Title of Presentation

Cultivating an Interprofessional Poverty Simulation Experience

Date of Presentation


Name of Conference

16th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education

Date of Conference


Location of Conference

Honolulu, Hawaii

Document Type

Conference Presentation


School of Nursing


Poverty is a significant issue in the United States and negative attitudes of service providers have been found to have a negative impact on both practice and policy. Therefore, faculty who teach preservice students, are motivated to positively influence student attitudes regarding poverty. But student attitudes are often not easily changed by traditional methods of teaching– there lies the challenge.

One way to encourage change in attitudes is through experiential learning followed by reflection. In the Poverty Simulation (Missouri Association for Community Action, n.d.), students from many disciplines are able to experience the difficulties and challenges faced by “being poor”. The simulation is conducted with participants being assigned family identities. The families then work to navigate the demands and challenges associated with being poor in four, 15-minute weeks. The families must prioritize their family challenges and interact with community resources in their attempts to resolve those challenges. A guided reflection at the end of the experience is designed to help students to process the information and their feelings. The process of simulation and reflection, increases students’ awareness and understanding; potentially leading to changes in attitudes towards the poor.

This presentation will present the initial findings of a new, ongoing, interprofessional Poverty Simulation project that was launched Winter 2017 and continued in Fall 2017 at a medium-sized Midwestern university. Students from nursing; education; business; and speech, language, and hearing met to experience a Poverty Simulation (Missouri Association for Community Action, n.d.). After the simulation, students were surveyed for attitudes towards poverty using an online survey.

Preliminary data on student attitudes towards poverty will be compared with data obtained for three semesters prior to the start of the Poverty Simulation experience.

The presentation will also provide information describing the challenges, logistics and strategies used to promote and cultivate the development of a Poverty Simulation program, a large interprofessional experience.

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