This fall students enrolled in SOWK 342: Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities will partner with Poudre Fire Authority educators and firefighters to install smoke alarms in Fort Collins mobile home parks.
The student program was highlighted on Wednesday, September 13, as Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper joined Poudre Fire Authority and its fire safety education partners from Colorado State University to once again proclaim September as Campus Fire Safety Month.
Assistant Professor Malcolm Scott developed the student program in collaboration with Fire Chief Tom DeMint and Education Specialist Michael Durkin from the Poudre Fire Authority, and cited the reputation of the Poudre Fire Authority for their commitment to fire safety as essential to the partnership.
Experiential learning for social work practice
“A primary aim for my teaching is to engage students in high-impact learning,” said Scott. “Having students engage in experiential learning opportunities with community professionals has great impact.”
Scott specifically identified the opportunity as a way for students to use experiential learning to understand differences.
“Community health and safety issues are a natural fit for emerging social work students to gain important knowledge about populations and areas in the local community with sharply different experiences and resources than the mainstream,” Scott added.
Professional social work practice requires skill in assessing and intervening in social situations at a variety of client system levels. Students in the Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities course develop knowledge and skills specific to this level.
“The students will develop interpersonal, interviewing, and assessment skills, while serving the community in a way few had ever imagined,” said Scott. “These efforts directly affect the impacts of fire on our most vulnerable community members.”
In partnership with the safety organization Campus Firewatch, the company First Alert donated the alarms to Poudre Fire Authority as part of a national effort to get students to work alongside firefighters to improve community safety.
The School of Social Work is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences.