Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov, PhD
Recently I asked some of my former TRU students on what makes them choose to study at the School of Social Work and Human Service at the Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Education and Social Work. Here are the top 5 reasons.
- TRU allows students who complete the human service diploma to ladder all their credits into the Bachelor of Social Work degree. It means that students can spend their first two years learning how to work with the government or non-profit agencies to support individuals and families with diverse social needs while completing their human service diploma. The needs can range from facing economic disadvantage, mental health and substance use issues, and involvement with the justice system. Once students complete the human service diploma requirements, they can continue building skills in the social work degree program. Such a combination of human service and social work makes students exceptionally prepared for social work practice and graduate studies to pursue an MSW degree and career in diverse fields of social work practice.
- Students love the idea that they can study up to 4 years in the same cohort. Students can spend two years of human service Diploma courses and an additional two years of BSW degree course with a fantastic group of learners and supportive faculty who are committed to anti-oppressive and anti-privileged work. The network students build through participating in student club activities, and having a dedicated Facebook page helps them to maintain a professional relationship with their classmates for many years after graduation.
- TRU BSW and HUMS graduates are highly valued among employers for their exceptional preparation and skills they bring to human service and social work practice. Most TRU social work and human service students are employed in their home communities after completing program requirements and stay connected with the School after graduation via social media and guest lecture opportunities.
- The diversity among students who choose TRU, their life experiences and stories strengthen the learning process and provide an inclusive learning environment where a multiplicity of perspectives are shared. The TRU commitment to the accessibility of post-secondary education encourages many students to apply not only from Kamloops and Interior BC but from anywhere in Canada and internationally.
- The anti-oppressive and anti-privilege critical curriculum, with unique courses that focus on trauma, indigenous, decolonizing approaches to practice, and multiple electives options, help students to become critically reflexive professionals. The child and family specialization option, taking directed studies courses and engaging in prestigious undergraduate research opportunities (UREAP), research apprenticeship, research coach that are promoted by TRU, makes the learning fun and engaging. TRU students are feeling well prepared for critical research, policy and practice in their chosen fields of practice.
Students also shared with me that the range of faculty expertise and having direct access to world-class scholars in anti-oppressive and anti-privileged social work theory, policy, research and practice keeps them inspired. My students let me know that after completing the BSW program at TRU, they are feeling well prepared to share their knowledge and to address structural inequalities and find adequate, appropriate, affordable and the rest of “A” solutions to social policy concerns. TRU is accessible and located in a unique place (Kamloops) that has a lot to offer to newcomers. One student shared, “ I choose to attend TRU BSW because they offer Indigenous courses that count towards your degree. I believe that other Universities should make Indigenous courses mandatory for the completion of a degree. I choose to stay at TRU during this pandemic because the majority of professors are so supportive and caring of their students.”
I am very proud of my students.
What is your reason for choosing to study at the TRU School of Social Work and Human Service?