

Occupational Therapy

 

Optometry

Pharmacy

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy Service-Learning Working Group

To view handouts from the November 2003 Physical Therapy Service-Learning Workgroup tele-briefing on "Building Networks" click here.

To view an overview of the November 2003 Physical Therapy Service-Learning Workgroup tele-briefing on "Creating a Service-Learning Course" click here. To view an outline on how to get started in service-learning, click here. To view a case study of a Physical Therapy program that integrated service-learning into their curriculum, please click here.

Psychology

Public Health/Prevention

Social Work

Sociology

Speech Pathology and Audiology

Women's Health

Electronic Discussion Groups

The Service-Learning listserv sponsored by the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse provides a venue for sharing information and resources on service-learning in higher education, including health professional education. As the Clearinghouse's senior program advisor for higher education, CCPH frequently posts announcements about funding, conferences and publications. To subscribe, click here.

 

 
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