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Title:  Service Learning with Rural Older Adults: Effects on Students’ Career Perspectives in Gerontology

Author (s):  Etty Vandsberger, Marilyn Wakefield

Abstract:  The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the effects of a service-learning project with rural older adults on social work students’ choice of working professionally with older adults upon graduation. Service learning is a course-based community service experience designed to enhance students’ understanding of course content while meeting an identified community need at the same time. The service-learning intergenerational project consisted of ten hours of face-to-face interaction between a BSW student and an older adult living in rural South West Virginia and the city of Charleston. Twenty-one undergraduate social work students attending the Micro Practice course participated in the study. Data collection consisted of face-to-face interviews guided by a set of open-ended questions. Data analysis revealed that participation in the intergenerational project did not change a students’ choice of major but it increased their desire to explore the field of aging.

Category: Education

Keywords: Older adults, students, intergenerational, service-learning, career choice, gerontology

Reference: Vandsberger, E., Wakefield, M. (2005). Service Learning with Rural Older Adults: Effects on Students’ Career Perspectives in Gerontology. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 3(4): 83-97.

Peer-reviewed journal: yes

Link to Full Texthttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J194v03n04_06#preview

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