Alabama Political Reporter – Social workers are critically important to the nagging social ills that undermine so many lives and communities.
Alabama A&M University is taking education and training to a new level with the development of this apprenticeship program, in the field of Social Work. By creating this program Alabama A&M, a HBCU (Historically Black College and University), is establishing a career path for non-traditional enrollments by non-traditional students. Historically apprenticeships have focused on the trade industries with larger male enrollment. An apprenticeship in social work is a new concept, and the social work field is predominantly female. Social workers are critically important to the nagging social ills that undermine so many lives and communities and the demand for them is continually on the rise.
This program has a lot of “firsts,” but what’s really in it for the workforce?
What’s in it for students? At the successful completion of the apprenticeship program, students will have credentials that demonstrate mastery in this field: a TCM (Targeted Case Management) Certificate from the Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Board Licensure, a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW on-the-job training that sets them up for success. As an additional benefit, the cost of tuition and training during the program are covered. Combined with Alabama’s Last Dollar Scholarship policy the apprentice’s costs for books and tuition are covered by the employer.
What’s in it for employers?
Social workers are in demand, and this demand will only increase. In a competitive job market providing this program establishes a pipeline of qualified social workers while assuring they have mastered the competencies behind the credentials. It ultimately reduces recruitment and retention costs for the employer and provides them new employees with the skills and experience they need to be productive.
What’s in it for Alabama?
This program demonstrates the AOA and Alabama A&M’s dedication to providing exceptional educational opportunities and economic benefits to our state and underserved populations. It helps to fill the demand for qualified social workers in our state and creates a long-lasting pipeline of qualified professionals in our state who will continue to meet the needs of our citizens.