Bringing together classroom learning and practical experience
Students in the Health Sciences have the opportunity gain real world experience before graduating from Indiana University South Bend through enrollment in HSC-A291/A491: Service Learning in Health Sciences*. Typically, this takes place in junior or senior year, but can be at any point in a student’s college career. This internship-like course is designed to encourage students to gain relevant experience in the field while also reflecting on how their experience mutually benefits the greater community and the community site.
In this course, students can expect to:
Explore a potential career field
Develop career related skills and abilities
Expand existing knowledge
Integrate classroom theory with real-life experiences
“Charmel Spain knew she wanted to support healthy lifestyles for youth in the area. She connected with her professors and gained an opportunity at Bashor Children’s Home where she learned alongside professionals and made a difference in the field.”
For IUSB Students
Typically, junior year is a good time to complete an internship-like experience; although, students should refer to their degree map requirements, iGPS, and consultations with professional advisors to determine the best fit.
The planning and establishment of a course like this takes time, persistence, and patience! Students should connect with the Health Science Program Directorone semester before taking the course. According to the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences policies, all sites where students are interacting with patient/clients need to have an established affiliation agreement through Indiana University General Counsel and the establishment of these agreements can take upwards of three months. Keep reading to see more information regarding affiliation agreements under 'Locating Opportunities' section.
It’s never to early to be making connections and planting the seed for potential locations and experiences!
To fulfill the policy requirements of the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences, students enrolling in Service Learning in Health Sciences will be required to show completion of the following:
Background checks will be completed through the CastleBranch system. Students will use this link: https://portal.castlebranch.com/IY77 to create an account and follow the instructions to obtain a background check. Once in CastleBranch, the HSC student will select 'Health Sciences' on the drop down menu. They will then select 'DZ78bg: I am a Health Sciences student & need to order my Background Check' Students must have their background check completed by census day of the current semester they are enrolled in Service Learning. Once you have your background check completed, down load a copy and retain it for your records and for future submission as an assignment in the Service Learning course. The cost of a background check starts at $50.
An agreement will be established between the student, the community-site supervisor, and the instructor of the course. This agreement outlines the duties, responsibilities, and policies of the service learning experience.
Community sites may have additional requirements that students must meet in order to be eligible for the experience. Additional requirements may or may not a include COVID and flu requirements, vaccine requirements, FERPA, etc.
The amount of time a student spends with a community partner depends on the number of enrolled credit hours. Students will participate in a minimum of 40 hours (1 credit), 80 hours (2 credits), 120 hours (3 credits), 160 (4 credits), 200 (5 credits), 240 (6 credits).
Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program are required to fulfill 3 credit hours (120 hours) of Service Learning in Health Sciences. This can be done in one or several semesters. Students can also enroll in 3 additional credit hours to use an internship-like experience in place of an elective course.
It is likely that the implementation of a community-based course will require students to adjust work/life schedules to accommodate the additional out-of-class experiences. A student enrolled in 3 credit hours of Service Learning in Health Sciences should expect to invest about 10 hours each week with a community site, although appropriate hours will vary based on each community site. Students will work with the community partner to determine a schedule that fits the needs of the organization and the student.
Before you decide what type of experience you seek, it is important to have an idea of your career interests and goals. If you are unsure about where to begin, the Office of Career Servicesis a great place to begin. Then, when you are ready, start by asking yourself these questions:
What type of work do you see yourself doing?
How do you want to spend your average work day one year from now? Five years from now?
Do you want to work alone or in a group?
Are you interested in working for profit or non-profit organizations?
Do you prefer to work with children, adolescents, adults, or the elderly?
Are there requirements you need to meet for graduate school admission?
Students are responsible for finding their own site and need to work with the Health Science Course Facilitator for approval of the site. This process is often stressful for students, but you can do it! Here are some tips to make this step successful:
Connect with your circle of peers – family members, friends, employers and ask if they have any recommendations
Review internet listings such as Indeed, GlassDoor, Monster, LinkedIn, hospital employment sites.
