How does a department of social work go about fulfilling a vision and mission statement that seeks to integrate Christian faith and social work practice and empower our students to work locally, nationally, and internationally? The answer is trusting in and depending upon the sustainability that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Past themes for the Department have included such phrases as “for such a time as this (Esther 4:14)”, “we can certainly do it (Numbers 13:30)” and tapping into the water that flows from the sanctuary that sustains growth along the river banks of life (Ezekiel 47:12). In the coming years, our goal will be to continue to create and sustain radiant relationships (Hebrews 1:3) at all levels of life - for our faculty, staff, students, and future clients.
Our field education programs are also fully equipped with our distance learning technology to assist students in finding placements locally, nationally, and internationally, as well. Students can work with all sorts of populations, including: inner city; rural camping; national organizations; and in international settings, like Costa Rica, Ireland, Israel, or Jamaica.
It is amazing to look back and recognize that resources have already been provided to send faculty and students to China, Jamaica, Haiti, and Israel. Additional resources have been provided for research, grants, and scholarships, including: the Berry Foundation Endowment for Research; the Upstate New York Mental Health Educational Consortium HRSA Grant for mental health concentration students in our MSW program; and the Offsprings Charities Carlen Scholarship for an undergraduate social work student generated from our annual Purple Walk for domestic violence.
Finally, our curriculum transformation to the new educational program accreditation standards has enabled our department to fine-tune the development and the scaffolding of the social work practice skills for each of our programs. The addition of our Emergency Room Trauma Simulation Lab provides students an opportunity to sharpen their crisis intervention skills in a safe but realistic setting.
Students can be confident that when they graduate from our accredited social work programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, that they will be thoroughly equipped to enter the profession of social work.