4/19/2010 - Is Social Work Your Calling? Our New Program...
The "Helping" Career:
By Elizabeth Tucker
Judson College will offer a bachelor's degree program in social work and a full set of social work courses in the fall semester.
Judson president Dr. David Potts asked professor of psychology and social sciences division head Dr. Harold Arnold to make a feasibility study some months ago to determine a need for a social work major at the college.
Arnold discovered that Alabama does, indeed, need licensed social workers particularly in the Black Belt region of the state, so the hiring and accreditation process was begun.
"Judson has received a lot of support from alumnae and the board members," Arnold said.
"They feel the program is a positive investment and they're enthusiastic about it."
Dr. Allen Stata from Eastern New Mexico University came to Judson last fall to begin the program and construct the course curriculum. He's in process of hiring a program field director who will locate internships and field experience for students.
The process of accreditation is a four-year program and the program is currently in the candidacy stage. The program has been accepted for accreditation candidacy by the Council on Social Work Education and is set for the first of three "commissioner's visits" next fall
It's anticipated that the major will be fully accredited in three to four years.
Stata explained that a social work minor is not recognized because a minimum of a bachelor's in social work is required for licensure. And if a student should graduate with a social work major prior to the program's official accreditation, their earned bachelor's degree will be "grandfathered" at the same time as the program.
Stata recommends that his students attain a master's degree in social work, too. Upon Judson's accreditation, students become eligible for advanced standing in a master's program and may be able to skip the first year of an MSW program.
Stata has designed a rigorous course program for his students who must complete 55 hours of class time and 450 hours of internship to graduate. Students' first semester of classes will prepare them for field experience which they will begin in the spring of next year.
Graduates can work in child welfare such as adoption services, on Native American reservations, with the police or in courts, in schools, health-care settings and many more career options.
Both Arnold and Stata believe that the new major is attractive to prospective students and that graduates will make a positive impact on their communities.
"The profession is about 90 percent female and it fits with Judson College's mission," Stata said.
"We're called to care for the troubled and the underprivileged, and this major is one way to answer the call."
*Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.