April 3, 2013

CCC creates path to social work

PLATTSBURGH — Clinton Community College has made it easier for students to pursue careers in social work. 

The school recently developed two courses on the subject, Introduction to Social Work and Introduction to Social Welfare, to give students an opportunity to explore the topic.

“I think it’s good for a lot of students who are interested in social work but aren’t really sure if it’s for them,” said Ryan Gray, a student in Robert Luckett’s Introduction to Social Work class. 

In addition, said Denise Coughlin, Ph.D. and chairperson of the college’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, the classes aim to prepare students who already know they want to work in the field. 


Though Luckett is one of several CCC employees tagged for layoff in 2013-14 as a result of the school’s anticipated $600,000 budget gap, the social-work classes remain on the course schedule for next school year. 

Credits from the courses are transferable to other SUNY schools, including SUNY Plattsburgh, which offers a bachelor’s degree in social work and has guided CCC in developing the classes, according to Coughlin. 

Before the creation of the courses, she noted, students who wished to pursue a social-work degree had to major in sociology, psychology or human services at Clinton Community. 

The college’s Associate in Applied Science degree in human services, Coughlin said, prepares students to go straight to work rather than continue their education, and about 15 credits of the degree do not transfer anywhere.

Now, however, students may choose to take the new credits as part of a general humanities or social-sciences degree or may opt to do individual study, which consists of the two social-work courses and other classes selected by Coughlin’s department.

Students who complete the individual study are able to transfer into a SUNY social-work program with no credit loss, assuming they are accepted to one of the four-year schools.  

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