COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND SERVICE LEARNING

  • The Community Outreach and Service Learning program was developed in 2004 as an opportunity to meet the expressed charge by the American Associations of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) of exploring ways to instill in professional students the value of action-oriented care for disadvantaged and underserved populations. The program is an initiative to generate interest in, and a commitment to, providing care to underserved populations, and to instill action-oriented concern for the underserved as a core value of professional degree program graduates.
  • “Pharmacy” is a profession built around the concept of caring. Like other professional attitudes, caring must first be modeled for students by faculty and practitioners, and then inculcated into their professional psyche. This may be best accomplished by the provision of experiences through the curriculum which introduces students to situations that clearly demonstrate the difference they can make in people’s lives by providing high-quality professional service and by sincerely caring about them and their quality of life. Nowhere is the need for caring acuter than in underserved populations, who face obstacles to health due to impoverishment, homelessness, cultural or language barriers to care, or simply a lack qualified caregivers to see.

What is Service Learning?

  • A teaching method that combines community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service-Learning programs involve students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to the community.

Why Service-Learning?

Excerpts from student evaluations and journals:

In terms of counseling patients different skills can be taught in the classroom but the best practice comes from allowing the student to counsel patients in real life.

  • As a result of the community service project, I became aware of the difficulties of receiving health care services without health insurance coverage.
  • I learned many things that cannot be taught or learned in a classroom and I believe it is these “lessons” that directly and indirectly make hands-on experiences a great learning process.
  • By participating in the Family and Friends Care Plan, the Telephone and Live Counseling as well as the Medication Cabinet raid, I was able to target individual skills and areas of improvement in preparation of patient counseling in the future I’m glad I had the opportunity to do the project and I plan on doing community service p