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ERIC Number: ED542925
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 119
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2674-3370-1
Decisions on Implementing Service-Learning: Perceptions of Physical Therapist Assistant Faculty within a State Technical College System
Herlitzke, Mary Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, St. Mary's University of Minnesota
The Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) requires that graduates of physical therapist assistant programs demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility. Service-learning, a method of instruction in which students apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to a community need, can assist in the development of social responsibility. Studies on factors contributing to the likelihood of faculty embracing service-learning are few, with no study looking specifically at the perspective of technical college faculty teaching a specific profession. This grounded theory study investigated the perspectives of full-time physical therapist assistant faculty (n = 9) within a State Technical College system. The programs within this system utilize a state-wide curriculum resulting in standardized curriculum sequence and competencies. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data on the use of service-learning and to determine factors that contributed to the likelihood of faculty using service-learning. Supporting data was gathered from program accreditation reports and review of the college websites. Perspectives of faculty currently using service-learning (n = 5) and faculty who do not use service-learning (n = 4) were studied. Interviews were transcribed and coded using traditional methods and computerized assisted qualitative data analysis software (Atlas ti.). A grounded theory, factors supporting faculty in using service-learning, emerged. Themes of knowledge of service-learning, level of confidence, positive attitude towards the role of the college in developing social responsibility, and benefits of service-learning emerged as factors contributing to the likelihood of using service-learning. Barriers of time, fit, and logistics deterred faculty from using service-learning. The barrier of time included actual time needed to design and implement the service-learning project, time associated with adding service-learning to an already full curriculum, and time necessary to learn to be an effective teacher. Faculty not using service-learning reported being more likely to consider service-learning if the college focused on increasing overall awareness on the value of service-learning, and if professional development opportunities were offered to assist faculty in developing their skill in using service-learning as a method of instruction. Non-service-learning faculty also would be more likely to embrace service-learning if the college provided financial support (including acknowledgement on faculty workload) and/or access to a "go to" person (e.g. service-learning coordinator) to assist with logistics [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A