The development of an implementation framework for service-learning in the undergraduate nursing programme in the Western Cape
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In this doctoral thesis, I explored how the national guidelines for higher education to institutionalise service-learning as a particular type of community engagement were implemented in South African higher education institutions. Whilst the particular School of Nursing where the study was conducted was cognisant of the national policy imperative on service-learning as stipulated in the guidelines of the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC), operationalisation within the academic programmes had not been addressed. An intervention study was thus undertaken to develop a service-learning implementation framework for the School of Nursing using the multi-phased design and development model of Rothman and Thomas (1994). The factors that influenced the implementation of the HEQC’s service-learning policy guidelines in the nursing programmes were explored during the first phase: problem analysis and project planning. During this phase, the research focused on the readiness of the school to institutionalise service-learning at organisational and individual level because service-learning scholars advocate a systems approach to service-learning institutionalisation. At organisational level, the research question investigated whether the higher education institution had created an enabling environment for the school to institutionalise service-learning successfully in the academic. The factors that were associated with readiness at organisational (school) level were those cited as critical success factors for service-learning institutionalisation by Furco (2002) or better known in South African terminology as service-learning good practice indicators. Individual readiness was determined in terms of service-learning scholarship and willingness to participate in service-learning -capacitating activities.