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ERIC Number: EJ835415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
Creating Partnerships on Campus to Facilitate Practical Experiences
Becker, Craig M.; Johnson, Hans; McNeil, Michael P.; Warren, Karen
College Quarterly, v9 n3 Sum 2006
College campuses create small communities where mutually beneficial partnerships can be used to create practical work experiences for students. The procedure outlined in this article outlines how to create a partnership between the campus health and recreation center and an academic department to evaluate the implementation of a new smoking policy. The campus project helped students develop research, presentation, and group work skills. Additionally, this partnership enhanced campus health services as it improved the education of students by bridging the gap between theory and practice. The methodologies described here are applicable for most majors on almost any college campus. While most agree practical experience is beneficial (Peterat & Smith, 2001), the application of introducing students to their profession has many obstacles. Conflicting student obligations include full course schedules, jobs, and family responsibilities. For this reason, many academic preparation programs routinely require internships to give students the opportunity to appreciate course material as well as practice skills (Stanton, 1992). Universities and colleges, however, create small communities and therefore offer the potential to create mutually beneficial partnerships where students are given an opportunity to use professional skills on campus. This paper provides a skeleton outline on how instructors can partner with organizations or groups on campus to offer practicum opportunities for students. The approach utilizes student class projects that emphasize the collection of data, analysis of statistics, and literature reviews that identify "best practices." Objectives for this approach are: (1) To provide students practical experiences; (2) To enhance services offered on campus; and (3) Building of partnerships for practical experience. The practice and development of professional skills can be problematic for students because most professional skills improve from application. For example, in health education, evaluation is a core competency (National Commission for Health Education Credentialing [NCHEC], 2006) and is an expected skill of graduating students (Becker & Loy, 2004). In a recent study, it was noted that health educators, like many other professionals, spend only a small amount of time on evaluation. Findings indicated that evaluation was not attended to because of inadequate skills and or experience (Johnson, Glascoff, Lovelace, Bibeau, & Tyler, 2005). The example outlined in this article provided health students with practical evaluation experiences by partnering with the professional health educator and the staff at a campus health and recreation center. The partnership technique described can be adapted to most professional skills because of the multiple opportunities available on any campus. As is often the case for most campus services, the campus health and recreation centers lack the workers or resources to adequately evaluate their programs. Additionally, students need practical experience conducting evaluations. The opportunity to evaluate campus health programs provided a great opportunity to form a partnership. Similar to many larger universities, on the authors' campus the health educator and the staff plan and conduct health programs for campus students, faculty, and staff. Their services include individual consultation, group presentations, free health screenings, planned health events, and the challenging job of creating a campus environment that promotes and endorses health. Supportive environments are noted to be the most effective method to produce lasting changes with regard to health behaviors (O'Donnell, 2002).
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A