News - Good News for Social Work Majors - Accreditation Process Underway

Good News for Social Work Majors - Accreditation Process Underway

Good News for Social Work Majors - Accreditation Process Underway

Something good at Greenville College is getting even better, and that’s great news for students enrolled in GG’s social work program.

GC has just entered into a three-year accreditation process with the Council on Social Work Education that will enhance the internship experience for students majoring in social work, sociology or criminal justice.

The move to make a strong program even more robust comes at a time when work experience plays a key role in helping college graduates land that all-important first full-time job. Increasingly, paid internships open doors to full-time employment after graduation. This is especially true when students gain field experience with employers that have a track record for hiring interns.

Internships That Lead to Jobs

Greg Pennington“It’s a great way to get a job if you pick the right internship,” observed Greg Pennington, assistant professor of sociology, social work and criminal justice. He supervised 17 student interns this summer.

GC regularly places criminal justice majors locally with the Illinois State Police, county sheriff and the Greenville Police Department. On the social work side, it places interns with the county health department, Greenville’s hospital, schools and more. This summer, it also placed interns with Sexual Assault and Family Emergencies, a center that provides healing services to victims of sexual assault in nine counties.

Click here to read about alumna Darci Thompson serving victims of sexual assault.

Melanie SchaafsmaBeginning this fall, additional help for students in picking the right internship will come from Melanie Schaafsma, GC’s new social work field education director. She explains how the social work profession clearly aligns with Greenville College’s Christian heritage:

“One of the greatest strengths of social work is that it is both a profession and a mission; it is also both an art and a science. The art piece of that opens the door to not only personal talents and skills, but to allowing God to lead.”

How Students Benefit

Social work is one of the fastest growing majors at Greenville College, and accreditation will only accelerate its growth. All students in the department – even those majoring in sociology or criminal justice – will benefit from improvements accreditation standards bring to field experiences across the board. Students will

  • serve more hours in internships,
  • receive closer supervision,
  • see greater engagement of their supervising professors with internship providers, and
  • expand their networks of internship options.

For social work majors in particular, the accredited program will also save money and time for students pursuing a master’s degree in social work. As graduates of an accredited program, they will be able to opt out of the first year of master’s study and complete the degree in only one year. 

This story was published on December 16, 2014

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