Students as ‘Change Agents’: Engaging Student Organizations to Champion IPEP
Quality IPE starts with a clear plan for development and implementation across multiple professions. Each profession must consider context, teaching strategies, reasoning for the approach, competencies and learning outcomes that are salient for their own profession but also for the professions with whom they are collaborating. Additionally, there is a need to establish ‘social IPE’ where students have opportunities to get to know each other outside of formal, intentional IPE activities. Both of these strategies to advance IPEP take time, and if not carefully planned can overwhelm systems and structures that are trying to build a sustainable system.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill established an Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice in January 2018 that consists of the health professional schools (allied health, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health) as well as the Schools of Business, Education, Social Work, and the Health Sciences Library. In our needs assessment of the new office, we recognized the importance of engaging students early in IPEP activities, giving them a voice for how the Office was designed. The opportunity had a dual goal: to allow the student voice to drive the change and to expose future educators and professionals to the value of IPEP. The IPEP Student Executive Team (SEC) was formed in August 2018 and has a similar design and reporting system to the larger Office System. Student leaders serve as an advisory board for new IPEP activities, and also take ownership for social IPEP activities. This lightning round will discuss the process of designing the SEC, highlighting strategies for implementation and work that has been done to date.