#APM17 Day 1 – Infusing Policy Practice into BSW Service Learning Courses

As part of the Field Education Institute, I am presenting a poster with my colleagues Scott Batey, Yookyong Lee, and Chris Walker (University of Alabama at Birmingham) about the work we did for our Policy Practice in Field Education Initiative Grant from the Council on Social Work Education.

Our project involved creating more policy-based learning opportunities into our undergraduate service learning courses, creating a series of policy-focused activities that are  grounded in community-based settings. Our curriculum includes three practice courses with a one-hour service-learning lab.  Students take the courses sequentially and complete 32 hours in service learning at a community-based agency or simulation for each lab. By integrating policy-focused learning activities into these service-learning labs, we hope to bridge the gap between our policy courses and field education while simultaneously providing all of our students the opportunity to see   how policy affects communities and agencies in our state, especially related to issues of economic and racial disparities.  Our specific objectives for this planning grant included: 1) Incorporate at least one policy-based assignment or learning opportunity into each of the service learning labs in our practice sequence; 2) increase and strengthen the number of service learning community partners with local and state-wide advocacy agencies focused on addressing issues of economic and racial disparities; and 3) Enhance our field advisory board by increasing membership to include community partners from our service learning projects, especially partners from policy-based agencies.

Here is a copy of our poster:

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#ESCUNO2016 Annual Conference – 10/12/16

Day 2 at the Engaged Scholarship Consortium, and today I am presenting with my colleague Dr. Erika Rinker about our experiences with the UAB Fellows in Engaged Scholarship Program.  Unfortunately, our beloved colleague Libba Vaughan, who is really the mastermind behind the program, could not join us today.  We hope to do her proud with this presentation.   If you are at the conference, please join us in CenturyLink Room 207 at 1:45 PM today.

Our presentation provides an overview of a faculty development program providing a one-year fellowship to selected faculty members eager to develop exemplary curricular service learning approaches in higher education. Erika and I (Social Work and Foreign Languages and Literatures) will share our experiences as fellows in the program and lessons we learned.

Here is our abstract:

rinkerhitchcock_escpresentation_oct2016_10-4-16This presentation provides an overview of an urban research university’s faculty development program that provides a one-year fellowship to selected faculty members eager to develop exemplary curricular service learning approaches in higher education. The goal of the program is to help faculty members develop a strong background in service learning pedagogy and provide a venue for them to design a new course or to modify an existing course to include a service learning component. The Fellows program is structured around a year-long series of workshops that explore theories, implementation, and assessment of academic service learning and how to integrate this methodology into courses across a variety of disciplines and professional programs. In its’ third year, the program has supported 33 faculty fellows to date. Participants attending this presentation will learn about the program’s history and implementation, application process, workshop topics, and successes and challenges. Further, two fellows (Social Work and Foreign Languages and Literatures) from the program will describe their experiences and perspectives their year-long fellowship including changes to their courses, pedagogy and becoming part of a community of inquiry focused on engaged scholarship. Their perspectives will provide differences and similarities between educators working in the humanities/liberal arts and professional healthcare-based educational programs.

Click here to access the slides from the presentation.

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Service Learning Labs: Integrating experiential learning across a BSW Curriculum – #BPDTX16

BPD_ServiceLearningLab_Presentation_April2016Day 4 of #BPDTX16 for me and my last presentation will be at 9:30 AM today.  I will be talking about the work I have been doing with my colleague, Dr. Scott Batey, along with many other partners at UAB and in the Birmingham community.  Unfortunately, Scott was not able to attend BPD this year, but he feels confident I won’t mess up the presentation.  For our session, we really wanted to highlight the development of service learning labs in our BSW curriculum as a case study, hopefully offering tips and ideas for others wanting to incorporate more service learning into their assignments, courses & curricula.

Here are the learning objectives for the session:

1. Understand how to plan and engage multiple partners in developing a curriculum-based service learning project to support student and community outcomes.

2. Determine how educators can duplicate the planning process for curriculum-based service learning projects at their own institutions.

3. Appreciate the role of professional collaboration in the planning and development of service-learning projects across a curriculum.

You can access a copy of the slides here: https://www.slideshare.net/secret/5GRJ7Qx3hVLzuG 

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Implementing Service Learning Labs across a Social Work Curriculum

Today, D. Scott Batey and I are presenting at the 16th Annual Conference of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium at Penn State about our work with service learning labs in the social work curriculum at UAB.  In this workshop, we will describe how we developed and implemented the service learning labs to date, discussing lessons learned from our planning process.  We hope to provide a model that participants can apply to their own institutions, and will share the next steps for our project, including implementation and assessment of the service labs.  Additionally, there will be time for participants to brainstorm with the presenters and each other. The learning objectives for this session include:

1. Understand strategies to plan & engage multiple partners in developing a community-based service learning project to support student & community outcomes.

2. Demonstrate how educators can duplicate the planning process for curriculum-based service learning projects at their institutions.

3. Appreciate the role of professional collaboration in the planning and development of service learning projects across a curriculum.

You can access a copy of the slides for the workshop PPT Slides for ESC Presentation.

Finally, here is the abstract for our presentation, titled Implementing Service Learning Labs Across a Social Work Curriculum:

Service learning has become an important component of higher education.  In addition to building community investment among a new generation of emerging adults, service learning increases community capacity to meet the many and varied local challenges.  These activities are closely aligned with the professional values of social work and social work education, and graduates of one undergraduate social work program have consistently voiced a desire for more practice opportunities.  To respond to these issues, we began a strategic planning process for integrating service learning into the professional curriculum.

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