The AAHE Case Study Competition was founded by Dr. Karl Larson of Gustav Adolphus University. two weeks prior to the Competition at the National AAHPERD Convention, eight student teams are provided with a Case Study scenario addressing a specific health issue. At the Competition, each student team must present their response in accordance with the instructions in the scenario as well as the judging criteria.
Dr. Karl Larson answers our questions about the development of the AAHE Undergraduate Case Study Competition:
Q1: What is the purpose of the Case Study Competition?
A1: The Case Study Competition is designed to give undergraduate health education majors the opportunity to display expertise they have developed during their time as a major. It requires students to use all the competencies required of a health major.
Q2: When did you see the need for the Competition?
A2: Discussion regarding this event began at the 2003 [AAHPERD] Convention. It took a year for it to gain support and another year to design. "Need" probably isn't as much the right term as "opportunity." Somany of us are as committed to providing a quality Convention to the students coming through the ranks.This was one more piece of that puzzle.
Q3: How does the Case Study Competition differ from other events offered by AAHE?
A3: Well, it's competitive, for one. That's the biggest distinction. Unlike many of the sessions designed for undergrads, which appropriately work to acclimate new people into the Convention, this is completely designed to be an exhibition of the next generation's skills.
Q4: What benefits do students and health education programs get from participating in the Competition?
A4: I think programs can really be validated in their efforts through a program like this. I think people see the fact that UNI has won both contests so far [2006 and 2007 Competitions] and think they must be doing some good work there.
Q5: What challenges have been encountered so far? How have these challenges been overcome?
A5: The most significant challengein this program, so far, has been consistency. Consistent approach, consistent evaluation, consistent philosophy, etc. Having said that, I don't think it is uncommon to see that in a newer program. Also, considering the nature of the event, it will be in constant transition, so we'll need to keep addressing these issues.
Q6: What else do you think would be important for students or faculty to know about the Competition?
A6: That programs considering sending a team in the future should come and watch!