The article, "Homelessness: Learning About the Topic and Each Other," was written by Marcia Morrison, Ed.D., and Joanne VanOsdel, Ed.D., both assistant professors in the educational administration department at USD. Morrison and VanOsdel explain strategies they used to teach a capstone course at USD as part of the primary baccalaureate graduation requirement, the Interdisciplinary Education and Action (IdEA) Program, which combines in class academic experiences with community-based learning.

Morrison and VanOsdel demonstrated how they used an interdisciplinary approach having students investigate the historical and contemporary movements that shape homelessness. Through the course, Morrison and VanOsdel wanted students to apply their future career skills to a real world problem. According to the article, students studied, researched and analyzed the complex issues of homelessness using strategies more familiar to their majors. Additionally, students made presentations using knowledge from their major areas of study, which added to the interdisciplinary perspective, and participated in various service projects, including preparing and serving community-sponsored meals for those in need. Morrison and VanOsdel confessed in the article that they, as professors, learned as much about the issues surrounding homelessness as the students.

The IdEA Program, a signature program of USD, recently focused student and faculty study into one interdisciplinary theme, "Liberal Learning: Students in a Global Community," and projects like Morrison's and VanOsdel's will continue as part of that effort. The theme will provide significant student experiences in critical thinking, integrative learning and citizenship, key outcomes of a liberal education.

To read the complete article, please go to A photo of Morrison is available for download at A photograph of VanOsdel is available for download at

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