Gatekeeping in BSW Programs

By Patty Gibbs; Eleanor H. Blakely | Go to book overview

Appendix 7
Volunteer Experience Materials

Social Work Human Service Activity: Certificate of
Completion and Assessment of Performance

The undergraduate social work program at West Virginia University requires that students complete 100 hours of human service experience prior to entering the social work major in their junior year. This experience is designed to give students an opportunity to work face-to-face in a helping capacity with others. Working in a helping capacity prior to entering the major will help students to determine if social work is a career of interest to them and will give them experience that will make the courses in social work more meaningful.

Given the spirit and intent of the requirement to gain some form of social work experience (which can be paid or volunteer), activities that do not involve face-to-face helping interactions are precluded—such as stuffing envelopes, being a lifeguard at a pool, and other activities that do not involve working directly with people in a helping capacity. Other more appropriate experiences would include being a camp counselor or playground counselor, working with the elderly in a nursing home, tutoring children, and so on.

The 100-hour requirement is not intended to limit students to a single experience in a single setting; multiple experiences in multiple settings are also acceptable, as long as a total of 100 hours is completed. All activities must have been completed since high school graduation.

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