University of Florida (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 2902-2908
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Medical advances have increased the number of youth with chronic illness living into adulthood, necessitating that they prepare for adulthood. Approximately 15-18 % of all children have a chronic illness (University of Michigan Health System, 2011) such as Asthma, Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer, Aids (Grady, 2009). Students with invisible chronic illness (ICI) are more likely then they were in 1990 to live into adulthood based on a comparison of census data (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011) indicating lower death rates from Diabetes Mellitus (10%); Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (10%); Cerebrovascular Disease (32%); Cancer (11%); and Diseases of the Heart (28%). Students with ICI need to learn how to navigate adult healthcare services and strategies for job/community/family success.

Typically, special educators plan for education transition, and healthcare providers plan healthcare transition (but the word “transition” is defined differently in the two fields (Blum, 1995). Students and families are asked to straddle these two fields that often do not collaborate to support students with ICI. Since healthcare and educational interests are integral parts of each child and the adult he or she will become it is crucial to integrate education and healthcare transition services (Repetto, et al., 2008). We use an online certificate program to bring these to fields together.

In our presentation we will briefly discuss the Education-Healthcare Transition (EdHCT) Model developed to guide the coordination of these two fields of transition. The EdHCT model is grounded in identified research-based transition practices (Test et al., 2009) and is designed to (a) decrease effort and cost duplication, (b) increase family and student empowerment, (c) increase student support, and (d) increase cross-disciplinary creative problem solving (Repetto, et al, 2012).

The main focus of the presentation will be to discuss the development and implementation of our 12 credit international online EdHCT certificate program. The four graduate level courses include (a) Introduction to Education – Health Care Transition, (b) Legal Aspects & Policies in Education Health Care Transition, (c) Methods for Integrating Education Health Care Transition, and (d) Seminar in Education Health Care Transition. Throughout course development the authors incorporated principles of effective online learning (e.g., applying content, building a community of practice, using an interdisciplinary approach). Each of the 4 courses includes individual module discussion, individual and group activities, online journals, action plan research, resource building, readings and research.

The first cohort has graduated earning an official EdHCT Certificate stamp on their university transcript. Our first cohort was comprised of students from five different states working in both health care and education fields. We will present data sharing insights on what worked and what needs adjustment to improve our online certificate courses.
Online learning, graduate level, education and healthcare collaboration, transition, special education, youth with chronic illness.