International and Domestic Service Learning Initiative: A survey of entry-level physical therapy programs

Purpose : The purpose of the survey was to collect information on current service learning opportunities in accredited U.S. physical therapy programs and to develop a resource document describing these opportunities. This project was supported by the American Physical Therapy Association Student Assembly through its Diversity Outreach Initiative, whose purposes include promoting diversity amongst all SPTs and SPTAs and providing community services to underserved communities and communities of color. The Domestic and International Service Learning Task Force was established to investigate service learning opportunities in entry-level physical therapist education programs.Description : A descriptive survey was composed using Google Forms¨ and distributed to 209 program directors of accredited entry-level physical therapist programs across the United States. The survey asked program directors or the appropriate faculty member responsible for the service learning component of their curriculum to provide information about their service learning opportunities. The survey was approved by The College of St. Scholastica Institutional Review Board.Summary of Use : Of the 209 surveys distributed, 64 usable surveys were returned. Of the 64 participants, 48 programs require service learning as part of their curriculum. The majority of programs, 52, indicated they are not willing to take students from other programs to participate in their service learning experiences. Other notable results include estimated costs of service learning experiences (international 47% between $1500-2500 & domestic 75% between $0-500), durations (50% were for 10+ days), and locations (Central America 45%, South America 28%, North America 33%.)Importance to Members: Service learning is becoming a focus of entry-level physical therapy education. Within physical therapy curricula, students must develop a sense of professional caring and compassion, altruism, and social responsibility, all of which are professional core values and embedded within the professionÕs code of ethics. A variety of learning experiences within curricula support development of these values and behaviors, with service learning being a unique component. Distributing the results of this project as a resource for both faculty and students interested in pursuing service learning opportunities and partnerships may lead to greater engagement in service learning opportunities. This survey was the first step in the development of a comprehensive document to promote domestic and international service-learning opportunities in entry-level physical therapist education.

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  • Control #: 1707200
  • Type: Platform
  • Event/Year: CSM2014
  • Authors: Nicholas W. Gigliotti, Denise Wise, Clarence A. Holmes, Jennifer Werwie, Leiselle Pilgrim, Jonathan Ebersole, Jimmy Pajuheshfar
  • Keywords: service learning|clinical education|professionalism

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