Carlow University Students to Face Tough Issues During Poverty Simulation Exercise

Carlow University students from nursing, education, psychology and social work will experience some of the problems and challenges that many people in our community face daily.

University Communications For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations September 14, 2015
412.578.2095 (phone)
412.260.6807 (cell)
412.578.2080 (fax)

Poverty Simulation Exercise Forces Students in Caring Professions to Walk in Another’s Shoes

Pittsburgh, Pa. – What do you do if you have enough money for food or medicine but not both?

That’s one of the questions that undergraduate students from Carlow University’s nursing, education, psychology, and social work programs will be considering on Wednesday, September 23, from 4 – 6 p.m., as they take part in a poverty simulation designed to have them face issues that thousands of people across Pittsburgh face every day.  The simulation will take place in the St. Joseph Hall gymnasium on the Carlow campus.

“Each semester our undergraduate students participate in the Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS), a live-action simulation to role play issues facing low-income families,” said Renee Ingel, PhD, RN, an assistant professor of nursing in Carlow’s College of Health and Wellness.  “The goal for this exercise is for the students to understand what it takes to survive, thrive, or meet their demise while faced with the obstacles of poverty.”

This simulation is required of senior level nursing students, who are completing their community health clinical rotation.  Students participating from majors other than nursing have been invited to be part of the simulation for the learning experience and insights it will provide them.

During the simulation, participants will face particular challenges/problems, such as single parents trying to care for their children or senior citizens trying to maintain their self-sufficiency on Social Security, that many people  in our community can face on a daily basis.  The goal, Ingel says, is getting the students to embrace the Mercy tradition of assisting the poor and the underserved.

“Having a greater understanding of what low-income people face daily will help our students be better nurses or social workers or any of the other caring professions,” said Ingel. “Participating in CAPS, definitely opens our students’ eyes to the challenges faced by the people they will be caring for.”


Editor’s Note:  The news media is welcome to cover the Community Action Poverty Simulation at Carlow on Wednesday, September 23.  Please contact Drew Wilson on his cell phone (412-260-6807) to arrange convenient parking.

About Carlow University

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carlow University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929. Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, Carlow University is a comprehensive master’s institution dedicated to learner-centered education at the collegiate levels and at the elementary school level in the Campus School of Carlow University.

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