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health health Recognizing the benefits of specific discipline training, the Office of Community Service Learning and Community-Campus Partnerships for Health hosted an institute in June 2004 for service-learning faculty in the health disciplines. Twenty faculty from 12 CSU campuses participated in a three-day interactive institute that incorporated small and large group work. The participants enthusiastically enhanced their understanding of service learning and, in exchange, shared their insights with others.

The purpose of the institute was to provide training and support for faculty to:

  1. develop a deeper understanding of the theory, history, and practice of service learning;
  2. create a set of strategies for integrating service learning into a course or enhancing the service-learning component of a course, and;
  3. establish a peer group for continued learning and resource sharing.

In order to achieve these goals, national experts including four CSU faculty members provided specific training based on their experiences. These mentors spoke about topics such as building meaningful service-learning partnerships, identifying key stakeholders, and learning about avenues for community scholarship. One attendee shared that through this institute, "[she] was able to grasp the depth of service learning and the many implications for students and the community."

During the institute, participants developed action plans to help further shape their engagement with the pedagogy. For example, Lisa Nicholson, an assistant professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo included in her action plan steps to explore assessment and research in service learning. As a result of her interest, she received a grant that enabled her to advance her knowledge about service learning and examine whether her nutrition education course continues to meet specific competencies of her discipline's accrediting association. She believes that another result of her service-learning course will be increasing students' self-efficacy skills. This example highlights the importance of scholarship activity, which raises awareness about service learning in the disciplines and also validates the effectiveness of the teaching strategy.

If you would like to learn more about Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, visit

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Judy Botelho
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Last Updated: May 25, 2016