Service learning is a unifying thread that links the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy with the greater mission of Spalding University. Spalding University’s mission emphasizes service and the promotion of peace and justice through graduate and undergraduate studies.
Volunteer service is defined in ASOT as volunteer service hours that are beyond academic course requirements. This emphasis on community volunteer hours emphasizes an ethic of service and development of public-minded citizens. The community services hours are completed individually; however, the Spalding University Student Occupational Therapy Association has a large role in organizing service projects.
Spalding University including the Kosair Charities College of Health and Natural Sciences and the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy, has a strong tradition of "learning by doing" that encompasses service learning projects. Service learning is a method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service. This form of learning emphasizes critical thinking and personal reflection while encouraging a heightened sense of community, civic engagement, and personal and professional accountability. All OTD students must track his/her service, fieldwork, and volunteer activities as a part of your academic curriculum.
Students are required to have 10 hours of documented volunteer service hours during each year of the program to equal a total of 30 hours by graduation. Yellow cohort members must complete their annual requirements by the end of August, and Blue cohort members by the end of January. A minimum of 10 hours must be completed each year. In the year prior to Level II Fieldwork, additional volunteer hours may be completed so that a total of 30 hours are completed prior to Level II Fieldwork experiences. Additional required experiences listed below are in addition to this requirement. These volunteer service hours will be documented yearly and will be reviewed by the faculty Service Learning advisor.
Areas that will count as volunteer service hours may include, but are not limited to:
Volunteer service hours are completed following requests from the community. These requests may be directly to the ASOT students or from public service announcements, a local newspaper, church requests, KOTA, etc.
Areas that are NOT counted as volunteer service hours include:
There are THREE additional mandatory service requirements that are completed by students each year. These hours do NOT count as part of the 30 hours but are added on top of the 30 hours.
1. Adopt-A-Highway: The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy has committed to providing service for the community in the area of environmental preservation for a two mile area of the community roadways. Each student is required to assist a minimum of one time for Adopt-A-Highway cleanup each year. Three sessions of clean-up are scheduled each academic year. SUSOTA leaders set the dates for roadside clean-up.
2. Kosair Charities enTECH Center at Spalding University: Every occupational therapy student actively enrolled within the curriculum is required to provide at least 3 hours of volunteer time per academic year to meet this requirement. The best times to volunteer are listed below. You must sign up for your hours prior to completing this assignment.
*Volunteer Hours for enTECH and the Wednesday Open Lab as well as K.I.T.E are emailed by Joe McCombs in an electronic survey with date and time available.
*Any hours above the mandatory three (3) at enTECH can count towards your 30 hour requirement.
3. Coordinating and Assisting in the Re-Utlization of Assistive Technology CARAT Program: To improve the health and quality of life of individuals with disabilities in Kentucky, CARAT has established an AT/DME reutilization program. The program takes in donated AT/DME, refurbishes and sanitizes it, and redistributes it to individuals who need it at no cost to the individual. The CARAT program site at Spalding University is located behind enTECH in the 812 S. 2nd Street location.
*Each actively enrolled OTD student is required to complete 3 hours of service in CARAT each academic year. These 3 hours are also in addition to the required 10 hours of the student's choosing. Any hours in Project CARAT above your 3 hours can count towards your 30 hour requirement.
ASOT seeks to provide active learning experiences for its students that facilitate appreciation for service, critical thinking, and occupation-based reasoning in preparation for fieldwork and beyond. Before starting fieldwork, students are educated on blood-borne pathogens, infection control, HIPAA/HITECH, and body mechanics to keep themselves, their clients, and their work environments safe. These same principles are applicable to any volunteer experience.
Appreciating the nature of the community and health care environments, unforeseen incidents may occur despite preventative measures and education. In order to provide an accurate record of incidents, affiliating agencies have established policies and procedures that direct actions to be taken following the occurrence of reportable incidents.
The information below and the attached document contain the ASOT Incident Reporting Policy and Procedures that will be followed in addition to the affiliating agency’s policies and procedures should any student experience a reportable incident (accident, incident, or injury) while on fieldwork and/or during off-campus service learning experiences in the community.
Upon receipt of the written report, OTD Program Chair will notify the Dean of Students, as needed, in order to determine next steps.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin
While in the community engaging in observational, service, or fieldwork learning experiences, students are encouraged to keep safety in mind for themselves, their clients, and the agencies. Below are some general tips to keep in mind for promoting safety and facilitating positive outcomes for all stakeholders. These tips are not all inclusive, and students are encouraged to research related topics and to discuss questions or concerns with faculty.
Keeping You Safe
Keeping the Client Safe
Keeping the Environment Safe
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