Bridges to Civic Health: Enhancing Shared Service-Learning Collaboration in Nursing and History

Adam D. Sundberg, Echo N. Koehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Faculty in nursing and history at Creighton University directed two service-learning courses on the history and public health implications of lead (Pb) exposure in Omaha, NE. As part of their service requirements, students conducted or observed blood lead screenings in area schools and reflected on these shared experiences in discipline-specific coursework. Strong student response encouraged the faculty to enrich transdisciplinary teaching and learning between these two courses. Although studies supply numerous best practices to develop collaborative experiences and service-oriented pedagogies, little work focuses on enriching collaborations between preexisting courses. Purpose: This study examines the outcomes of a partnership between nursing and history and presents a practical model that instructors can use to foster and deepen transdisciplinary service-learning. Methodology: Employing a hybrid grounded theory/topic modeling analysis of student reflection papers, we identify course outcomes of closest convergence. Findings/Conclusions: We argue that instructors can deepen transdisciplinary partnerships between service-learning courses by focusing on a common exemplar, encouraging collaborative experiences in the classroom and at service sites, and employing civic health as a shared concept in curricula. Implications: Beyond nursing and history, our model may be employed by faculty in preexisting service-learning courses to bring their courses into transdisciplinary convergence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Experiential Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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