The community internship – a cohesive collection of placement interventions

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Enriching Higher Education Students' Learning through Post-work Placement Interventions, 2020, 28, pp. 103-118
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. Work-integrated Learning (WIL) is an approach that higher education institutions in Australia adopt to support students in developing their professional skills (Patrick et al., 2008). It is considered one of the most effective ways of preparing students for the workplace (Goulter & Patrick 2010). However, when the structured work placement format is applied to the design of a service-learning (SL) experience there are opportunities for deeper and broader development than just students’ professional identities. Such an approach enables Universities to achieve the goal of supporting students to become more than “just trained workers” to become “human beings” in the fullest sense of those words with “good citizenship” being the outcome (Palmer P, Zajonc M, Scribner M, Nepo M, The heart of higher education: a call to renewal. Jossey-Bass, 2010). The Community Internship Course is a SL program structured as a WIL shell course which accommodates students from any discipline, working in a range of not-for-profit organisations. This course has been designed to raise students’ awareness of their growing identity, both professional and personal, resulting from their community-based experiences. Although there are many opportunities there has been no explicit way in which to measure this awareness and transformation. This chapter explores how this course is made up of a cohesive collection of placement interventions and proposes a possible strategy to address this gap and further embed awareness of professional and personal growth in the course. It discusses how through its design this strategy can act as an intervention tool through facilitating students to evaluate their perception of their own development
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