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Interest high in Social Work Program

Bo Walker, Bo Walker (President, TN NASW),
Shirley Clark (Coordinator of CSTCC Human Svcs.
Specialist Program), Dr. Fannie Hewlett (CSTCC
Vice President for Academic Affairs), Jana Pankey
(Coordinator of Human Svcs/Social Work Option
program at Cleveland State)

A meeting held recently to stimulate interest in social work drew an enthusiastic response from students pursuing a career in the field. More than 60 students attended the gathering co-hosted by the UTC Social Work Program, Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Cleveland State Community College, Southern Adventist University, and the Southeast Tennessee Branch of the National Association of Social Workers. New faculty in the UTC Social Work program discussed the curriculum planned for the recently revitalized program.

Many students in the two-year programs at Chattanooga State and Cleveland State spoke with Valerie Radu, Coordinator of the UTC Social Work program, who joined the University faculty in July.

“I am very excited about the innovative curriculum that we are developing at UTC that will be rolled out in June of 2006,” said Radu. “We want to not just train future social work professionals, but we want to do it in a way that is creative, hands-on and reflective of the emerging movement towards more competency-based learning in higher education.”

Liz Dunbar, Faculty, Southern Adventist University
and Dorothy Jordon, SAU/CSTCC Consortium Student

Professionals representing a variety of local organizations participated, including Chattanooga CARES, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, Hospice of Chattanooga, Alexian Brothers PACE Program, Southeast Tennessee Office on Aging and Disability, Child Advocacy Center, Fortwood Center, Hamilton County Health Department, and those in private practice. The event gave professionals an opportunity to share why they feel social work is a positive career choice. Students then interacted one-on-one with the social workers to ask questions and explore more about specific areas of social work practice.

“As a geriatric clinical social worker who has practiced for many years in Chattanooga before pursuing a teaching career, I know first-hand the need for trained, competent, professional social workers who have the necessary skills to work with individuals, families, groups, and organizations to find creative solutions to the complex social issues in our community,” said Radu.

In January, UTC will work with Chattanooga State and Cleveland State to develop an articulation agreement between those schools’ social work programs.

“An articulation agreement will result in a smooth process for transferring credits so that students can complete a Bachelors of Social Work degree at UTC,” said Radu.

November 4, 2005

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