The Community Assessment: Students Discovering Strengths and Needs in Small Towns and Rural Areas

Kristina M. Hash, Patricia A. Chase, Carrie W. Rishel


This article highlights an evolving assignment given in BSW and MSW Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) courses. The community assessment assignment provides students with the opportunity to become immersed in small towns and rural areas and discover strengths and needs through observation, analysis of census data, interviews with key informants, and giving back. Components of the assignment are discussed as well as keys to success for facilitating the assignment. Common themes discovered across these communities are integrated throughout.


community assessment, community-based research, pedagogy, rural areas

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