Community Engagement: Generalist Practice with Organizations & Communities Course

On Friday, December 9, 2016, BSW students at the University of Oklahoma presented on semester projects from their Generalist Practice with Organizations & Communities course, team-taught by Drs. Moxley and Brady. More than 40 faculty, professional social workers, and community leaders from the area attended the event, which was sponsored by the Program for Continuing Professional Development in Social Work. Dr. Brady was joined by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Kelly Damphousse for opening remarks that emphasized the importance of community engagement as a mechanism to help meet community needs and provide students with tangible skills, along with a sense of social responsibility. Dr. Brady gave a presentation on Asset-based community development (ABCD) to the audience, before transitioning to the student led portion of the event. Nine different teams of social work students presented integrated applied theory, practice, and evaluation style posters on community based projects that were rooted in community engagement, rich appreciation and assessment of local assets, the development of asset driven interventions, and evaluation designs for their proposed prototypes. After presenting on their semester projects, social work students facilitated dialogues with attendees on asset-based community development and the strengths and needs of communities in Oklahoma. Finally, Dr. Brady with the help of student colleagues addressed questions from the audience on the course structure, community projects, and the future of community practice in the school and state. Overall this semester, BSW students in this course spent an estimated total of 2040 hours in communities in Oklahoma City, Moore, and Norman to complete their projects. Drs. Brady and Moxley will continue advancing the hard work of these students’ through subsequent courses that will focus on piloting and evaluating the projects developed by students this semester. Dr. Brady also plans to do a similar style symposium this upcoming spring focused on social welfare issues and policy practice in Oklahoma, which will be connected to his undergraduate policy course.

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