The Impact of Service Learning on Choice of Future Health Career

Hailey Lick, SPT, ATC and Faye King, SPT

DPT2020 ServiceLearning

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19 Comments on “The Impact of Service Learning on Choice of Future Health Career

  1. Great presentation, Hailey and Faye. Did you find any correlation between the year in school the student was and their views on the value of service learning? I wonder if as a student gets older/matures if they view service learning as more valuable.

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    • Great question, Hannah. We too were interested in that. We discussed with Dr. MacCabe ways to investigate it and we concluded the best way to analyze that would be by completing a repeated measures anova yearly or semesterly. In order to do this, we would have needed the participates to be linked to a “unique identifier” so that we could compare results after they complete the survey again over a certain period of time. We decided not to go this route, as we decided to only complete the survey one time. We did run demographics to see if we could compare, but over half of our participants were of senior status or greater, with only one freshman completing the survey. However, as students completed more service learning hours, attitudes toward service learning hours did increase.

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  2. Hi Hailey and Faye. Nice work on your research! Do you think implementing Service Learning students’ freshman year vs senior year would affect your results? If implementing earlier on, could this possibly influence their career paths for the duration of school or like your results say, would this have no effect?

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    • Lexie, thank you for the question. We too were interested in that, however we only had one freshman and over 20 senior complete the survey. Therefor, we were unable to accurately compare the influence of service learning based on that class rank. I believe that the health science students are required to complete a certain number of service learning requirements once they have declared that they are a health science major. Over time, as students accumulate more hours, attitudes toward service learning tended to be more positive. However we did not find any significant results indicated that service learning had an effect on career choice.

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  3. Hailey and Faye, I found your research topic super interesting. While reading your poster, I couldn’t help but think about my own experiences to compare to your results. In my own case, I feel that I participated in service learning as a result of my career choice. I’m curious as to how you developed your list of service learning related questions. If you had asked something such as “I completed service learning as a result of my career choice”, do you think that this would have influenced your results or conclusions? I also wanted to ask if you were able to look at your data and see if those that answered yes to “service learning completed related directly to their current career choice” were the same individuals who said yes to “service learning having an impact on their career decisions”.

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    • Great questions, Cole. We wanted to create a survey that was valid and reliable. In order to do that, we needed to include a survey that was already created by another party and tested for validity and reliability. That was how we chose the CSAS for the majority of our questions. The remainder of the questions were created by Faye, Dr. MacCabe and I to look more closely at things we had a specific interest in, and were not included in the CSAS. That is how we came up with the question about if “service learning completed related directly to their current career choice” and if “service learning completed related directly to their current career choice.” To answer your last question, after asking, “Does the service learning you have completed directly relate to your current career choice?” we followed with “If you answered yes for the previous question, did that service learning experience have an impact on your current career choice?” After running statistics on that information we found no significant results.

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  4. Great job Hailey and Faye! I had a quick question about your poster. I think it is really interesting how a good portion of Health Science Major students did not think it should be required to do service-learning. Do you think this is due to a majority of those in the Health Science Major already having experience with service learning and doing it without the requirement? Or do you think student’s don’t see service-learning as providing them with much educational value? Personally, I have learned a lot through service-learning but it was never a requirement for me. I think it would a good idea to have for students that are not self-motivated to perform service-learning on their own.

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    • Great question Haley! I also have completed service learning and thought it was enjoyable, but I think yes, some students do not give value to the educational component of service learning and purely enjoy community service. I think this would be an interesting area of this research to address in the future: diving into the “why” of their reasoning for answering the way they did.

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  5. Hi Hailey and Faye! I noticed that question 5 asks about participating in service learning regardless of whether or not it was required by your major. Did you collect data on whether or not the students were required to do SL for their major? I don’t recall being required to do SL in my undergrad but I don’t know how USD does it. I wonder if there would be any relationships between the amount of SL required by the major and the answers to any of these question. For instance, maybe it is always the students who are doing student learning voluntarily that are the students to answer yes to the question about whether or not it should be required. What are your thoughts?

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    • Thanks for the question Jessie! We did not specifically collect data on whether or not the students were required to do SL, but we knew all the students at this university in the Health Science Major are required to complete SL throughout their 4 years of undergrad. One thing we wanted to look at in future research is exactly what you are curious about! It would be very interesting to track the students’ responses to some of our questions throughout their undergrad in order to compare their responses based on the amount of hours they have completed.

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  6. Great Presentation Hailey and Faye! I was never required to complete any service learning requirements for my undergraduate degree, so I thought it was very interesting to see how it impacted others when it was required. I was going through your results and was wondering why you decided to ask about working full/part time while attending school? I might have missed this, but I was just curious why this was included in the study and if it gave you any results? Thanks!

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    • Thank you for the question! We thought that if students had other time commitments, such as working a job outside of school requirements, that may have an impact on whether or not they found time to participate in service learning!

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  7. Very interesting study! Since this was a survey, do you think that students responding to the survey will have a different view than students that did not reply? By this I mean do you think there is correlation between willingness to participate in surveys and motivation to participate in service learning activities?

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    • Thanks for your question Barry! I can see your point and think that is an interesting way of looking at things. I personally do not see a correlation between willingness to take a survey and participate in service learning activities. I think some students do not understand the impact they have when participating in research surveys and see it more as a time-consuming task which I believe is a main reason for those who did not respond regardless if they enjoy participating in service learning.

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    • That is a good point that you bring up, Barry. Although we do not have any data to support that thought, I too understand where you are going from. With survey questionnaires, risk is always involved the responses as we cannot control who takes them if they are voluntary and how those students answer the questions.

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  8. Wonderful presentation, ladies! I was not required to complete service learning during my undergraduate studies, but I participated in it regardless and appreciated the foundation of this study. I did have a question regarding your thoughts after concluding the study. After seeing your results and looking forward, is there anything specific that you discovered that has sparked ideas for future research in this area?

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    • Great question! Future studies that we thought could be beneficial for this topic include a longitudinal study to observe service learning’s effect on career goals over time, larger population of subjects to try and find significant results on service learning and the effect on career goals, then also to include more universities
      and more majors.

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  9. Great poster full of valuable information! I was also not required to complete service learning during my undergraduate studies but I still participated in many service learning opportunities. If you were to conduct future studies, would you like to get a a better comparison of individuals experiences (attitudes and goals) before and after service learning? If yes, how would you go about gathering this new information?

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  10. Great presentation! Were you able to gather any specifics as to why students did or did not like service learning?

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