GRACE: An Innovative Program of Clinical Education in Allied Health
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This paper describes the Gribble Rosenwax Advanced Clinical Education (GRACE) program that has resolved the 15 year-old issue for one occupational therapy (OT) program of an undersupply of practice placements for OT students who, without completing 1,000 hours of placement, cannot graduate. Based on relationship marketing, Gribble and Rosenwax's approach to reforming clinical education was innovative by regarding potential host sites as offering the School a service by hosting students to one of regarding each host site as a partner in the clinical education process. Relative to the previous clinical education program, GRACE enhances student learning experiences primarily through the cultivation and enrichment of key relationships with host placement sites; by the appointment of a Clinical Education Coordinator at each host site to oversee student placements; and the provision of clinical education as 42 consecutive weeks of the year, rather than intermittently, and thus ensuring continuity for consumers and closer supervision of students, particular those students with performance issues. Now in its second year, one indication of GRACE's success is that all placements for 2009 (n = 490) were allocated to students earlier than in previous years. GRACE offers shared responsibility for clinical education between host sites and the School which has cultivated mutually beneficial relationships, resulting in improved outcomes for student learning and enhanced services for consumers.
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