Northwestern's Department of Social Work highlights successes

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Northwestern's Department of Social Work highlights successes

April 24, 2012

Clarissa Fifield
Clarissa Fifield

Kylene Whiteman
Kylene Whiteman

Jennifer Griffin and Tabitha Ward
Jennifer Griffin and Tabitha Ward

Megan Pruitt
Megan Pruitt

Five seniors and six graduates from the Social Work program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University have been accepted into the advanced standing Masters of Social Work (MSW) program at the University of Oklahoma.

Senior social work students include Clarissa Fifield and Kylene Whiteman, Woodward; Jennifer Griffin and Tabitha Ward, Enid; and Megan Pruitt, Ames. Bachelor of Social Work graduates include Georgette Bass, Melissa Postier, Hannah McConnell, Chanti White, all 2011 graduates; Cassidy DuBois, 2010 graduate; and Wendy Bell-Sample, 2009 graduate.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation of Northwestern’s Social Work program allows students with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) to be eligible to apply to an MSW program with advanced standing. Depending on the institution, the MSW course is 32-36 credit hours, as opposed to a typical 64 credit hour program. A student in a full-time advanced standing program can complete course requirements for an MSW in one calendar year.

Since 2009, the social work program has experienced a 100 percent acceptance rate and has averaged six BSW students a year admitted into MSW advanced standing programs.

“These statistics are simply indicative of the quality of our Northwestern social work graduates and a testament to our rigorous curriculum and quality field experience,” said Kylene Rehder, Department of Social Work chair.

“We are thrilled about the number of our graduates pursuing MSW degrees, but also must acknowledge our BSW graduates who are committed to the generalist practice of social work and are shaping the integrity of social service delivery systems in northwest Oklahoma.”

Graduates of the program are awarded BSW degrees and are prepared for immediate entry into professional practice. BSW graduates posses the intellectual, practical, and professional skills needed to promote beneficial change in the lives of their clients and in society at large.

“The sphere of influence exhibited by program graduates throughout the region and beyond continues to grow and develop,” Rae Wilson, social work field education director, said.

“Field instructors and community advisers consistently ask for more practicum students and employees from the growing pool of BSWs in our area.”

The Department of Social Work has experienced many program and student successes in the last several years.

The department continues to receive the annual Title-IV Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP) grant that awards $21,500 annually to students interested in careers in public child welfare. In 2009, the department constructed a state of the art student resource center and interviewing lab that assists social work students in developing research and practice skills.

The Department of Social Work also plays host to many community forums and workshops for area social workers and supports an active student organization, Social Workers Association of Tomorrow (SWAT).

SWAT continued its tradition of fundraising with two events this year. Students from all three campuses participated in the events, a “Flapjack Fundraiser” in October and a professional development event in November. The organization received national recognition in January 2012, in the The New Social Worker, Volume 19, Number 1 (Winter 2012) with the publication of a photo taken during the “A Day Without Violence” event.

Some student successes include four consecutive years of National Education for Women’s (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute participants and the 2010 Brad Henry International Scholar. Northwestern also is home to the 2010 National Association of Social Workers Oklahoma (NASW-OK) Undergraduate Student of the Year Monique Finley and the 2012 NASW-OK Undergraduate Student of the Year, Kylene Whiteman.

To learn more about Northwestern’s Department of Social Work, contact Rehder at kdrehder@nwosu.edu or (580) 327-8135.

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