Design And Implementation Of A Garden-Based Service Learning Program For Nutrition And Dietetic Students: A CBPR Approach

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Margaret Gartman (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Lanae Ball

Abstract: Our goal was to develop a garden literacy program tailored to undergraduate dietetic students to provide hands-on, service learning opportunities in gardening and nutrition education. A community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach was used to guide the program implementation at a local community garden. Participants (n = 12) were declared Nutrition majors, 18 years of age or older, and had limited previous garden knowledge. They completed a five-week curriculum taught by North Carolina Cooperative Extension educators. A mixed-method design was utilized which included pre/post surveys, semi-structured interviews, record keeping, filed notes, observations and photos. The process of garden implementation was evaluated using a logic model. Descriptive statistics were calculated using Excel, and interviews were coded using the Constant Comparative method by three trained researchers. A campus-community partnership was key in the development of the garden program. At baseline, average perceived knowledge of sustainability/gardening was 3.87/10 (SD = 2.59). Major benefits that emerged were increased connections to community organizations, improved self-reported vegetable intake and local food purchasing, and enhanced self-efficacy for gardening and nutrition education. Participants agreed that the garden program could help prepare them for their future careers. Although gardens are now common in K-12 farm-to-school initiatives, there is a deficit of research on initiatives targeting college-aged students and specifically dietetic students. This project is important because it can guide the incorporation of garden education into undergraduate Dietetic programs.

Additional Information

Gartman, M. (2017). "Design And Implementation Of A Garden-Based Service Learning Program For Nutrition And Dietetic Students: A CBPR Approach." Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
Nutrition & Dietetics, Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), Garden Literacy, Sustainability, Community Garden

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