By: Sarah Peddle, Service Learning Program Manager
The past two years have been very exciting times for the new Service Learning Program at Dalhousie Medicine. We have gone from the developmental stage of the program to full implementation and evaluation. We have seen what was once a bunch of community-based project ideas come full circle as completed works along with meaningful community-university partnerships and experiences.
At Dalhousie Medicine, The Service Learning Program (MEDI2612) is offered during the first two years of Undergraduate Medical Education at both the Halifax and Saint John campuses. The program integrates community engagement concepts into classroom-based learning (Professional Competencies I) in their first year with an optional community-based project experience in their second year. Students who opt to take part in the for credit program do a minimum of 20 hours in order to complete the service learning experience over the academic year.
In terms of process, Students apply for the program and are matched with community-based not-for-profit organizations, or develop their own experiences based on existing partnerships they have, and who work with marginalized and underserved populations. The experience includes preparation, critical reflection assignments and a project deliverable that is relevant and useful for the community partner and their clients. The projects are designed in collaboration with community partners (including staff and people who use their services) and the university (students, staff and Faculty).
In celebration of our first two years, we have created a video in partnership with the MedIT Video Audio Production team under the leadership of Matthew Stones. The video is a promotional tool for the program that can be used when explaining what service learning is and what our program has too offer. Special thanks to our 2016-17 program participants for their contributions to this video and on-going support.
To watch the service learning video, please click here.
To learn more about the program please visit our Service Learning Program webpage.