Dental Hygiene Program Director and Professor
Allied Health & Nursing
- Began teaching with Service Learning: Fall 2009
Service Learning Courses:
- DNHY 231 Community/Dental Hygiene
Why do you teach with Service Learning?
“Service learning can enhance a student’s personal development in self-esteem, and in moral understanding. Service learning builds character and transitions the student from being self-absorbed to possessing concern for others. Students learn more readily because they are learning by doing. While being engaged in service learning activities, students develop social skills, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. Service learning opportunities empower students to realize their potential, make a difference and prepare them to become socially responsible citizens when they graduate.”
Students completing a Service Learning project in Professor Leiken’s Dental Hygiene course interact with clients and patients in community agencies including Murray Ridge, Kendal at Oberlin, and the Medina Free Clinic. The clients and patients’ oral health is assessed by the Dental Hygiene students in order to improve awareness of oral health and life style behaviors. Dental Hygiene Students also work with adolescents and young elementary students and teachers in community school systems. The Dental Hygiene students complete pre & post tests to measure the oral health status & administer pre and post-questionnaires to determine knowledge levels. The dental hygiene students present an oral health program to improve dental health behavior and encourage improved oral health.
The dental hygiene students have responded that the Dental Hygiene Community Course has been extremely rewarding. Often the students will become involved in a similar community activity once they graduate.
If you are a community organization interested in getting involved in Professor Leiken’s projects, please contact her for more information.