WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., March 3, 2022 – Joining organizations across the country, social work students at West Liberty University marked the annual celebration of Social Work Month with the signing of a proclamation.
“The need for social workers is increasing due to the pandemic and so many other social issues,” said Sylvia Hawranick Senften, Ed.D., MSW, who is director of WLU’s social work program. “We are proud of our students preparing for successful careers that help people of all ages access social services for a better life.”
Social workers work in a range of sectors, including hospitals, mental health centers, schools, social service agencies, community centers and in politics. WLU is one of only six state institutions in West Virginia to have an accredited BSW degree.
President W. Franklin Evans signed the official proclamation marking the start of Social Work Month and congratulated the students on their choice to be a social worker.
“I commend Dr. Senften, our faculty, and our students as they prepare to become professional social workers. It is a noble field and one that provides great personal satisfaction for professionals,” said President Evans.
Senften is supported by a team of three faculty members including: Miranda Blackburn, MSW and Dr. Eveldora Wheeler. Blackburn is the educational advisor for the Social Work Club.
Junior Kamaria Robinson, a native of Parkersburg, W.Va., is the student president of the club, which is planning a game night later in the month to further celebrate Social Work Month.
In addition to the required courses taken in the junior year of the program, students must complete the required 400 internship hours in the final undergraduate year.
“Field agencies and supervisors are essential to the education of our students. We are grateful to the many organizations that have a genuine commitment to the profession and provide our students with a chance to experience hands-on learning,” Senften said.
Another factor that makes WLU’s program strong is the small class size which averages 16 students. The Social Work Honor Society Phi Alpha gives students another boost.
The profession of social work has been around for over a century and it attracts people who have a strong desire to help individuals, families, communities and our nation overcome the issues that keep them from reaching their full potential, according to the National Association of Social Workers. (NASW). NASW promotes the profession in a variety of ways, including Social Work Month.
“Our program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and we award over $12,000 in scholarships each year. Many of these awards include stipends for interns, as well as financial support for qualifying students,” Senften said. This is important because a BSW from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education allows graduates to apply for a social work license.
In addition to the BSW degree, the program also offers a minor in Addiction Studies which is open to undergraduate students in any major at West Liberty University.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Social Work, please click here or contact Senften via email at [email protected].