250440 Student Engagement in Community-Based Service Learning Projects

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 12:50 PM

Sheila Matano , School of Communtiy Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
MPH students enrolled in Morgan State University's School of Community Health and Policy (SCHP), are required to take Community Needs and Solutions, a course designed to integrate community based participatory research skills with a service learning approach. This course spans one academic year, and is divided into two semesters: Community Needs and Solutions I I) and Community Needs and Solutions II. All student practice experiences at SCHP are guided by the Community Health Approaches to Mobilizing Partnerships and Community Based Service-Learning model. This model was developed to bridge the gap between theory and practice by linking academia and the practice community. Students enrolled in CNS classes are challenged to work with community partners to develop and implement service learning projects in neighborhoods with unmet needs and untapped resources. Students enrolled this graduate level course recently worked with community leaders on two health related projects: one to assist a neighborhood association with planning and implementing an after school program for middle school students and a second project to mobilize art makers to get involved with a social change initiative in their neighborhood. The benefits of service learning are well documented. However, do students exposed to this pedagogical approach to learning experience intellectual, social and civic development and academic learning as noted in the literature? What challenges confront students involved with these community-based service learning projects? After completing project activities and reflecting on their interaction with community partners the class instructor, students developed recommendations to guide future community-based service learning projects.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the role of students in the community service learning project. 2. Discuss challenges in planning and implementing service learning activities and working with community leaders 3. Reflect on class experience and discuss lessons learned from a student perspective.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Service Learning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensively worked on this topic for my MPH desertation.Being graduate student I was able to study the student engagement in many different community based service learning projects.
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.