A Whole New Light:  Partnering with  International Organizations Alison J. Beck, PhD, OTR Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, PhD, OTR...
Objectives <ul><li>Describe the process of planning and conducting an international service-learning course </li></ul><ul>...
What is Service-Learning? <ul><li>“ the principle that community service can be  connected to classroom learning  in such ...
Blurred Boundaries?  Service-Learning Clinical Fieldwork Focus  Community partnership Professional development Process - r...
Identification of Community Partners in Belize <ul><li>How it all came about  </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborated with third pa...
Course Overview <ul><li>OCCT 5091 Special Topics </li></ul><ul><li>8 MOTIII students (cost = $1795.00/student) </li></ul><...
Timeline for course development Date Activity March 2009 Initial contact made with potential third party vendor April – Ju...
Goals – Objectives - Outcomes  <ul><li>Study Abroad Goal 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare the students to be global practition...
Goals – Objectives - Outcomes  <ul><li>Study Abroad Goal 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Students develop advocacy and leadership ski...
Goals – Objectives - Outcomes  <ul><li>Study Abroad Goal 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty serve as a role model for students a...
Goals – Objectives - Outcomes  <ul><li>Study Abroad Goal 4: </li></ul><ul><li>Services provided be sustainable by the comm...
Goals – Objectives - Outcomes  <ul><li>Course Objective 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Plan occupational therapy interventions appro...
Goals – Objectives - Outcomes  <ul><li>Course Objective 5: </li></ul><ul><li>Gain an awareness of disability advocacy and ...
Benefits of International Experience  to Students <ul><li>Requires problem-solving that is client centered and culturally ...
Benefit to the Community Partners <ul><li>Services provided </li></ul><ul><li>Staff training </li></ul><ul><li>Funding opp...
Sustainability <ul><li>Selection of community partner </li></ul><ul><li>Continued involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitati...
Student Reflections
Personal <ul><li>“ I have learned so much about myself. I feel more confident with patients and I feel somewhat more ready...
A Whole New Light <ul><li>“ It has allowed me to see OT and health care and the world in a whole new light.”  Natalie Luce...
Frustrations/Challenges <ul><li>“ It’s frustrating and challenging to feel doubt in your abilities. To come into a complet...
Conclusions <ul><li>International service learning opportunities provide a rich and unique learning experience </li></ul><...
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OT Communnity Service Learning

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An overview of the UTHSCSA OT Department's Community Service Learning Course in Belize

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OT Communnity Service Learning