Review a list of current affiliated sites where one can encounter patients and clients. Please note, this is not an all inclusive list as information on sites changes frequently.
If you wish to encounter patients and clients at a site and it is not listed on the affiliation table above, you will need to complete this form to help ensure an affiliation agreement is initiated on your behalf. If you don't know if you need an affiliation agreement, complete this form anyways
Affiliation Agreements need to be initiated by March 1st (for summer semester), April 1st (for fall semester) or October 1st (for spring semester).
Students have greater success securing a Service Learning Site from our list of affiliated sites. Check our list!
Please reach out to the HSC Program Director early to discuss locating a Service Learning Site if you are a student in the Speech Language Pathology concentration.
Once you have identified a few potential organizations, it is important for you to reflect back on your career interests and goals to ensure the experience is helping you grow and not just fulfilling a degree requirement.
The next step is to contact the organization/individual in a professional manner and the mode of communication is based on the information you collected. Remember that your first outreach to an organization/individual is their first impression of you! Be professional, be personal, and be informative.
Phone number: You should call the number and leave a detailed message if the person(s) do not answer. The message should include: your first and last name, phone number, purpose for calling: inquiry for an internship experience, and the best times to connect. Phone calls take vulnerability sometimes! Speak slowly, clearly, and ensure good cell service. You should not text unless the person has first initiated a text conversation.
Email address: You should draft a professional email to the person. The email should include: a detailed subject line, the person’s name (always use formal terms like Ms., Mr., Dr., etc.), the purpose of the email: inquiry for an internship experience, your phone number, the best times to connect, and should always be signed by your name.
*Please reach out to the course facilitator early to discuss locating a Service Learning Site if you are a student in the Speech Language Pathology concentration.
Students generally do not have much luck completing generic contact forms on company websites when trying to find a community site. It is recommended that you connect with someone on the phone and ask who would be the best person to connect with. Sometimes it takes a little while for organizations to write back, it’s important to be patient!
Students are not eligible for the Engage IU South Bend Internship Stipends due to the course being a required component of Health Sciences. If students are taking the course as additional credit hours/electives (beyond 3 credit hours), they would be eligible to apply for the stipend. Please review this site for additional information.
Once you are ready to connect with the instructor of the course about the conversations you have been having or potential locations, please complete this form.
Students in the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program complete an internship-like experience with a community partner for course credit. This experience provides a mutually-beneficial opportunity for Health Promotion, Rehabilitation Science, Speech Language Pathology and Sports and Exercise Science students gain real-world, real-life experience.
The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences is a non-clinical program and students are not trained in electro-physical modalities. If students are likely to be in contact with patient/client care, then an affiliation agreement needs to be executed.
A variety of credit hour options exist for students. Students may complete between 40 and 240 hours at your site, with 120 hours (3 credit hours) being most common.Students are expected to work closely with the site supervisor to avoid class conflicts while meeting the needs of the organization
This course meets requirements for students in a versatile degree program.The objectives for the course should be determined by the student and supervisor to ensure the needs of the student and the site are met. Students must meet these objectives: 1. Engage in an immersion experience to gain a holistic view of a career/organization 2. Describe two career options through with a healthcare organization 3. Give two examples of skills in professional communication and leadership 4. Identify three related community health services in the region 5. Explain the importance of personal and social responsibility
According to Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences policy, students will complete a background check, disclosure form, AHA CPR certification, Blood Borne Pathogen training, HIPAA training, and COVID training.
Students are informed that additional training and documentation may be required for your site.
This is an agreement between the student, the site supervisor, and the class instructor. Students complete the form with the supervisor to ensure roles and expectations are clear. This needs to be completed before the experience begins.
Course instructors will send out mid-semester and end-of-semester evaluation for you to complete, regarding students’ performance. Otherwise, consistent communication happens between the student and the instructor and there's no other time from you unless a concern or issue arises.