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Interdisciplinary Service-Learning: A teaching pedagogy for enhancing the application of health educator core competencies Angela L. Hinzey Results

Background

Conclusions

Academic Program - % of Total Student Enrollment in ISCOPES Medical student at Deanwood Community Center

Service-Learning is an experiential education method that simultaneously promotes the pursuit of learning objectives and achievement of meaningful community outcomes. Few service-learning programs subsist at a professional educational level and fewer still are interprofessional, a crucial emerging trend in professional development. The ISCOPES* program at The George Washington University is one such program, involving graduate-level, health sciences students, faculty, community leaders, and consumers in interprofessional health education activities.

17.8

Master of Public Health (14.7%) Master of Science (3.9%)

The greatest percentage of students (53%) reported a positive change in their ability to “Plan a Needs and Resources Assessment with Key Stakeholders” (NCHEC Competency #1) compared to their retrospective pre self-assessment. Students associated with at least one program in the School of Public Health and Health Services were more likely to demonstrate positive growth as compared to students solely enrolled in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Substantial differences were also observed among students based upon their team assignment.

0.8 0.8

Nurse Practitioner (28.7%)

4.7 14.7

Physician Assistant/Master of Public Health (4.7%) Physician Assistant (0.8%)

The results of this study reveal that a positive impact on students’ health educator competencies was demonstrated after completion of a service learning program.

3.9

Physical Therapy (24.8%) 28.7

130 students (96%) completed retrospective pre-tests and post-tests in April 2011. 90% were female and the average age was 27 (minimum = 21; maximum = 53). There were no differences in the age and gender between the study population and the entire student population.

Each student enrolled in ISCOPES spends a minimum of 50 total hours over two semesters in student-led team meetings that include faculty and community coaching; in smaller work groups for content research and project development; and on site at local non-profit health and community-based organizations for neighborhood capacity building and evaluation. Students also have access to a distance education platform wherein project development and management theories and strategies are outlined. Students completed retrospective pre-tests and post-tests at the conclusion of the program.

Nurse Practitioner student at Girard Street, Community of Hope Physical Therapy student at Marie Reed School, Community of Hope

BENEFICIARY FOCUS

Provider Learning

Service-Learning

Volunteerism

24.8

MD Yr 2 (0.8%)

Methods

Community Service

Health Sciences Management and Leadership (3.9%) MD Yr 1 (17.8%)

The objective of the study was to evaluate how effectively this service-learning program builds application skills in health education project planning, implementation, and evaluation. Specifically, the intent was to evaluate students in their development and application of the 34 core subcompetencies defined by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC) for Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES).

Recipient Service

The measurement of positive movement in self-reported ability from “Not At All Able” to “Fairly Able” to “Able” to “Very Able” was the primary outcome variable.

3.9

Field Education

Internship

Andrew Furco. “Service-Learning: A Balanced Approach to Experiential Education.” Expanding Boundaries: Serving and Learning. Washington, DC: Corporation for National Service, 1996. 2-6.

*ISCOPES – Interdisciplinary Student Community-Oriented Prevention Enhancement Service

Data was entered into a SPSS database. Respondent scores were then assigned to 6 categories based on direction and scope of ability. Scores ranged from -3 (greatest negative change) to 3 (greatest positive change). All Students (%)

MS

PA & PA/ MPH

PT

MD

MPH

HSML

NP

Plan a Needs and Resources Assessment with Key Stakeholders (#1)

53%

44%

48%

63%

80%

80%

43%

46%

Address Factors That [Help and Hinder Health Promotion Services] Implementation (#12)

50%

31%

67%

58%

80%

60%

29%

49%

Examine Factors That Enhance or Compromise the Process of Health [Promotion Services] (#6)

50%

31%

59%

74%

60%

80%

71%

38%

Develop [Health Promotion Services] Goals (#9)

50%

25%

54%

74%

60%

100%

57%

49%

Infer Needs for Health [Promotion Services at Your Site] Based on Assessment Findings (#7)

49%

41%

58%

58%

80%

60%

43%

41%

Involve Priority Populations and Other Stakeholders in the [Health Promotion Services] Planning Process (#8)

48%

25%

50%

53%

60%

80%

71%

54%

Implement a [Health Promotion Service] (#13)

47%

31%

49%

63%

60%

80%

71%

41%

Engage in Health [Promotion Services] Advocacy (#32)

47%

25%

50%

63%

100%

80%

71%

41%

Select or Design [Culturally Appropriate Health Promotion Services] Strategies and Interventions (#10)

47%

25%

58%

53%

60%

60%

57%

51%

Develop an Evaluation Plan [for a Health Promotion Service] (#16)

45%

31%

50%

53%

80%

60%

43%

43%

Top 10 Positive Competency Changes

Limitations and Future Research Several limitations are important to consider in the interpretation of these results. Variability of student placements, confounding variance of discipline-specific curricula, distorted self-ranking of baseline ability, and discipline-centric differences in motivation for participation in this service-learning program may have limited the ability to accurately reflect significant growth in these 34 competencies. Future research should be conducted with a modified study design including pre-assessment and post-assessment, control group comparison, and self-efficacy demonstrations at both baseline and program conclusion. Moreover, future research would be valuable to study refined program-specific learning competencies that are more generalizable across disciplines and teams.

Acknowledgments This research would not be possible without the commitment of the students, University faculty, community leaders, DC residents, and ISCOPES staff who serve and learn from each other every year. Thanks to The George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences and School of Public Health and Health Services for making the ISCOPES program possible.


A teaching pedagogy for enhancing the application of health educator core competencies