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Conducting a Comprehensive Needs Assessment of Health and Exercise Science Undergraduates for Service-Learning Preparation

Shimko, Emily (2019) Conducting a Comprehensive Needs Assessment of Health and Exercise Science Undergraduates for Service-Learning Preparation. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Service-learning is derived from experiential learning and consciousness-raising models. Health and Exercise Science students can benefit from participating in a service-learning experience to improve academic knowledge and develop professional skills in their chosen field. The current needs assessment explored two inquiry questions using a mixed methods approach: 1) What are Health and Exercise Science undergraduate students’ perceptions and expectations regarding service-learning? and 2) What are undergraduate students’ level of and relationship between self-efficacy and confidence in skills for service-learning? Undergraduate students participated in focus groups to assess their perceptions and expectations of service-learning and completed surveys to rate their perceived self-efficacy for and confidence in skills for service- learning. The setting of the needs assessment was a small, private University located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Twenty-six undergraduates in the Health Sciences and Exercise and Sports Science majors provided data for this inquiry project. The three themes that emerged from the focus group discussions were related to the participants’ perceived benefits, challenges, and recommendations for service-learning. Survey results showed a high baseline level of self-efficacy and confidence in skills for service-learning. There was also a strong, positive correlation between self-efficacy and skills. Findings from this study will lay the groundwork to create a service-learning course in the upcoming academic year. Key takeaways that will be applied to this future course include
involving students in the planning phase and integrating a pre-service orientation session to prepare students for a future service-learning experience.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Shimko, Emilyejs119@pitt.eduejs119
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRoss,
Committee MemberFertman,
Committee MemberRugg,
Date: 25 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 25 June 2019
Approval Date: 25 September 2019
Submission Date: 8 July 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 146
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health and Physical Activity
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: service-learning, health, undergraduate
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 15:28
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 15:28


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