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Bringing Theory to Practice

Dominican University of California


Seminar Grant: The Psychosocial Programs of the Dominican Experience

'Dominican has embarked on a Campus Planning Process designed to develop a distinctive Dominican education for the next five to ten years. The Planning Process is uniting the campus in a common educational vision and enhanced sense of identity, with students’ learning and development at its heart. The Dominican Experience Task Force (DETF), a representative group of faculty, staff, and students, is developing a distinctive educational experience based on the Dominican values of study, reflection, community, and service—one that is holistic, comprehensive, and grounded in high-impact practices (HIPs) and best practices for student support services. Emerging from its effort is an Integrative Learning Center (ILC) that will house and embody that integration. The ILC will additionally integrate these support functions with the curriculum. The BTP Seminar Grant will allow DETF to convene a group to identify ILC programming that will address the psychosocial needs of our students."


Program Research or Initiative Grant: Engaging Ethics: Integrating Clinical Praxis and Moral Theory via Service-Learning and Reflection

"Our study compared traditional and Service-Learning (SL) versions of an Ethics in Healthcare course required for students pursuing healthcare majors. We wanted to know if using SL pedagogy would increase (a) students’ sense of meaning and purpose and (b) their ability to integrate ethical concepts in both academic and professional situations. While the quantitative data from our exit survey were inconclusive, qualitative data indicated that combining Ethics in Healthcare with praxis was effective. We analyzed students’ final essays for thinking style in addition to our original research questions (a & b, above). Most students’ essays touched on ethics in community and public policy, but those with SL employed higher levels of thinking to do so. They showed engagement at the highest levels of thinking on Bloom’s taxonomy: creative adaptive thinking, synthesis, and evaluation. These same students had actively embraced the concepts by applying them in their SL experience. They are more likely, then, to retain and apply these concepts in their personal and professional experiences."