Columbia State Community College was awarded a $48,000 Student Engagement, Retention and Success Grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents to fund a Short-Term Study Abroad Program for Radiologic Technology and Emergency Medical Services students.
This grant will allow 20 students from the college’s radiologic technology and emergency medical services programs to travel to London, England in 2021 to complete clinical experiences in collaboration with the University of St. George’s, London, where they will shadow students and staff members, and/or participate in intensive simulations. The students will also learn about healthcare industry differences and explore the history of medicine as documented in exhibits, museums and the Royal College of Physicians. Interdisciplinary teams of students will prepare and present information on assigned topics and every student will document the experience through daily, written reflections.
“This program will enhance the students’ learning experiences by developing cultural competency so students are better prepared for employment in a diverse workplace,” said Dr. Kae Fleming, Columbia State dean of the Health Sciences Division. “Students will also be exposed to technologies not readily available in current clinical sites or on campus.”
Program structure and course sequencing has historically limited study abroad options for health sciences students. The introduction of short-term clinical opportunities abroad embeds the international component into course work already required for the student’s degree.
“Study abroad allows students to learn how health systems operate in a different environment and discuss similarities and difference with students and professionals in the host country,” said Marissa Dunkin, Columbia State assistant professor of radiologic technology.
“Study abroad opportunities for health science programs provide students with content rich and academically engaging experiences that place the student in a robust environment to understand the concepts of global health systems,” said Greg Johnson, Columbia State emergency medical systems coordinator. “These personal experiences allow for deeper cognitive knowledge into how healthcare is carried out across the world and the advancement of medicine on a much larger scale.”
Columbia State radiologic technology graduates that participated in the initial embedded clinical international studies experience said that the program helped them understand cultural experiences in healthcare.
“I came home thinking more critically and strategically about approaches to interacting with patients,” said Corey Walker, Columbia State Spring 2020 graduate and participant in the international clinical experience. “Study abroad allowed me to participate in learning activities I never would have experienced otherwise.”
Student Engagement, Retention and Success grants are funded with access and diversity funding and can focus on any subpopulation that is part of the following institution plans: Achieving the Dream, Pathways Project or diversity or completion plans. To learn more about SERS grants, please visit www.tbr.edu.