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Coastal Scholars Showcase 2021: Vertically Aligned Service-Learning


Presentation Details

Presenters: Dr. Lydia Watkins & Dr. Cody Cocchi

Titles: Dean of the School of Nursing & Health Sciences; Associate Director of Service-Learning

Departments: Nursing; Center for Service-Learning

Emails: &


Service-learning continues to grow across academic disciplines in higher education, including in the nursing curriculum. This exploratory case study examines a nursing program in which service-learning is integrated in a four-course series of required courses for students in both the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Associate of Science in Nursing programs. Data were collected through several focus groups of faculty and students. The structure and benefits of vertically aligned service-learning are presented. A Stair-Step Model for Vertically Aligned Service-Learning Course Integration is introduced as a guide for academic programs wishing to infuse vertically aligned service-learning into their curriculum. The benefits of this structure are explored through the lenses of the faculty members from each respective nursing program as well as senior level nursing students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Key benefits related to incremental growth in student autonomy and reaching higher levels of course outcomes.



Dr. Lydia Watkins

Dr. Cody Cocchi