  1. 1. A Whole New Light: Partnering with International Organizations Alison J. Beck, PhD, OTR Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, PhD, OTR, 4 th Annual Community Service Learning Conference April 7, 2011
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Describe the process of planning and conducting an international service-learning course </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the benefits and considerations unique to this type of course </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the issues surrounding the sustainability of services in an international setting </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Service-Learning? <ul><li>“ the principle that community service can be connected to classroom learning in such a way that service is more informed by theoretical and conceptual understanding……… </li></ul>…… and the learning becomes more informed by the realities of the world” Joint Educational project. (2005). Service-Learning. University of Southern California, College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.
  4. 4. Blurred Boundaries? Service-Learning Clinical Fieldwork Focus Community partnership Professional development Process - reflection Outcome - mastery Roles Instructor is partner/guide Instructor directs learning/authoritative role Student is assisted to be a community advocate for social change Student is assisted to be a health professional Process Community centered Education centered Needs analysis on site Predetermined by school and fieldwork educator Adapted from: P. Crist (2011) . Involve me and I understand. In Flecky & Gitlow (Eds), Service-Learning in Occupational Therapy Education: Philosophy and Practice (pp.275-288). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
  5. 5. Identification of Community Partners in Belize <ul><li>How it all came about </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborated with third party vendor to establish contact with potential partners </li></ul><ul><li>Exploratory visit </li></ul><ul><li>Fostered relationship with identified partners for one year prior to course </li></ul>
  6. 6. Course Overview <ul><li>OCCT 5091 Special Topics </li></ul><ul><li>8 MOTIII students (cost = $1795.00/student) </li></ul><ul><li>2 UTHSCSA OT faculty and 1 community-based OT </li></ul><ul><li>9 days (August 7 – August 15, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodations provided by Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary </li></ul><ul><li>Care Belize and Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly were community partners </li></ul>
  7. 7. Timeline for course development Date Activity March 2009 Initial contact made with potential third party vendor April – July 2009 Development of schedule to visit health service providers August 2009 Exploratory visit conducted September 2009 Development of SHP International program proposal October 2009 Presentation of proposal to SHP Faculty Council November 2009 Recruitment of students began January – May 2010 Development of course with registrar Ongoing contact with vendor to coordinate Course planning meetings with students intending to participate Meetings with Harlan Smith, UTHSCSA Director of International Services May 2010 Finalized travel arrangements July 2010 Pre-departure orientation with Mr. Smith August 2010 Course conducted in Belize
  8. 8. Goals – Objectives - Outcomes <ul><li>Study Abroad Goal 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare the students to be global practitioners and to provide compassionate and culturally competent care </li></ul><ul><li>Course Objective 1. Describe and reflect on the social, cultural, and geopolitical influences in the healthcare system of Belize </li></ul><ul><li>Course Objective 2. Communicate the definition and purpose of rehabilitation and OT to professional and the public in Belize </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Throughout the week, students participated in delivering services outside of their own culture and country which increases awareness of differences. Students frequently expressed a recognition that the delivery of occupational therapy services is impacted by the context in which they are provided. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Goals – Objectives - Outcomes <ul><li>Study Abroad Goal 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Students develop advocacy and leadership skills </li></ul><ul><li>Course Objective 4. Describe issues of global occupational justice facing developing countries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on written and verbal feedback, students readily expressed their desire to continue to work with underserved populations both in the US and abroad, either through their jobs or through volunteer activities. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Goals – Objectives - Outcomes <ul><li>Study Abroad Goal 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty serve as a role model for students and develop their own expertise in providing occupational therapy in challenging environments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students were with a faculty member at all times and were able to jointly provide services. Through nightly discussion groups with students, faculty attempted to facilitate student reflections on their clinical and cultural experiences. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Goals – Objectives - Outcomes <ul><li>Study Abroad Goal 4: </li></ul><ul><li>Services provided be sustainable by the community partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is estimated that at least 7 staff members were provided with training on appropriate interventions for their clients. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Goals – Objectives - Outcomes <ul><li>Course Objective 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Plan occupational therapy interventions appropriate to the culture, context, and environmental conditions in Belize, to meet community driven needs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty and students provided appropriate (as indentified and reported by community partners) OT interventions to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>21 children and families in Belize City, Dangriga, and several villages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>17 adults in community and residential settings. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Goals – Objectives - Outcomes <ul><li>Course Objective 5: </li></ul><ul><li>Gain an awareness of disability advocacy and its impact on public policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Although policy issues were described by staff members, it is unclear whether or not students recognized these implications. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Benefits of International Experience to Students <ul><li>Requires problem-solving that is client centered and culturally sensitive </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition that service provision is context-dependent </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates resourcefulness </li></ul><ul><li>Functioning outside of their typical environment results in a concentrated learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Enhances world view </li></ul>
  15. 15. Benefit to the Community Partners <ul><li>Services provided </li></ul><ul><li>Staff training </li></ul><ul><li>Funding oppotunities </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sustainability <ul><li>Selection of community partner </li></ul><ul><li>Continued involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating connections </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing development </li></ul>
  17. 17. Student Reflections
  18. 18. Personal <ul><li>“ I have learned so much about myself. I feel more confident with patients and I feel somewhat more ready for my fieldwork.” Eva Alaniz </li></ul><ul><li>“ I feel like I have grown in my skills and confidence level. I also feel like I have made some change to the world even though small.” Paula Spalding </li></ul>
  19. 19. A Whole New Light <ul><li>“ It has allowed me to see OT and health care and the world in a whole new light.” Natalie Lucero </li></ul><ul><li>“ It has helped me realize you have to help people one at a time. It has opened my eyes to a different society and made me realize the privileges we have in the US. It has also showed me true poverty. It has made me thankful for the life I have but lit my fire again to help in ways I had never imagined.” Sara Moore </li></ul><ul><li>“ I also feel more called to advocate for those in the US, in my own immediate community, who would truly benefit from improved quality of life.” Lilly Teich </li></ul>
  20. 20. Frustrations/Challenges <ul><li>“ It’s frustrating and challenging to feel doubt in your abilities. To come into a completely different country – different culture – and know how to plan culturally relevant interventions. It’s challenging to see such poverty and lack of resources when we have so much.” Marlena Cobb </li></ul><ul><li>“ It makes me sad that after seeing them only once, we left them in Care Belize, hoping that services will be continued and therapy will be maintained.” Rintu Varghese </li></ul>
  21. 21. Conclusions <ul><li>International service learning opportunities provide a rich and unique learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive planning is required to maximize success of the experience </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivation of an ongoing relationship with community partners is vital </li></ul>

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