Social Work Department
Dr. Cathy Harner, head of the social work department, answers some common questions below. Don’t see your question, please contact Dr. Harner today!
Q: Why should I study Social Work at Taylor?
There are many reasons for studying at Taylor:
- Taylor has a reputation for excellence; U.S. News and World Report has ranked Taylor as Midwest’s #1 regional college for the last several years, and they stress our emphasis on teaching.
- We are dedicated to preparing you not just for the four years that you are here, but for the 40+ years that follow, so you will be prepared to be a disciple no matter where God has called you.
- We integrate the aspects of discipleship into how we prepare you for your future as a social worker. Social work is known as being very challenging, in part because social workers advocate for those who have been forgotten, ignored or oppressed. Yet, the “least of these” are exactly the people that Jesus wanted us to reach. Taylor prepares you with in-class education and hands-on service experience to integrate your faith with your every day work to make a difference for the kingdom.
Q: What opportunities do I have for professional development outside of classes?
Here are a few opportunities for professional development:
- Each major must complete 30 hours of volunteer work with organizations like: prison ministries, mental health facilities, criminal justice settings, nursing homes, tutoring or after school programs.
- For national accreditation, students must complete 400 hours in senior practicum; Taylor requires 480 hours. A Taylor student receives a wide range of practical experiences applying the skills and theories learned in the classroom.
- Taylor’s Social Work program has a very active Student Social Work Organization (SSWO).
- Students can get leadership experience in the Student Advisory Board.
Q: Are there opportunities to study abroad?
Yes! Here are some examples of the global experience you can have at Taylor:
- The Korean Studies Program, Lithuania Study Program, and the Cuenca, Ecuador Study Program offer excellent opportunities for social work majors to study abroad for the semester. These opportunities usually occur during the first two years of study and before beginning the social work practice sequence.
- Juniors could have a practicum study abroad experience during the January term. Junior practicums can be done anywhere in the world (or domestically) where social work supervision can be found. A departmental commitment to a Junior Practicum Study Abroad experience is offered yearly. Past trips have included study in Korea, Philippines, Uganda and Bahamas.
- Seniors have a practicum (480 hours over the course of one semester) completed in the geographical area where the student is interested in finding employment following graduation. This allows for development of professional networking during the practicum. Students have completed practicums in Grand Rapids, MI at a local school, in Austin, TX with a refugee resettlement organization, in Montrose, CO with the Department of Children Services, and in Pittsburgh, PA at a hospital among other places.
- January term trips with Lighthouse. Since 1972 Taylor's Lighthouse program has enabled students to gain unforgettable, life-changing experiences during Interterm studying and serving cross-culturally around the world. Recent Lighthouse destinations include: India, the Czech Republic, Paraguay, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Southeast Asia, Ecuador, Singapore and Thailand. Look at the Lighthouse website for more information.