Jumpstarting Cross-Discipline Collaboration in Undergraduate Social Work Education


  • Cyndi Amato University of New England
  • Shelley Cohen Konrad
  • Lane W. Clarke
  • Caryn Husman
  • Audrey Bartholomew
  • Caroline Beals




Simulation, interprofessional education, collaboration, undergraduate social work education, occupational therapy


This paper examines the integration of undergraduate teacher education students into interprofessional activities with social work and pre-occupational therapy undergraduates. Like health professionals, school-based professionals work across disciplines daily and come together for critical decision-making on behalf of vulnerable and special needs students. Although evidenced-based pedagogy in interprofessional education (IPE) has become common in graduate and professional health education, less is known about its implementation in undergraduate education and with non-health-related disciplines. This article describes a 2-year interprofessional undergraduate simulation project with social work, teacher education, and pre-occupational studies students working prospectively in a K-12 school setting. Survey data found that students gained confidence in their disciplinary roles as well as in their abilities to communicate and collaborate effectively as a result of participation in the school-based simulation and related activities. The project highlighted the benefits of situating theory-driven undergraduate interprofessional learning in settings beyond healthcare and the need for developing assessment tools inclusive of undergraduates and relevant to a range of workforce environments.


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