Graduate students get direct exposure working with community organizations
SW679 & Pathway Home Program
An important aspect of social work coursework is to give students direct exposure to the people, organizations, and situations they will interact with in their careers. This realism was one of the most appreciated aspects of SW679: Program Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation for students who took the course from Brandon Youker.
Students divided into teams to provide evaluations of the Pathway Home program, a partnership between Mel Trotter Ministries and Family Promise, a nonprofit focusing on homeless families. Participants in the program are provided with shelter and support services while staff work with them to find permanent, affordable housing.
The information the students gathered provided not only a great learning experience for them, but also an essential resource for the organizations involved. Dennis VanKampen, President of Mel Trotter Ministries pointed out that students provided a service very much like what experienced consultants would be paid thousands of dollars to provide- and often at equal or higher quality.
With graduate level work associated directly with what they will be doing on a full-time basis, experiences like these help prepare GVSU students to be better social workers in their communities.