Needs Assessments: An Integrated Assignment in Civic Service

  • Norris D
  • Schwartz C
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An undergraduate social work program developed a service‐learning experience in partnership with a local United Way organization to complete a community needs assessment project. The experience integrated the curricula of a social work research methods course and a generalist‐macro practice course with the principles and actions of experiential and service‐ learning, evidence based practice, and civic responsibility. This integrated curricula project yielded practical, “real world” outcomes for the local community and learning outcomes for the students. Needs assessments conducted by social students resulted in particular groups of community citizens receiving targeted services from agencies receiving funding from United Way. Evidence obtained from the students who participated in this experience indicates that two important learning outcomes were achieved; a heightened awareness of the local community's resource system and a sense of connection to the local community, along with the enhancement of students ‘self‐esteem and increased self‐confidence in their abilities.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Civic responsibility
  • Empowerment
  • Evidence based practice
  • Learning groups
  • Needs assessment
  • Service learning

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  • Debra S. Norris

  • Charles L. Schwartz

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