Title

Student Poster Session - Occupational Science Used In Middle College Education

Start Time

18-10-2013 12:40 PM

End Time

18-10-2013 1:30 PM

Abstract

In a senior year occupational science seminar at Eastern Kentucky University, student teams conducted research over the course of the semester to inform and generate an advocacy project. These advocacy products were informed by relevant team research, knowledge of occupational science, and participatory action research (PAR) methods. This poster will depict one of those class projects, which worked in partnership with Middle College at Eastern Kentucky University.

Middle College, in collaboration between the county school district and the University, allows high school juniors and seniors to receive both high school and college credits on a university campus setting. Students selected to Middle College are not only chosen based on ACT scores, and grades, but also if the student is a first-generation college student (Middle College @ EKU, 2011). This attribute is important for Middle College and their image. Many in the general public believe that Middle College is where the “drop-outs” and pregnant teenage girls attend or where “children-at-risk” attend. However, the non-traditional environment of Middle College enables a much different experience. Based on the use of PAR in partnership with Middle College youth, it became readily apparent that these students have larger aspirations than served by the high school environment. In fact, these individuals were being underserved in a regular high school setting. Middle College staff presents students with a stable environment encompassing open communication, equal power among parties, and high expectations (Hobbs & Jiwon, 2008). Upon submission to Middle College, new students receive 18 free college credit hours and a brand new Mac laptop.

Middle College students were responsible for taking photographs using their own device, (phone or camera), for demonstration of the roles of a Middle College student. Students held the ability to uniquely capture the meaning behind the photo in their own personal way. They used the photos to communicate their unique Middle College experiences.

The coupling of occupational science and education generated the following themes depicted by students in their photos:

1) Physical environments; comparable by routine class schedules found in high schools to flexible college course scheduling,

2) Individual student routines and roles allowing for better scheduling of free time and work

3) Volition shown through the student’s personal interests in their own education and success

4) Positive habits creating improvements in areas of academic performance, study techniques, and time management

5) Motivation supported by the internal and external stimuli

6) Overall productive and pleasurable occupations including personal satisfaction of completing assignments, receiving acceptable grades, and interacting with campus amenities (Starbucks, gym, Gurus, etc.)

Throughout the process, we encountered several obstacles that required dimensions of the original project to be altered, which is a common occurrence in PAR (Letts, 2003). PAR, through the collaboration of students and staff, fueled the creation of a video allowing the students to portray to others that the negative stereotypes of Middle College were not true. The students presented ideas to help with recruitment from local high schools. From their ideas, a meaningful resource for the college to utilize was developed.

References

Hobbs, R., & Jiwon, Y. (2008). Creating empowering environments in youth media organizations. Youth Media Reporter, 2(1-6), 149-164.

Letts, L. (2003). Occupational therapy and participatory research: A partnership worth pursuing. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57, 77-87.

Middle college @ eku. (2011). Retrieved from http://middlecollege.eku.edu/

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Oct 18th, 12:40 PM Oct 18th, 1:30 PM

Student Poster Session - Occupational Science Used In Middle College Education

In a senior year occupational science seminar at Eastern Kentucky University, student teams conducted research over the course of the semester to inform and generate an advocacy project. These advocacy products were informed by relevant team research, knowledge of occupational science, and participatory action research (PAR) methods. This poster will depict one of those class projects, which worked in partnership with Middle College at Eastern Kentucky University.

Middle College, in collaboration between the county school district and the University, allows high school juniors and seniors to receive both high school and college credits on a university campus setting. Students selected to Middle College are not only chosen based on ACT scores, and grades, but also if the student is a first-generation college student (Middle College @ EKU, 2011). This attribute is important for Middle College and their image. Many in the general public believe that Middle College is where the “drop-outs” and pregnant teenage girls attend or where “children-at-risk” attend. However, the non-traditional environment of Middle College enables a much different experience. Based on the use of PAR in partnership with Middle College youth, it became readily apparent that these students have larger aspirations than served by the high school environment. In fact, these individuals were being underserved in a regular high school setting. Middle College staff presents students with a stable environment encompassing open communication, equal power among parties, and high expectations (Hobbs & Jiwon, 2008). Upon submission to Middle College, new students receive 18 free college credit hours and a brand new Mac laptop.

Middle College students were responsible for taking photographs using their own device, (phone or camera), for demonstration of the roles of a Middle College student. Students held the ability to uniquely capture the meaning behind the photo in their own personal way. They used the photos to communicate their unique Middle College experiences.

The coupling of occupational science and education generated the following themes depicted by students in their photos:

1) Physical environments; comparable by routine class schedules found in high schools to flexible college course scheduling,

2) Individual student routines and roles allowing for better scheduling of free time and work

3) Volition shown through the student’s personal interests in their own education and success

4) Positive habits creating improvements in areas of academic performance, study techniques, and time management

5) Motivation supported by the internal and external stimuli

6) Overall productive and pleasurable occupations including personal satisfaction of completing assignments, receiving acceptable grades, and interacting with campus amenities (Starbucks, gym, Gurus, etc.)

Throughout the process, we encountered several obstacles that required dimensions of the original project to be altered, which is a common occurrence in PAR (Letts, 2003). PAR, through the collaboration of students and staff, fueled the creation of a video allowing the students to portray to others that the negative stereotypes of Middle College were not true. The students presented ideas to help with recruitment from local high schools. From their ideas, a meaningful resource for the college to utilize was developed.