What is Service Learning?
“Structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection.”
~ Community-Campus Partnerships for Health
The goal of service-learning is to prepare competent medical providers who are aware of how community issues affect heath care and produce a better future global citizen. Students will gain a better understanding of the social determinants of health that contribute to health disparity facing many patients.
Service-learning is not required community service. It is a blend of structured learning and service to the community. The PA Program works in conjunction with a community partner to design objectives that will be mutually beneficial to both the PA Program and the Community Organization.
Students complete 10 hours of service-learning each semester in which the time is built into the curriculum. Students write a reflection after each experience and then debrief with a faculty member and other students weekly.
Students are assigned to work with seniors, children or adults and then rotate to a different life-span every semester. Students are paired together and assigned one day of the week for one hour weekly for a total of 10 weeks each semester.
The UAMS has partnered with Promise Neighborhood/ ARChild for working with children and focusing on early childhood reading. Another partner is University District/ AARP who have an objective of decreasing senior isolation. The last partner is Safe Places who is a volunteer organization devoted to family violence prevention and assistance. The students are trained to assist in facilitating support groups for individuals who may have been exposed to domestic violence.