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Medical Sciences Baccalaureate Program

Health & Community: Service-Learning Capstone

Health & Community: Service-Learning Capstone 1

MEDS 5050  |  3–6 credit hours  |  Fall Semester  |  Class meets: M 4:00 – 4:55 pm

Health & Community: Service-Learning Capstone 2

MEDS 5051  |  3–6 credit hours  |  Spring Semester  |  Class meets: M 4:00 – 4:55 pm

View Syllabus (PDF)

Course Directors: David Askew, PhD | david.askew@uc.edu | 513-558-2395 and Fran Larkin | fran.larkin@uc.edu | UC Center for Community Engagement


This two-semester sequence provides students in the Medical Sciences major with a rigorous senior-year capstone experience in a health-related service-learning project within the community. Service learning (SL) is a university and community-based partnership that integrates a hands-on experience in volunteer service with faculty-directed reflection, the goal of which is to enhance student's competitiveness for careers in the medical sciences by helping them achieve a strong sense of who they are and what they value.

Health & Community: Service-Learning Capstone 1

Prior to the start of the semester, SL students work closely with the UC Center for Community Engagement to identify a community organization that fits the background and interests of the students. The students will then be challenged to work with their community partner to conduct a needs assessment for the agency and to develop a written community service proposal that will be implemented by the student for the duration of the course. In the first semester, emphasis is placed on project design, training in agency-specific activities, troubleshooting of the project aims in conjunction with the community partner, and the initial recording and analysis of results.

This type of experience will improve student academic performance in the medical sciences through the application of critical thinking skills, while simultaneously enhancing civic and ethical responsibility, cultural competency and career development.

The student's efforts with the community partner are complemented by programmatic elements throughout the semester, including opportunities for weekly reflection, analysis of midterm challenges tailored to the project aims, attendance at selected presentations and workshops, and oral communication of the project to an audience of faculty, peers and community partners.

Course Objectives

Upon completion, the student will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the relevant community need from a national and local perspective
  • Develop a set of specific aims for a written community service proposal
  • Describe how the outcome of the proposed project will address the project aims and benefit the community partner
  • Obtain practical experience and preliminary data to support the project aims
  • Communicate the proposed project (background, significance, aims, preliminary data and anticipated outcome) to an audience of faculty, community partners and peers in an oral presentation

Prerequisite

In order to enroll in MEDS5050, students must be seniors majoring in Medical Sciences.

Health & Community: Service-Learning Capstone 2

In the second semester, students will work closely with their community partners to further develop and complete their project aims. Project activities will be paired with opportunities for individual reflection, as well guest lectures from faculty and community partners. The focus of the course is on project outcome, emphasizing data analysis, anticipating future needs, and final one-on-one and group presentation in a poster format.

Course Objectives

Upon completion, the student will be able to do the following:

  • Work with a community partner to refine and implement the aims of service-learning projects developed in the first semester
  • Apply medical science knowledge and critical thinking skills to the analysis of project outcome
  • Demonstrate how the project has strengthened interpersonal skills with respect to working in teams
  • Describe how the project has enhanced personal knowledge and sensitivity to issues of cultural diversity and social justice in the community
  • Describe how the project has fostered a critical self-reflection of personal identity and sense of vocation
  • Demonstrate strong and effective communication skills in a one-on-one poster presentation format
  • Demonstrate a commitment to be a life-long involved citizen in the community

Prerequisite

In order to enroll in MEDS5051, the student must have earned C or better in MEDS5050 Health & Community: Service Learning Capstone 1.

Center for Community Engagement

The University of Cincinnati UC Center for Community Engagement works with students, staff, faculty, and community partners to make a meaningful impact on our local community while helping students learn to serve, and serve to learn. 

 


Family Medicine Student with Research Presentation