Assignment Spotlight: Extra Credit AdvocacyOct 05, 2021
In the Health Policy Course I teach, I love to make the concepts more real by encouraging students to become involved in everyday advocacy. One of the ways that I do this is by offering extra credit for acts of advocacy. In today's blog post, I'll share how I do this.
Advocacy is not an easy concept to teach. It sounds great in theory, however, true advocacy requires taking the extra step to become active in advocacy efforts. To encourage students to become more active, I like to give them small opportunities to make a difference. Last semester, I accomplished this in several ways.
I found opportunities, through organizations and associations, for students to write a letter to officials to advocate on behalf of a cause. Many of these causes had templates and examples of letters provided so that it was easy for students to draft and submit them. For instance I linked to the following activities:
- Write a letter to the 117th Congress
- Webinar opportunity- Preparing Nursing Students to Effectively Address Vaccine Hesitancy
- Conference attendance opportunity- 2021 The Beatrice Renfield Lectureship in Research Nursing
- Webinar opportunities- Optimizing Resilience: Mental Health in Black and African American Communities
- Webinar opportunities- Providing Patient-Centered Care during COVID-19: The Need for Interprofessional and Paraprofessional Collaboration
- Opportunity to write a bipartisan "Dear Colleague" letter urging the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to provide the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs with $530 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 is being circulated in the House of Representatives.
- A local college advocacy opportunity to write a letter to make the college tuition-free and fully funded
These acts were small in comparison to other efforts that could be made, however, showing students that advocacy can be accomplished through small, intentional efforts was really the goal.
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