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Population Health Foundation POH 301
Community Assessment – Windshield Survey
This project consists of 3 parts:
1. Community Assessment Paper (APA format) – 100 pts.
2. Map and Log sheet – 50 pts.
3. Via LiveText Showcase Summary – 50 pts.
(See instructions for submission of all parts on the Moodle page)
This activity introduces students to a practical method of learning and assessing the needs of a community.
This includes estimating the socioeconomic status of the residents, as well as identifying social, health, safety
and other needs. Disparities in specific communities can be identified, plans to address the deficits can be
developed, and then monitored as interventions are implemented.
General Overview/Project Instructions
1. Review the Community Toolbox link on the Moodle page to get an overview of conducting a
2. Select your community to assess – you may choose any area, urban, suburban or rural, noting that
the size will be determined by the population in the area
a. an urban community is generally no more than 2 miles square (a total area of 4 square miles)
b. a suburban community may be as much as 5 miles square (a total area of 25 square miles)
c. a rural community may be as much as 10 miles square (a total of 100 square miles)
3. Get a map of your community, and make a plan for how and when you will drive through the area,
where you can stop to take notes, etc.
a. Use Google maps – you can “print screen” and then using software such as “Paint” you can
mark the area on your map and then save it for submission
b. At least two different days/times should be selected (a week day and a weekend day)
c. Be certain you are only in the area during day light (that’s not to say that there isn’t valuable
information gained by observing in the evenings, but since you are working alone, no one
should be in any neighborhood at night)
d. Be certain you are in a safe area when you stop (never put yourself at risk)
4. Using the provided check list, evaluate each aspect of the community
5. Conduct a gap analysis – a comparison of the status of your particular community on the major
aspects of the survey as compared to the State or National averages
a. For example: if the community you select is urban, and many of the houses in the area are
assessed at about $75,000, but the average price of a house in Shelby County is $132,200, then
there is a gap representing a lower socioeconomic status for the community
i. The US Census Bureau is your best resource for this type of county, State, and National
6. Make recommendations for aspects that need improvement
Details of the Project:
Community Assessment Paper
1. Must follow APA (or other approved format) guidelines, including a cover page, abstract, in-text
citations and reference page.
2. There is no specific length, but the body of your paper must include the following:
a. An introduction and geographic summary of the area you selected and why it was selected.
Note that even though you personally chose the area, you must NOT write this in first person.
b. A summary of each of the aspects on your check list. In some cases, you can combine several
aspects into a single paragraph (e.g. traffic and transportation may be combined with
streetscape), but in some cases, it will take a full paragraph to describe a single aspect. There
is no specific requirement for this, it’s whatever works best to describe what you observed in
your chosen area.
c. The gap analysis should be its own section that summarizes the major deficits (or advantages)
in the community. Some things are easy to measure, but others are more difficult to find data
for comparison. For instance, if your area does not have any parks or greenspace, it may not
be possible to find any data on actual square miles of greenspace in the county or State; but
you can still comment that lack of any parks or greenspace mean children have no safe place to
i. This section should be more of a summary, not every aspect must be addressed, just
d. The recommendations you make should be based upon something reasonable. You can’t fix
everything all at once, so decide what a priority is, and suggest a means to achieve it.
i. This section requires you to look at what has been done elsewhere in the County, State,
nationally, or even internationally. Do some research for this, and cite examples of
what might work.
e. At the end of your paper add your map and log sheet of the notes you made as an appendix
(this should be electronic – so you can scan in your notes, take pictures of them, or type them
i. Be certain you use APA (or other approved) formatting for the appendix
Via LiveText Showcase Summary
You must use the Via LiveText Showcase to produce a summary of your survey. It should include:
1. Introduction page (page 1) that introduces you (include your picture, your major, areas of interest
within Population Health, career plans, etc.) and the community you assessed – keep it simple and
2. Three – five pages (pages 2 – up to 6) of images from the community that provide examples of
both disparities and benefits within the community. Provide brief narratives for each image that
explain what it is and why you chose to include it
3. One – two pages (pages 7-8, assuming you did 5 pages in #2) to present your primary
4. Reflection page (page 9) – consider the following as write your reflection on this assignment
a. What were the challenges for you in this activity?
b. What did you learn that you didn’t expect to learn?
c. Are there things you would approach differently the next time you have a major project?
d. What was most difficult for you when you developed your recommendation?
5. There is a separate link for submission of the Via LiveText url on the Moodle page
The project grading rubrics for each of the three components are posted on Moodle (note that parts 1 & 2 will
be posted as a single grade, with the Via LiveText posted as a separate grade)
Windshield Survey Checklist
Aspect Viewed Comments
Culture and entertainment
Community and public services
neighborhoods or areas of the