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Most graduate education programs incorporate hands-on application of skills in the classroom. However, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, has taken this concept to the next level by joining forces with the Salvation Army of Broward County, Florida. Students enrolled in audiology, occupational therapy, optometry, and dispute-resolution programs have the opportunity to gain experience working with clients while assisting the community's underserved population.

The partnership is the brainchild of Georgiana Herzberg, PhD, OTR/L, associate professor in NSU's occupational therapy program. When Herzberg came to NSU in 1998, she began looking for a way to give back to the community. While attending a community meeting, Herzberg met Harold Dom, MSW, the director of social services for the Salvation Army, who wanted to improve and expand the programs offered at the time. Herzberg notes, "They were providing two hots and a cot-dinner, breakfast, and a place to sleep-but that was not helping people build skills." (Authors)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services