Date of Award


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Campbell, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa A. Heaton

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Kathryn Gould

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kimberly McFall


This longitudinal qualitative case study explored the knowledge, perceptions, confidence, and empathy gained by dietetics students during experiential learning at a residential diabetes camp. Qualitative research methods were used to explore and understand participants’ experience of hands-on involvement with type one diabetes, and what they learned at camp that cannot be learned in a classroom. Data were collected over two years at Camp Kno-Koma, the diabetes camp of West Virginia. This study suggests that experiential learning at diabetes camp can make an important contribution to the overall education of dietetics students. One year of experiential learning was beneficial to participating dietetics students; two years provided a deeper understanding of the disease in children’s lives and the role of the registered dietitian nutritionist at camp. The experience of participating in diabetes camp was also shown to provide in-depth education about type one diabetes management and care; more than what can be provided in a didactic setting. In the camp setting, participants were able to work interprofessionally to better understand all aspects of diabetes care. This study informs dietetics educators and students about the benefits of experiential learning at diabetes camp; the study’s greatest contribution is the ability for educators to understand how experiential learning opportunities at diabetes camp provide in-depth education and how these learning experiences can be incorporated into dietetics curricula


Diabetes in children -- Treatment.

Experiential learning -- Evaluation.