Experiential Learning: A Distinctive Quality of Our Program
"Tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, but if you involve me, I will understand." - wisdom from a Chinese proverb
Social work program faculty are committed to creating opportunities for actively involving students in doing social work throughout their undergraduate careers. Beginning in the first semester of the sophomore year and continuing through the final semester of the senior year, students are actively engaged in the practice of social work so that they will have ongoing occasion to integrate what they learn in the classroom with their developing social work practice. This approach to social work education produces exceptionally well-rounded, qualified graduates who get jobs easily and who become leaders in their field.
Here are examples of things social work students might experience as part of their coursework in our program.
- Be part of a study team that explores the problem of drug abuse and the social policy response to that problem in a local community. The team organizes a workshop to present to other social work students based on the findings and recommendations of the study.
- Conduct a community needs assessment that examines the extent of unserved or underserved preschool and school-age children who may benefit from improved access to daycare services.
- Do a "mini-internship" at a local nursing home working directly with the residents.
- Complete an 80 hour "lab" or mini-internship doing social work with public school students under the supervision of the Prevention Specialist Social Worker in a local school district.
- Engage in a 60 hour student-team effort to organize a volunteer component to support the adults and their children who are being served by a county-wide literacy project.
- Complete a 500 hour social work practicum in a psychiatric hospital where responsibilities include doing intake assessments, developing treatment plans, working with an interdisciplinary treatment team, serving as a liaison to patients' families, and discharge planning to assure continuity of care for clients upon their reentry into the community.
Juniata social work students thrive in their professional and academic development because they are significantly challenged in a nurturing educational context that provides the necessary peer and faculty support to assure that they will succeed - often beyond expectation.