Civic engagement and service learning opportunities provide students with unique real-world experiences they are unable to acquire in a traditional in-class setting. Students develop a commitment to the community in which they live, exposure to other populations, leadership abilities, skills to work successfully within a team, and a chance to learn from failure. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized the importance of such opportunities and has added the Community Engagement Classification to the restructured Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education. The purpose of this paper is to provide a synthesis of the literature that addresses civic engagement and service learning opportunities and to describe a university class that was designed to provide undergraduate students with a capstone service learning experience promoting wellness for older adults in the community. Data that were collected to evaluate the success of the class are also described.
Kim C. Graber, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Jamie A. O’Connor, and Jenny M. Linker
Dani M. Moffit, Jamie L. Mansell, and Anne C. Russ
Temple University Owls Athletic Training Society (OATS), committed to education and community involvement, formed a relationship with Lanning Square Elementary School (LSE). Located less than 10 miles from campus in Camden, NJ, a high incidence of poverty, violence, and one-parent families is the norm. Through a grant, OATS adopted the fifth-grade classes at LSE for 1 year, beginning with letter exchanges between OATS students and elementary students. OATS traveled to LSE for their holiday party, met their pen pals, and provided healthy snacks. In the spring, the LSE completed a health/wellness unit and visited Temple. Students shared several health activities including learning about bones/muscles in the anatomy laboratory, stretching properly, and exercising. They received lunch and Temple mementos. OATS raised money the following year to continue the project. This allowed OATS and administrators to participate positively in our community, promote diversity, and introduce healthy lifestyles to youngsters.
Joanna L. Morrissey, Joseph A. Beckett, Ross Sherman, and Lisa J. Leininger
As undergraduate students prepare to enter the workforce and become engaged members in their communities, it is necessary for universities to provide students with opportunities and resources to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to be successful in their professional, personal, and social pursuits. Experiential learning is one approach that may be used to facilitate and strengthen the learning process for undergraduate students. Grounded in experiential learning, Kinesiology-specific service learning and internship programs can help students develop the skillset needed to be successful in their major and future careers. To best facilitate students’ learning, it is imperative that such academic programs build collaborative, sustainable and genuine campus-community partnerships. This paper presents a series of practical and successful partnership-building strategies from three unique institutions.
Danielle D. Wadsworth, Reita Clanton, Ford Dyke, Sheri J. Brock, and Mary E. Rudisill
Mental health is a major concern for higher education and students are starting their college experience with psychological issues or developing mental health problems after enrollment. Because physical activity and exercise have known mental health benefits, the field of kinesiology can facilitate the delivery of physical activity and exercise programs aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as promote healthy coping mechanisms. The School of Kinesiology at Auburn University has implemented a framework to address mental health on campus and within our community. Our framework consists of coursework, outreach efforts, and establishing key partnerships to facilitate the delivery and sustainability of our programs. Our programs enable individuals to establish self-regulation skills, use a mindfulness-based approach, or participate in yoga, thereby establishing effective and healthy coping mechanisms. This paper discusses the evolution of our framework, as well as barriers and facilitators of implementation and sustainability.
Jeremy T. Barnes and Thomas J. Pujol
Partnerships have been developed between faculty in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at Southeast Missouri State University and professionals from several organizations. These include on-campus partnerships with other academic departments, Recreation Services, Counseling and Disability Services, and a wide variety of off-campus partnerships including those with hospitals, fitness centers, county health departments, local coalitions, not-for-profits, schools K–12, and local corporations. All of these partnerships have resulted in substantial experiential learning opportunities for the students in the BS in Health Management: Health Promotion Option Program. Some of the skills students have acquired include improved written and oral communication skills, public speaking, program planning, program implementation, data collection, program evaluation, exercise testing, and prescription and health screening. The experiential learning activities students completed in two of the required classes in the major are described in this article.
Shari D. Bartz-Smith and Amy Campbell
An injury care clinic (ICC) as part of a comprehensive campus-wide healthcare system is a cost-effective way to optimize the flow of patient care utilizing a collaborative model of healthcare in a time of physician shortage. Services include: basic first aid, injury evaluation, acute injury care, basic rehabilitation, preventative techniques including taping and stretching, and professional referrals. The ICC provides care to previously underserved campus community members, focusing on: club sport and intramural athletes, recreation center users, and the general student body, in addition to faculty and staff, going beyond the varsity athlete. The ICC functions through the efforts of athletic trainers, physicians, fitness specialists, administrators, faculty, and students across disciplines. After 3 years, the clinic has serviced more than 2,500 unique patients exceeding 4,800 patient encounters, demonstrating outcomes that access to affordable healthcare options with a licensed healthcare provider are warranted and needed.
JoEllen M. Sefton and Kenneth A. Games
Colleges and universities increasingly face pressure to take the lead in solving complex problems. Developing and sustaining interdisciplinary research centers that collaborate with community partners can be an effective method of approaching complex challenges. We use the example of interdisciplinary research centers designed to specifically work with tactical athlete organizations (e.g., military, police, fire) as one example of how research centers can be developed and produce important outcomes. A 10-step process is outlined for finding partners, executing projects, and growing research centers which are mutually beneficial to the partner organization and the academic institution. With vision, commitment, and persistence, interdisciplinary research centers can solve complex problems and have meaningful impacts in the community.
Edward Hebert, Ralph Wood, Jayne M. Jenkins, and Charles E. Robison
Internship experiences are currently embedded in a multitude of academic programs to provide students a more seamless transition from university to the professional setting. Research in a variety of academic fields (e.g., business, sport marketing, public health) reveals that internships enhance students’ professional knowledge and skills as well as increase opportunities for employment. Students studying kinesiology intend to enter a variety of professions (e.g., preprofessional, fitness development, physical education teaching), and departments frequently offer students multiple opportunities to engage in field-based learning experiences (FBLEs). As kinesiology programs have evolved to provide several degree programs and grown in the number of students serviced, challenges in managing the internship program have emerged. The purpose of this paper is to share the experiences of three university kinesiology departments in regard to internship management, placement, and site visits.
The mission of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS) is to provide leadership, scholarship, and outreach that “transforms” the face of youth sports in ways that maximize the beneficial physical, psychological, and social effects of participation for children and youth while minimizing detrimental effects. Since its inception in 1978, ISYS has partnered with numerous organizations to promote healthy youth sports participation. In this article, the general steps ISYS takes to form and facilitate partnerships are addressed. Four long-term partnerships are also described. The services provided to these organizations are described and the advantages and challenges of working with partners, in general, are delineated. How these partnerships are used to facilitate the teaching, outreach-engagement, and scholarship components of the Michigan State University land grant mission are also described. The case of ISYS shows that conducting community outreach and engagement projects greatly enhance the scholarly mission of the university.
David D. Pascoe and Timothy E. Moore
The decline in federal research grant funding and incentive-based budget models to support a university’s mission has necessitated a paradigm shift in the pursuit of available sources of funding. Programs built around federal funding are once again pursuing funding opportunities from industry. Universities are reevaluating their research funding models and career expectations (tenure, promotion) that support a researcher, laboratories, and a defined research agenda. Kinesiology departments are in a strong position to pursue industry funding for fitness, sports, and performance-related research. While grant funding focuses on empirical data-driven research, industry looks for product exposure, validation (empirical data to support claims), and commercialization. Industry partnerships can provide funding in supporting research, developing sponsor-named facilities that benefit both parties. With these cooperative efforts come some unique challenges (financial, proprietary, data interpretation, etc.) that must be addressed.