Welcome to these exciting and historic days in the Department of Social Work at Roberts Wesleyan College. We continue to witness the transforming creative power of God’s Holy Spirit with our students, our curriculum, and even in the renovation of Carpenter Hall as the second building on campus to go green with a new geo-thermal heating and cooling system. Our department theme for 2013/2014 comes from Numbers 13:30. Our perspective comes from Caleb and Joshua: “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land for we can certainly do it.’” We still say yes first in our department until we have a reason to say no.
Our new Department Vision is to lead the advancement of integrating Christian faith with social work practice, scholarship, and service locally, nationally, and internationally. We are privileged to witness the expanding of our spheres of influence through our faculty/student research projects, our distance learning technology and our international service opportunities for both field practicum and course electives. Check out all of these opportunities on our BSW and MSW homepages and our new department Facebook page.
Our new Department Mission is to provide a creative and supportive learning environment that integrates Christian faith and equips students to master requisite practice competencies while encouraging compassionate service. Curriculum changes are already being implemented this fall in both programs. One great example of this change to evidence-based practice is the development and implementation of anemergency room simulation labwith our Nursing Department. Our social work students gained both experience with crisis intervention practice skills and learned how to collaborate as part of an interdisciplinary team in a daylong event. All of these changes to competency-based practice behaviors ensure our continued status as a nationally accredited program by the Council of Social Work Education.
Finally, we are about the business of equipping and empowering every faculty member, staff member, and student who enters our program with a pioneering spirit. We encourage each other and our students to become hilariously free to use their gifts and abilities to become temporary assistants to the Holy Spirit locally, nationally and internationally. With God’s help, anything is possible, including the funding of our first two recipients of our Upstate Schools of Social Work Educational Consortium HRSA grant (Shawn Gianforte and Matthew Matteson). Dr. Rebekah Crofford and Megan Meaney received our Berry Foundation Award this year and will be traveling to Haiti in February of 2014 to train service providers in needs assessment. We recently approved our first ever cross cultural course to Israel to be launched in May of 2014. Who knows what new areas of growth are yet to come, so stay tuned.