PBL in Health and Human Services

"PBL sets learners up to engage with real-world problems, recognize our community's assets, and tackle issues beyond the classroom, as well as participate in authentic learning experiences that require applied knowledge, critical thinking, and decision-making (Biello et al, 2020)."

This approach is particularly well-suited for our curricula, as we seek to prepare students for a dynamic, interdisciplinary, professional environment.

Practice-Based Learning - Environmental Justice through Action Research
Practice-Based Learning: Increasing "Tree Equity" in Dearborn

In Health and Human Services

We use a scaffolded approach to our curriculum that allows students to build the skills necessary to be successful in PBL learning. 

Foundational Courses

This is an image of students collaborating on a project together.Students acquire problem-solving and decision-making skills through course assignments, including reflective learning.  Projects are often scaffolded, throughout the semester and largely individual efforts (not teams-based).

HHS 100 - Personal Health and Wellness

HHS 200 - Introduction to Public Health

HHS 210 - Introduction to Social Work

HHS 306 - Program Plan Implementation

HHS 401 -  Methods of Health Promotion

HHS 404/504 - Financing Health and Medical System

HHS 405/505 - Population Health

HHS 412/512 - Principles of Epidemiology

Teamwork Courses

This image is a group of students who are doing collaborative work. Students work on projects where they have the opportunity to work with classmates, applying teams-approaches to authentic problem-solving that require critical thinking, communication, applied knowledge, decision-making and reflection in classroom experiences.

HHS 250 - Introduction to Environmental Health

HHS 308 - Introduction to Macro Social Work

HHS 310 - System of Care

HHS 311 - Work with Vulnerable Populations

HHS 325 - Death, Dying, and Bereavement

HHS 400 - Health Policy and Politics

Community Engaged Course

In advanced classes, we typically partner with community organizations on projects that allow students to critically engage with real-world problems.


Our internship program offers students real-world experiences to problem-solve and even greater autonomy, while still providing a classroom space for self-reflections and meaning-making of the experience with an instructor.

HHS 402 - Health and Human Services Internship

Interprofessional Education

This is an image of students in a lab doing research.HHS is committed to providing our graduates with the skills and competencies needed to be successful in today’s complex healthcare environments as future health professionals. Whichever field our graduates choose to work in, all of our learners need the ability to work in interdisciplinary collaborative teams. Part of our commitment comes in the form of our participation with the Center for Interprofessional Education and our approach to a core set of undergraduate classes that all HHS tracks need to complete. This interdisciplinary approach assures that all students have exposure to and understanding of multiple disciplinary lenses and fields before they specialize in a single field. This provides our students with the advantage of knowing how to work in diverse teams to respond to and solve today’s health  by demonstrating skills including shared decision making, joint accountability for patient care, and an understanding of population health, all of which are fundamental to addressing today’s health and human service challenges.

Induction to IPE Module

The Introduction to IPE Module introduces students to the current healthcare landscape through the perspectives of patients and families as well as faculty. It then provides an overview of the history of interprofessional education and how it relates to the quadruple aim of health care: improved patient experience, improved population health, increased workforce satisfaction, and reduced cost of health care. The content is appropriate for students across the health science schools and is ideal for learners early in their programs. This module has been embedded into several HHS courses.

Longitudinal Interprofessional Family-Based Experience (LIFE)

Co-Curricular Activity:

LIFE connects teams of interprofessional students (who have applied for admission) with patients who have a chronic illness. Students participating in this experience will be immersed in IPE competencies as they learn about the social determinants of health that impact the patient/family’s interface with the health care system and community. Students must have completed the Introduction to IPE online course in order to participate.

Contact Information

CEHHS Office for Student Success
2150 (2nd Floor) Social Sciences Building (SSB)
4901 Evergreen Road Dearborn, MI 48128
[email protected]