Being 'Social' with Community Partners
VCU School of Social Work celebrates community partnerships and recognizes field instructors during the seventh annual appreciation luncheon
University Public Affairs
The numbers connected with Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work are impressive. The school ranks 14th among the nation’s top social work programs, offers 94 years of excellence in professional social work education, works with 538 partner field agencies and contributes 313,320 hours of service from its students.
But behind those numbers is an equally powerful human element and last Friday the School of Social Work celebrated community partners and field instructors who contribute to the school’s success during the seventh annual appreciation luncheon.
“It’s a privilege to talk to people who every day put their shoulders to the wheel to serve the underprivileged in our community,” said Jim Hinterlong, Ph.D., dean of the School of Social Work. “Partnerships make all of the difference.”
The School of Social Work’s field instruction program places more than 550 students each year in agencies throughout Virginia and the Greater Washington, D.C., area. These partner agencies provide services in a variety of areas, including aging, child welfare, community planning, corrections, developmental disabilities, family services, health, homelessness, community mental health and school social work.
VCU School of Social Work by the Numbers
- Ranked 14th among the nation’s top social work programs
- 23 active and funded community partnerships
- 40 faculty members
- 85% licensure exam pass rate
- 93% in-state students
- 94 years of excellence in professional social work education
- 300 graduates in 2010-11
- 538 partner field agencies
- 8,000+ professionals receiving continuing education
- 313,320 hours of service
The School of Social Work presented its Samuel S. Wurtzel Community Partnership Agency Award to Richmond-based United Methodist Family Services, which offers a network of services to 5,500 children and their families each year.
The school also gave its Grace E. Harris Community Engagement Leadership Award to Cathy Howard, Ph.D., vice provost for community engagement.
The school presented its Amy Rosenblum Field Instructor of the Year Award to Elizabeth A. Wassem. Additional field instructor awards were given Joe Craig and Niki Mello.
VCU’s School of Social Work was established in 1917 as the Richmond School of Social Economy in response to the social and health needs of World War I veterans. The school’s mission later expanded into all areas of human service. It offers baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral-level programs.