Rockhurst offers a wide array of service options both in and out of the classroom, allowing students to tailor their service to their unique interests. Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection. Service is volunteerism outside of the classroom that benefits the greater community.
We are proud that our DPT students actively engage in volunteer service locally, regionally, and internationally, engaging in dozens to hundreds of hours of volunteer activity during the 3-year program. Students maintain an ongoing record of these service experiences that contribute to their transformation into health care service providers and enhances their success in the job market.
Service learning experiences combine learning goals with community service and are embedded across the DPT curriculum. Students serve older adults, children, and/or developmentally disabled individuals in the community by helping with Special Olympics, Parent’s Night Out, assisting with activities in retirement communities, among other services. They also perform developmental screenings of children, assess adults for age-related fitness and wellness, and screen older adults for fall risk.
Here is a short sample of where you might find our students serving the community.
PT and OT Pro Bono Clinic
The Pro Bono Clinic, developed by Rockhurst faculty and students in conjunction with the Kansas City CARE Clinic, contributes to our university’s commitment to service to the underserved. The Kansas City CARE Clinic promotes health and wellness by providing quality care, access, research and education to the underserved and all people in our community.
First, second, and third year PT and OT students volunteer to assist with evaluations and patient education under the supervision of licensed physical therapists and occupational therapists. Selected students serve as clinic administrators to run the clinic, assisted by faculty mentors.
International Service Trips
Physical therapy students may have opportunities to travel internationally to serve populations in need. Selected students have an annual trip to Ecuador and serve with occupational therapy students and faculty at the Damien House. Over the last 10 years, students and faculty have had the opportunity to travel to many destinations, including: Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador and Haiti. The cost is often discounted for students and supplemented by Rockhurst University.
Previous students and classes have participated in events such as helping building a playground for underserved children; participating in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) events for children; interviewing prospective students; participating in a wide-variety of fund-raising activities; helping to develop a balance and mobility screening clinic for people with Parkinson’s disease; and cooking for and serving meals to homeless individuals.
Students may participate in the university service projects organized by the Center for Service Learning. In addition, students may design and develop their own service learning projects related to their particular areas of interest.