Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

Advisor 1

Jennifer Nash

First Committee Member

Merrill Landers

Second Committee Member

Daniel Young

Number of Pages



Introduction: The purpose of this service-learning project was to: 1) reduce falls in the Las Vegas, Nevada community by implementing the Stepping On fall prevention program and 2) to investigate the effect of planning and implementing a service learning project (SLP) on physical therapy (PT) students’ education and professional development. Description: Under the supervision of our advisor, we planned and organized this SLP, became certified leaders of Stepping On, recruited and screened older adults using the STEADI fall risk screening tool, and facilitated the program at a local community hospital. We facilitated group discussion and instructed the exercises outlined in Stepping On. Student growth was determined based on written self-reflection at four points throughout the project and analyzed for common themes involving the seven APTA core professional values. Results: Twenty-one older adult participants attended at least one session and 15 participants completed the program by attending at least five of seven sessions. While development of all seven APTA core values were recognized in student reflections over the course of the project, four common themes emerged: compassion/caring, excellence, accountability, and social responsibility. Discussion: In harmony with previous research, we found implementation of SLPs to be beneficial for students’ professional growth within their field of practice. Educators and students can use fall prevention programs such as Stepping On as SLPs to help students apply didactic knowledge, gain experience working with patients, and grow in many areas of professionalism while serving the community and positively impacting the health of society.


Fall Prevention; Service-learning; Physical Therapy; Stepping On; STEADI; Fall Risk; Older adults


Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy

File Format


File Size

1.017 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit