Highlighting real world examples of Social Mission Metrics concepts in practice.
Related social mission measurement(s): Curriculum, Student Diversity, Pipeline Programs, Student Activism
(The following is an excerpt from Driving toward a culture shift: Case studies of social mission in nursing education)
Alcorn State University School of Nursing includes diversity and service in its value statement, and provides the foundation for the emphasis on these social mission concepts. While a high proportion of black students is expected at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), this rural institution is also diverse in terms of student social class and backgrounds. There are students from Africa, and students from farming families. The dean reports that for students from the latter group, the nursing profession is a way out of poverty and a way for them to help their families.
The school is committed to ensuring inclusion of all students and increasing equity by providing resources and funding for student needs. One such initiative is an alumni-funded emergency fund, which provides financial assistance to students for unexpected circumstances – from new tires to childcare. Because they are located in a rural area with limited internet access, the school pays for students’ internet hotspot connectivity. The school provides a college support program for students who need additional educational support for learning challenges. The dean meets with students weekly to provide guidance around basic nursing concepts, math, and test-taking strategies. Additionally, there are learning and writing centers at the University level to support students, although the nursing campus is 35 miles from the main campus, making access to these resources challenging.
When queried on the replicability of their practices, the dean emphasized her most important goal: making students feel that they belong. She also emphasized the importance of providing social justice service learning opportunities to make students feel like they are part of something larger than themselves. From providing care via mobile clinics in rural areas to global health clinical rotations, students enjoy knowing that they are making a difference.
Finally, students are encouraged to aim for the highest degree they can obtain. Students in their ADN program are encouraged to continue to the RN-BSN program, and plans are currently in place to develop a bridge to the PhD program with the University of California San Francisco. Laying the foundation for dreaming big begins even earlier, with a Health Academy program for high school students in the community to consider a career in nursing. One faculty member emphasized the importance of faculty being mentors and role models for students, which she argued is the best way to motivate students to continue their education.