Disaster Relief Service Learning
MSW and BSW students have the opportunity to work in an area within the United States that has been affected by a disaster. These 10-day trips are generally offered on the "budget plan", often involving mini-vans to travel to our destination, deluxe bunk bed accommodations in dormitory settings, and fine cuisine served by church volunteers. It is the opportunity of a lifetime to experience different cultures, serve those who have been affected by a natural disaster, and develop our construction, demolition, and repair skills under the watchful eye of site supervisors. BSW students can take the course as an elective, and MSW students can take the course as an elective or as an alternative to the advanced policy class. Disaster sites so far have included hurricane response in New Orleans multiple times, Baton Rouge, New Jersey and Houston, tornado response in Oklahoma, and poisoned water response in Flint. This year we are planning on working in Puerto Rico. The disaster service learning course generally runs in early December, although other opportunities sometimes exist, and there is a modest cost for students to help with transportation, meals and accommodations in addition to the cost of tuition.