An Integrated Educational Model: Evaluation, Enhancement, and Sustainment of an International Service Learning Partnership

Purpose : Important core documents including the Strategic Plan on Cultural Competency, Commission for Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE), and Professionalism in Physical Therapy Core Values contain outcome measures related to culturally competent patient care. CAPTE recognizes the value of exposing doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students to both didactic and hands on multicultural experiences. Within DPT curricula, international service learning (ISL) is a burgeoning education approach. While development and implementation of ISL programs is important it is equally critical to evaluate the impact of ISL from the perspective of key stakeholders. Evaluation of ISL programs can identify areas requiring modification which may be essential for sustaining a partnership. The purpose of this project is to describe an ISL curricular model that integrates the perspectives of key stakeholders in the evaluation process.Description : The ISL model is comprised of a yearlong capstone course and culminates in a one week ISL experience at an orphanage in Ecuador. Over 6 years, 84 DPT students from a single university participated. For the current project, we modified the existing ISL model to include the perspectives of key community stakeholders and 5 years of DPT student alumni of the program. The community perspective was gathered via six one-on-one interviews with staff at the orphanage. DPT alumni perspective (n=61) was gathered via an online survey distributed using Facebook social media. Additional data were collected from the last two years of DPT participants (n=29), using reflective papers, post travel focus groups, and the Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competence Among Healthcare Professionals-Student Version (IAPCC-SV).Summary of Use : Information gathered from community stakeholders and DPT students identified the benefits and drawbacks of the ISL program. Community stakeholders were satisfied with the partnership and indicated that the PT services improved an orphanÕs chances for adoption. Areas for improvement included better pre-trip communication and creation of a survey to garner the perspective from more staff at the community setting. Online survey results (n=61), indicated that the ISL positively influenced student desire to work with underserved, provide pro bono PT, learn a language and appreciate the Core Values. Wilcoxon tests run on two years of IAPCC-SV data were statistically significant p <.00 indicating an increase in DPT student cultural competence post ISL. Data from focus groups and reflective papers supported personal growth and increased awareness of the Core Values.Importance to Members: The value of ISL for student development of cultural competency, core values and personal growth is supported by the current project. Evaluation of key stakeholder perspectives is critical for identification of areas of improvement and program sustainability. Educational models are needed that provide a process for evaluation and enhancement of ISL experiences.

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  • Control #: 1721886
  • Type: Platform
  • Event/Year: CSM2014
  • Authors: Lorna Hayward, Kenneth Venere, Andrea Pallais
  • Keywords: Global Education|educational assessment|cultural education

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