Interprofessional Education for Inclusive Practices

Interprofessional Education for Inclusive Practices Event GroupStudents work together in groups to share ideas and knowledge from their respective fields while working on a case study.

About, from, and with: the fundamental concepts of interprofessional education

When asked about the importance of working collaboratively with professionals from different fields in order to find the best and most complete way of providing educational and health services, students suggest "working in a team isn't a personality trait anymore, it's a skill that you have to hone".

On October 9th, over 60 Graduate College of Education students participated in our event, Interprofessional Education for Inclusive Practices. The event, hosted by our Department of Special Education and Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, was led by Drs. Betty Yu and Maryssa Mitsch. Specifically, pre-service speech-language pathologists and early childhood special educators learned about collaboration, teaming, and the respective areas of expertise from their groups.

To kick off the event, both Yu and Mitsch began by defining interprofessional education (IPE) as "an activity that occurs when two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve outcomes for individuals and families whom we serve." The goal of this informational event and case study is to try and train the students to work efficiently with others by building skills that promote synergy between fields. They explain that working across disciplines allows students, families, and individuals to receive the best education, development, care and outcomes.

The attendees were asked to complete a self-assessment quiz regarding their IPE skills. When asked about the results, one student says that "it’s all about [understanding] culture and people’s perspectives". The students discussed the importance of social skills and open communication before working on their case study in groups.

The origin of the event has a long-standing history spanning many years of the SLHS and ECSE programs working together, with collaborators like Drs. Nancy Robinson, Summer Hsia, and more. Yu and Mitsch started collaborating in Fall 2017 and have improved each year since. This year, after hearing about the Spring 2019 IPE event held by Drs. Anusha Sundarrajan and Nancy Robinson, Drs. Yu and Mitsch decided to give it a shot as well. With their guidance, Yu and Mitsch were able to adapt the IPE content to match their courses’ content and meet student needs.

Mitsch shared, "Our annual collaboration continues to grow and strengthen every year. By listening and learning from one another while completing their education, students are given the opportunity to develop professional relationships with experts outside their certification areas and practice these skills. This is where interprofessional education transitions into interprofessional practice." Yu and Mitsch hope to transform the IPE event into an annual tradition, and are also looking for ways to expand collaboration in both of their programs and throughout the Graduate College of Education. Stay tuned!

Interprofessional Education for Inclusive Practices PresentDrs. Yu and Mitsch discuss the importance of professionals working cross-discipline to provide the best forms of education and care to their students and clients.