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Service Learning

What is Service-Learning

A credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflects on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of the course content, a broader appreciateion of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.
- Bringle and Hatcher, 1996

Service Learning at USciences


The following are some of the courses taught at the University that have a service-learning component. Not all courses are taught every semester, or open to all students.

BS 490 Special Topics: Infection and Immunity
Outreach to local community about the flu vaccine at Health District #3.

HS 210: Health and Social Participation
The overall objective of the course is to understand the impact of community and social engagement on health. The service-learning component involves developing health based community projects at various community settings in West Philadelphia.

HS 415/615 Falls in the Elderly
A community-based health care and social services program for the frail elderly, operated by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, conducted at USciences and Living Independently for Elders (LIFE).

OT 303/503: Occupational Therapy, Human Development and Performance
The overall objective of the course is to understand the development, integration and adaptation of sensory, motor, cognitive, perceptual, psychological and social skills within various human performance contexts. The service-learning component of the course involves designing developmental activities for children at a Head Start Preschool.

OT 360/560: Occupational Therapy, Clinical Teaching and Learning Theory
The overall objective of the course is to effectively apply and evaluate the teaching and learning process within the context of occupational therapy and health services. The service-learning component of the course involves developing learning experiences for adults with developmental disabilities at a work training program.

OT 452/552: Occupational Therapy, Human Occupation - Concepts and Practice
The overall objective of the course is to understand and analyze the organization of and participation in valued and meaningful clusters of personal and social activities, or occupations. In addition, the course emphasizes the contextual or environmental influences on a person's ability to adapt to evolving personal, social and environmental circumstances. The service-learning component of the course involves designing environments to promote play exploration at a Head Start Preschool.

OT 382: Occupational Therapy, Community Service Learning
Students are assigned to sites in twos or threes, and design activity-based programs and educational materials specific to the needs of the setting. These assignments come out of two other courses (OT 360 and OT 452) that are taken concurrently.

PB 303 Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business, Social Marketing
Explore marketing from the standpoint of Public Health and behavior change strategies.

SO 205 Social Problems
Study of nature and scope of significant social problems in society, analyzing the probably causes, and assessments of various solutions. Volunteer in the community while researching one aspect of the service.

SO 315 Complex Organizations and Theory
A broad introduction to organizational development and to organization theories that apply to bureaucracies, private enterprises and voluntary associations. Volunteer with organization; analyze weekly report on element of organization.

SO 325 Social Ecology
Overview of the field of human ecology. Course format involves discussion of ecological factors of society form a community to global perspective, based on readings and experience in urban sociology. Study urban community changes and give service to neighborhood organization.

SO 340 Special Topics in Sociology
Topics of special interest considered from a sociological perspective. Service learning is incorporated in topic.

SP 301 Spanish for Health Care Professionals
Students have opportunity to practice Spanish with native speakers while working in an environment with Health Care personnel.

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