Ellen DeLuca

Document Type


Publication Date



This paper describes a project in which faculty linked with two agencies to facilitate student learning about communication with elders. Data on student learning was collected via survey, focus groups and reflective writing. Survey results showed that the five most important benefits students rated themselves as gaining from the service learning experience were: volunteering time to help others, improving oral communication skills, developing new skills, and developing awareness of social problems. Themes derived from focus group interviews were: ''you learn how to act," and "a different dimension of a person". Analysis of data revealed that service learning assists beginning nursing students to improve oral communication skills with elders, develop sensitivity to aging issues and eases transition to a clinical course focused on aging.