202623 Exploring the relationship between service learning and community engagement among students in an urban, Historically Black University

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mercy Ndege, BS , Department of Psychology, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Joy P. Nanda, DSc, MS, MHS, MBA , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Pamela Scott-johnson, PhD , Department of Psychology, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Students engaged in participatory community activities (PCA) thru school programs also show positive physical and emotional health. However, the relationship between participation in a school's service learning curricula and PCA is unclear.

We examined the correlation between student participation in service learning courses (SLC) in a historically black institution and formal community engagement (CE).

Participants were unduplicated 733 students who completed the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) between 2004 and 2007. Respondents provided information on their level of participation in SLC student-faculty interaction, collaborative learning and voluntary community engagement.

Participants' mean age was 23 years. Females were more than twice that of males. Almost half were seniors. Two-thirds were fulltime students. Three quarters had started school in the current institution. Less than 4% were athletes while 9% had fraternity/sorority membership.

Three quarter of students who had successfully completed SLC reported CE compared to 31.1% who had not taken SLC ( c2= 20.33, p<.001). Additionally, we found significant relationship between students' classification and community engagement (c2= 80.49, p<.001) . Seniors and juniors reported greater CE (80%) than freshmen and sophomores (19%). In a multiple regression model after adjusting for covariates, students participating in SLC had greater odds of CE than those who did not participate in SLC (O.R. 6.50; 95% CI: 4.75-8.9.6,p<0.001).

Service learning is designed to increase commitment and empowerment among students and community members in the hope of improving health and psychosocial well-being.. Also, it revitalizes universities and communities to facilitate positive health outcomes for college students.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe student academic participation in service learning curricula 2. Discuss the relationship between participation in service learning curricula and voluntary community engagement

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Community Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a student in psychology pursuing my research on students involvement in community activities
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.