Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges

Author Bio(s)

Cynthia P. Cadieux, PhD, RDN, FAND, serves as the Assistant Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Program Review and Director of Master’s in Medical and Health Professions Education Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School, located in Norfolk, Virginia. Christine L. Medlin, PhD, RDN, FAND, is Professor Emeritus, Dietetics, Division of Health Professions at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Gayle B. McCombs, RDH, MS, is University Professor, Graduate Program Director and Director of the Dental Hygiene Research Center at the G. W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.


Interprofessional education (IPE) is critical in today’s educational and healthcare arenas. This article describes the initial design, implementation, and evaluation of a Community College/ University IPE collaboration that enabled dental hygiene graduate students to satisfy course requirements and service learning competencies, promoted faculty development, and also served the community. Under the direction of a community college dietetics professor, students and faculty from both academic institutions had opportunities to participate in community outreach events. Experiences included teacher recertification training for community college credits in the local school system, paraprofessional workshops, community-based health fairs, career counseling, guest lectures, expanded internship sites, and access to daycare personnel studying childcare. Step-bystep procedures for implementing such a model offers guidance for other institutions seeking to replicate the arrangement. The model presented in this paper can serve as a guide for curriculum integration with a variety of nursing and allied health programs. Partnerships of this nature provide rich environments for faculty development, program marketing, transfer counseling, student service learning experiences, IPE collaborations, and access to community at-risk populations.



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