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March 16, 2012

UW-Eau Claire named to the national community service honor roll, HCAD practicum cited

HCAD PracticumFor the fifth time since 2006, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. UW-Eau Claire was among about 500 public and private colleges, universities and professional schools recognized for solving community problems and engaging students in community service.

"We are very pleased that we can demonstrate significant community benefits from such programs as the Early Childhood Literacy Intervention Program, Services and Evaluation (ECLIPSE) for preschool students from low-income families; the Blugold Beginnings: College and Career Readiness program for area youth; and the Health Care Administration capstone practicum, which directly benefits vulnerable, long-term care residents in facilities throughout the Midwest," said Dr. Don Mowry, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center for Service-Learning.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the most prestigious federal recognition a higher education institution can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

Source: UW-Eau Claire News Bureau

HCAD students develop leadership skills through service to others

In 2011, 40 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire health care administration students logged 70,000 service-learning hours working on 140 different leadership projects as part of their yearlong senior capstone practicum experience. Nearly 3,500 residents at 35 different long term care facilities were positively impacted by the students’ work.

Students proposed and led four leadership projects at their practicum site that directly or indirectly impacted resident care. Projects focused on four areas: 1) improving resident service, 2) advancing community partnerships between the care facility and their local communities, 3) improving the efficiency or quality of internal operations, or 4) advancing an innovation or entrepreneurial idea. Past projects have included fundraising and building an enclosed outdoor garden space for dementia care residents, implementing resident Internet access and Skype training to help residents stay connected with their families, and implementing flexible dining options that give residents more choices.

While practicum sites and their residents benefited from the students’ leadership projects, students also gained from the experience. Students developed critical leadership and project management skills. They became more aware of the needs of residents and developed an appreciation for how their decisions as administrators affect residents and their families. Preceptors reported that by the end of the practicum experience, 85% of UW-Eau Claire students always maintained a strong orientation toward service, with 11% usually doing so.  

Source: CHAASE news: Spring 2012

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