WKU Regional Campus Graduates Complete Bachelor of Social Work Program
Thirty-six students from WKU’s three regional campuses recently completed extensive field practicums to complete their Bachelor of Social Work degrees.
The recent graduates spent two semesters – and 400 hours – in the field, working with community-based agencies where they live. Agencies ranged from Boys & Girls Club, family resource centers and area development districts, to pediatrician offices, regional hospitals and Hospice.
BSW Assistant Professor Dr. Whitney Harper led the WKU Owensboro graduating cohort of 11 students. There are 16 students are enrolled for the next cohort at WKU Owensboro.
She said that regional campus students receive a unique experience by enrolling in the program within their communities.
“Students actually live where they served, so they are extremely passionate about them,” said Harper. She said that students also gain a strong sense of teamwork with this type of program format.
Students go through the program as a cohort, meaning they start the program together and progress through it as a group. This allows them to support, network, study and work with each other. Their field studies allow them to turn the knowledge and skills they learned with the classroom into practical experience.
Dr. Simon Funge is the current BSW director and led the WKU Glasgow campus cohort which graduated 14 students. He said that this practical experience pays off for the students and for the regions where they live.
“These students are from the communities they served and are committed to returning to these communities in service,” said Funge. “Several have already secured employment in the field based on their performance at their internships.”
Associate Professor Dr. Dana Sullivan has been the BSW director for the past four years and led the WKU Elizabethtown-Fort Knox program. She said 11 graduated from that campus cohort, and 15 are admitted for fall 2019. Her students working with organizations like Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health Services, Commitment House and Hardin Memorial Hospital
WKU's Social Work program seeks students who have a calling and are committed to helping and protecting others who may struggle with mental and behavioral health issues, abuse, disability, educational challenges, substance abuse, homelessness, grief and loss, poverty, and other social issues.
The BSW program at WKU began in 1974 and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). WKU also offers a Master of Social Work (MSW) program for students who want to advance their social work career.
BSW cohorts begin each fall at the WKU regional campuses. For more information, visit wku.edu/socialwork.