BPD Update Online, Spring 2004
BSW GeroRich Projects (cont)
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Innovation and Curriculum Infusion (cont)

Nancy R. Hooyman, PI,
Hartford Geriatric Enrichment
in Social Work Education Program,
GeroRich Program Coordinating Center

(206) 221-4278 OR

Nancy Hooyman (left) and Project Directors

Innovations in Service Learning

Calvin College, which has a strong community mission, has instituted service-learning requirements across BSW foundation courses in the sophomore, junior, and senior years. Selection of their service-learning sites is guided by the SAGE-SW competencies and opportunities to link with new agencies. These sites provide opportunities to learn organizational, public presentation, and evaluation research skills; interact with older adults; complete oral history projects; and create training materials for caregiver groups related to caregiving at a distance and death and dying. Students are more readily recruited to service-learning projects with elders in their senior year than in their first courses, where they tend to be attracted to projects with children (a common pattern in social work programs!). Being housed within an institution with an overall commitment to service learning facilitates the time-consuming task of screening, matching, and monitoring geriatric opportunities.

Academic Partnership Innovations

GeroRich Resource Fair

A Legal Clinic sponsored by the Paralegal Department (and chaired by an attorney) at the College of Mount St. Joseph is engaging social work and paralegal students in three projects: assisting with intake at legal clinics in senior centers, teaching classes to older adults in Life Learn programs (e.g., computer skills), and, through a Speaker's Bureau, hosting older adults as speakers in social work and paralegal classes.

Innovations in Cross Cutting Themes
(Connecting Diverse Constituencies)

Some students, practitioners, and faculty more readily connect personally and professionally with an intergenerational approach than with a gerontology-only perspective. This seems to be one way to challenge students and faculty to think about aging in new ways across the life span. It also confronts students' resistance to "working with those people." Once they are "hooked" on intergenerational or multigenerational approaches, their openness to aging issues increases. Not surprisingly, a number of GeroRich Projects have developed a cross-generational framework.

At George Mason University, field instructors shared their perspectives in a focus group format on intergenerational practice needs and ways to prepare students for such practice. A one-day workshop on intergenerational issues in social work was held for field instructors, faculty, and students. Speakers from Generations United, the Child Welfare League of America, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, and the National Association for the Preservation of Social Security and Medicare discussed Grandparent Caregivers and other issues related to intergenerational policy and practice.

Click here to visit the GeroRich web page:

Click here to send an email message to GeroRich:

It was a joy and a privilege to work with BSW faculty through the GeroRich Program. I was impresed by BSW faculty's passionate commitment to quality social work education, energy, and creativity in curriculum change, and resourcefulness in garnering resources. Their innovations engaged community practitioners, faculty and students; they developed and implemented quality course content within foundation courses (See www.gerorich.org for examples); they built partnerships with other academic partners, including gerontology centers; and they mobilized resources to help sustain their work beyond project funding. It was great to see BSW faculty who had never before written a grant gain confidence in their ability to be successful. Many are now publishing and presenting at national conferences or securing other funds. As a result of this project, my respect for BPD and its members has grown tremendously.

An article on SAGE-SW is on the next page...

Spiral, Horizontal Line Spinning

BPD Update Online, Volume 26, No. 2, Spring 2004

The BPD Update Online Web Site is sponsored by Lyceum Books.