Date of Award


Document Status

Open Access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)


Occupational Therapy


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the effectiveness of a service-learning project completed by Grand Valley State University occupational therapy students in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Public Museum. This study sought to discover the perceptions of service-learning projects from community collaborators’ perspective. A qualitative focus group was used to gather data about the museum’s role in the community and in learning, occupational therapy’s role within community settings like the museum, and the use of service-learning projects to integrate the two. Overall themes from the qualitative data analysis included: Occupational Therapy in Museums, Learning Environment, and Service-Learning. Data analysis revealed information concerning museum staff perceptions about the GVSU student service-learning project as well as their overall comprehension of the field of occupational therapy and its relevance to the museum environment. The results suggested that the collaborative project was a highly successful experience. Additionally, staff vocalized excitement and anticipation for future projects within the museum and generated additional ideas about other community institutions that might benefit from occupational therapy. Further research should be conducted to evaluate service-learning projects and perceptions of community partners, as well as occupational therapy and its role in community settings.