Defining the Community Assignment

Defining the Community Assignment

Defining the Community Assignment

You must go out into your community to complete the windshield survey! This project cannot be completed by just doing online research. For the paper, make sure interviews are cited as personal communication. (My community location is Dallas, TX, make sure to note this). An example of the paper is attached.

Defining the Community

Your community can be a pediatric, adolescence, young adults, adult, elderly or a combination.

Clearly delineate the following dimensions before starting the process of community assessment:

Describe the population that is being assessed?
What is/are the race(s) of this population within the community?
Are there boundaries of this group? If so, what are they?
Does this community exist within a certain city or county?
Are there general characteristics that separate this group from others?
Education levels, birth/death rates, age of deaths, insured/uninsured?
Where is this group located geographically…? Urban/rural?
Why is a community assessment being performed? What purpose will it serve?
How will information for the community assessment be collected?
Assessment

After the community has been defined, the next phase is assessment. The following items describe several resources and methods that can be used to gather and generate data. These items serve as a starting point for data collection. This is not an all-inclusive list of resources and methods that may be used when a community assessment is conducted.

The time frame for completion of the assessment may influence which methods are used. Nonetheless, these items should be reviewed to determine what information will be useful to collect about the community that is being assessed. It is not necessary to use all of these resources and methods; however, use of a variety of methods is helpful when one is exploring the needs of a community.

Data Gathering (collecting information that already exists)

Demographics of the Community

When demographic data are collected, it is useful to collect data from a variety of levels so comparisons can be made.
If the population that is being assessed is located within a specific setting, it may be best to contact that agency to retrieve specific information about that population.
The following resources provide a broad overview of the demographics of a city, county, or state:
American Fact Finder—Find population, housing, and economic and geographic data for your city based on U.S. Census data
State and County Quick Facts—Easy access to facts about people, business, and geography, based on U.S. Census data
Obtain information about a specific city or county on these useful websites www.epodunk.com and www.city-data.com
Information from Government Agencies

Healthy People 2020—this resource is published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It identifies health improvement goals and objectives for the country to be reached by the year 2020
National Center for Health Statistics—this agency is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; this website provides statistical information about the health of Americans
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—The CDC website contains a large amount of information related to the health of the American population. The search engine within this website can be used to find relevant information
Federal agencies with statistical programs
Every state in the United States has its own specific health improvement plan and goals that are based on the Healthy People 2020 document. This information may be available on the state health department website.
State and local health departments provide information related to vital statistics for the community.
Other Data Sources

America’s Health Rankings—this website provides information about various health indicators for each state: https://www.americashealthrankings.org/
Other relevant data sources may be found by conducting an Internet search related to the topic that is being examined through the community assessment.
After data are collected from various sources, it is important to review the information and to identify assets and areas for improvement in the community by comparing local data (if available) versus state and national data. This will facilitate organization of the information that has already been obtained and will provide direction for the next step of the process.

Data Generation (data are developed that do not already exist):

Windshield Surveys

With the use of public transportation or by driving a vehicle around the community, one can observe common characteristics of the community.

Examples of key observations to make when one is assessing the community through a windshield survey include the following:

Age of the homes in the community
Location of parks and other recreational areas
Amount of space between homes and businesses
Neighborhood hangouts
Transportation in the community
Quality and safety of streets and sidewalks
Stores and other businesses
People out in the community
Cleanliness of the community
Billboards or other media displays
Places of worship
Healthcare facilities
Participant Observation

Spend time observing the population that is being assessed. Through observation of interactions among group members, much can be learned about the community, including the following:

Developmental level of the population
Effectiveness of peer-to-peer interactions
Respect for peers and others
Safety in the environment
Economic status
Informant Interviews

Informants could be people who are familiar with and interact with the population on a regular basis.

Examples of questions that may be asked of key informants include the following:

Strengths/assets of the community
Areas of improvement for the community
Concerns of community members
Access to health care
Emergency plans for natural or man-made disasters
Focus Groups

Focus groups (usually small groups of 6-12 people) can be helpful when one is gathering information about specific areas of concern within the population. Use of a focus group involves open dialogue about the population, whereas an interview or survey yields only individual responses.

Focus groups may be effective for assessing the following:
Satisfaction with services provided
Community resources used
Transportation issues within the community
Safety within the community
General concerns of members of the population
Surveys

Surveys may be used to collect data from the community. Selecting a sample of the target population may prove helpful in the collection of data that are easier to analyze. It is important to ensure that the sample is representative of the target population.

A survey should be developed that takes into consideration the developmental level of the group that is being assessed. Questions should be written at the appropriate developmental level, so they are answered in a way that makes the data useful. Surveys might include closed-ended (yes/no), multiple choice (several responses to choose from), Likert scale (Strongly Agree/Agree/Neutral/Disagree/Strongly Disagree), or open-ended (“why”/“how”) questions.

Topics that may be addressed in a survey include the following:

Demographic information
Status of employment
Safety within community
Safety in environment
Personal safety (seatbelts, helmets, etc.)
Stressors/stress management patterns
Risky behaviors
Support systems
Volunteer/community activities
Rest patterns
Nutrition
Dental hygiene
Health promotion activities
Level 1 headings are centered and bold. Level 2 headings are bold and at the left margin. The community location is Dallas, Texas (diverse community).

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You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CLASS

Discussion Questions (DQ)

Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
Weekly Participation

Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality

Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes

I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
LopesWrite Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
Communication

Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.