Nicole J. Champagne, EdD, School of Health and Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 3 Solomont Way, Suite 4, Lowell, MA 01854, 978-934-4132, email@example.com
Service Learning has become a popular methodology in higher education generally, and Health Education more specifically. As well, Health Education programs are encouraged to comply with a competency based curriculum guided by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) Areas of Responsibility and Competency for Entry-Level Health Educators. As a result, the present research question remained: Are Service Learning Projects equally effective in preparing health education students in the Areas of Responsibility? In this case study, six Service Learning Projects implemented at UMass Lowell in 2002 were rigorously evaluated in terms of their effectiveness in preparing students in the NCHEC Areas of Responsibility. The triangulated study used mixed methods to assess Service Learning outcomes. Student Impact Statements provided written reflection in three critical areas of inquiry. These areas of inquiry included; access to and impact on the target population, progress toward goals, and the documentation of a range of skills developed as a direct result of the Service Learning experience. A Service Learning Perceptions Survey documented studentsí and preceptorsí perceptions regarding the studentsí development of competency. Lastly, students submitted Annotated Portfolios which documented evidence of competence in the Areas of Responsibility. Annotated Portfolios were assessed by outside evaluators. Results of the study concluded that Projects were not equally effective in preparing entry-level health educators. The triangulation of three data sources was essential in drawing this conclusion. Criteria for Service Learning in Health Education must be developed to assure studentsí experiences are, in fact, assisting them in their professional development.
Keywords: Service Learning, Health Education
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA