NORWICH – For years, Morrisville State College and the Norwich Extension have been offering students a quality education in a small town setting. Now the educational opportunities are becoming even broader as the college is adding programs to serve a wider range of students.
This year, the Norwich campus has unveiled a new Human Services program, and with 25 students currently enrolled in the program’s courses and internships, the program is off to a strong start.
“The courses aim to teach respect for all individuals regardless of diversity or social situation. Such acceptance is reached through self-reflection, observation at agencies with class discussion and academic study,” said program coordinator Fred Weaver, PhD. The students in the program work toward an associate’s degree by attending regular classes and completing three internships with various community agencies.
“The first internship is 45 hours throughout the semester; the second is 90 hours and the third is 120 hours. All internships are in different agencies to provide a wider overview of employment possibilities for students,” Weaver explained. While the goal of the first two internships is to provide more of an observational experience, the work becomes more involved as the students progress through the program. In addition to the internships, students take theory and practice classes as well, which teach actual human service skills.
One of the 25 students currently enrolled in the program, Amanda Smith has spent the last semester as an intern at the Chenango United Way, and so far she has enjoyed the experience. “It’s been amazing,” Smith said of her first internship. “I’ve had a lot of fun and it’s opened me up to a lot of different experiences.” In the course of Smith’s first internship opportunity, she’s had the responsibility of participating in the campaign training sessions, putting together prize bags for the campaign captains, helping to put together the training manual, making solicitation lists and helping to organize the United Way’s annual campaign kick-off event, the Day of Caring.
“We tried to do a lot of different things with Amanda, so that she could get a full understanding of what we do as a non-profit organization,” said CUW Executive Director Elizabeth Monaco...