Authentic or real-world practical experiences have been shown to be valuable for Athletic Training (AT) students.1 Service learning (SL), in particular, is a pedagogical approach in which educational objectives are linked with service-based, authentic experiences within a community. Students involved help meet community needs while, through reflection, gain a better understanding of course content, its connection to service and the discipline, and a greater sense of civic responsibility.2 Literature describes positive effects of SL on students, faculty, academic institutions, community organizations and community members.3,4 Furthermore, literature discusses the idea of civic professionalism and how adding a dimension of civic responsibility to professional preparation through SL influences socialization into professional fields.5,6 Professional fields such as medicine4 and nursing7 report benefits of SL and advocate for incorporating community-based education into health professions education.4 While AT research on SL is limited, based on outcomes in related fields, developing SL courses is likely valuable within AT education. While AT students at our institution benefit from service learning experiences in a variety of ways, 8 we have learned many valuable lessons about developing a service learning course over the last few years. Thus, the purpose of this presentation is to facilitate discussion toward the current nature of athletic training experiential education within a service learning framework and reflect upon potential benefits of incorporating service learning into AT curricula. In addition, we offer practical insight and resources towards the development of a successful service learning course as well as discuss potential drawbacks and difficulties faced.

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