Student GroupsThe social work department offers a variety of student groups to which social work students may belong. The social work club meets every other week and performs a variety of service activities. The social work club also hosts social activities for its members to enjoy. Phi Alpha is the honors society for social work, and its members also participate in many service activities. The social work department is also involved with other groups listed in this section, and gives out a variety of scholarships and awards to its students.
Social Work Club
Advisor: Dr. Greg Tully
The Social Work Club (SWC) is a registered student organization. The Social Work Club, open to all college students, exists to enhance the professional development of students of the social work profession. Faculty advisors meet regularly with the SWC, however, the organizations is run for the students and by the students (see SWC constitution and by-laws). The primary objective of the SWC is to enhance the learning experience of the Social Work student while he or she is attending the University. The SWC provides both educational and social networking opportunities to the students, the chance to become involved in concrete service projects, and the opportunity to develop both group and leadership skills. In addition, the SWC affords a support system for students and an opportunity to address Departmental and University-wide concerns. Furthermore, the Social Work Club provides students with information relating to their field such as current information and literature on organizations, agencies, and other related areas. The exact goals and purposes of the Social Work Club for the current year are determined by the present year's officers, class representatives, and the active members. Officers are elected by the student body in scheduled elections. The SWC has its own budget.
The SWC has carried out several educational projects, which have involved the University as well as provided a service to the surrounding neighborhoods. These include the bi-annual rose sale, clothing, food drives, volunteering at community centers, and working with families. Social Work Club officers participate in student governance in the University at large through the Student Government Association, and thus have opportunities for the development of leadership skills, for conference attendance, and for enrichment of their entire learning experience at WCU. Student membership in the National Association of Social Workers (NSAW) provides similar opportunities at a much broader level. Students involved in NASW interact with experienced professional social workers and participate in city and regional projects. In addition, SWC has sponsored several fundraisers including the bi-annual rose sale to allow many students to attend national conferences, which enabled them to develop contacts, skills, and awareness far beyond the classroom or local community level.
Numerous activities and projects have been undertaken by SWC. Following are many other specific examples of the activities SWC has sponsored:
Each semester, at least one outing for social work majors is planned to enhance the overall relationship among social work students. This outing is especially beneficial to the new students since it provides the opportunity for students to get acquainted in a relaxed social setting, plus it holds the possibility of informal exchange of information. Another benefit is that the faculty is included which affords the opportunity for strengthening faculty-student relationships.
Advisor: Prof. Michelle Belliveau: MBelliveau@wcupa.edu
The Social Work Honor Society, Phi Alpha, is a national organization dedicated academic excellence and leadership in social work. The WCU chapter of Phi Alpha has been in existence since 1991. Students are made aware of this organization through the Social Work Student Handbook (see Appendix), the WCU Catalog, and the Ram's Eye View, handout material, the Social Work bulletin board, class announcements and dialogue at student/faculty meetings. Phi Alpha is run by the student-elected officers (elected each Spring) and has its own budget. A faculty advisor is assigned to Phi Alpha and participates in regular meetings and Society activities.
Each Spring semester the faculty advisor and Phi Alpha executive officers distribute information regarding application to Phi Alpha. The WCU chapter of Phi Alpha sets its own standards for eligibility in accordance with the criteria of the national organization. Eligibility requirements include:
Students meeting the eligibility criteria are notified by the current chapter President and are officially welcomed into Phi Alpha in an annual Induction Ceremony.
Phi Alpha activities include, but are not restricted to:
Advisors: Prof. Chad Lassiter CLassiter@wcupa.edu
This is a Rotary International program designed to promote responsible citizenship and leadership potential in young men and women ages 18-30. The WCU Rotaract Club is sponsored by the Greater West Chester Sunrise Rotary Club and is composed of West Chester University students from across majors. Their motto is "Service Above Self," and they are dedicated to making our world and our community a better place to live. Each year the WCU Rotaract completes one local service project and one international service project. The club has sponsored programs with Chester County Big Brothers-Big Sisters, organized a neighborhood visit to the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and winter clothing drive, yield over $8,000 to support the survivors from hurricanes, and implemented a Wellness Program-Sports Camp on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation over the years.
The Undergraduate Social Work program has an endowed scholarship for social work majors. Announcements for eligibility are distributed each year by the chair of the scholarship committee and criteria include excellence in academic achievement, demonstrated community leadership initiative, demonstrated commitment to bi-cultural and bi-lingual social work practice, and assignment to practical working with at-risk, culturally diverse populations. Initially, the DeBaptiste Scholarship will provide assistance for the purchase of books and travel to and from practical sites. Funds per student may be limited to approximately $500 each.
Advisor: Dr. Eli DeHope: EDehope@wcupa.edu
The Active Minds is a mental health advocacy group that provides support and information to the West Chester University student population about the emotional needs of college students. Each year The Blues Society organizes and hosts a day devoted to mental health with helpful and informative programs for the students and community of West Chester. In addition, students are encouraged and supported to submit proposals to present at local and national social work conferences. Anyone interested in supporting the Mission of the Active Minds is encouraged to become a member. The Active Minds will not discriminate or tolerate the discrimination of any perspective member due to his/her sex, race, religion, creed, color, sexual orientation, or individuals with disabilities.
Advisor: Janet Bradley: JBradley2@wcupa.edu
The Advocate is a student-faculty newsletter published once each semester. Working with the student liaison and faculty liaison, social work students and faculty contribute items for publication. Issues highlight student and faculty activities, scholarship and service, as well as student's views on contemporary issues.
Advisor: Prof. Claire Dente: CDente@wcupa.edu
Students enrolled in a Social Work Practices course at WCU contact Older Adults to set up 3 interviews. By interviewing the older adult and hearing their stories, the student will become comfortable talking to an older adult, develop his or her interviewing and assessment skills, and gain a different perspective.
During the interviews the student will be preparing a Resource Book especially for their senior partner. This will include photos and memories of major events in their life, in order to create a timeline of the older adult's life. The timeline will provide the students with a sense of how a person moves through life stages. The students may also work with the older adult to develop a timeline of their significant events. The Resource Book will be presented at an Appreciation Reception at the end of the semester, bringing all the volunteers and students together.
NASW (National Association of Social Workers)
Student membership applications to NASW can be found in the lobbies of 114 Rosedale Avenue. There is also a link to NASW on the Undergraduate Social Work Department Blackboard. For more information or to express interest in attending an NASW conference, please see faculty liaison posted in the social work building.