BCCC, Fayetteville State University set transfer agreement for social work

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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Students who complete an Associate in Applied Science in Human Services Technology can now go on to Fayetteville State University to complete a Bachelor of Social Work. The new agreement guarantees that students do not lose time when they transfer to the university. The historically black university is an affordable option for students who intend to complete a four-year degree.

Many of the students who complete the AAS in Human Services intend to go into fields such as counseling or social work, most of which require a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree.

“The reason I am excited about Fayetteville State is that it’s a Bachelor in Social Work and so many of my students want to do that,” said Ann Barnes, lead professor for Human Services Technology at BCCC. “Some of our non-traditional students have spent their lives living in rural areas, so they worry about how they will adapt to a large university. Fayetteville State is a size that will feel more comfortable to some of these students.”

Generally, the program will be composed of in-person classes, but currently Fayetteville State is holding classes online. The cost of attendance is comparable to attending BCCC.

“Not only is Fayetteville State mission-driven in that they serve historically underserved populations, so it aligns with social work in general, but they also have a military-focus,” said Barnes. “If you think about the military population we have in North Carolina, this emphasis is important to serving veterans and military populations.”

Transfer agreements for BSW programs are rare. Many universities expect their graduates to complete all four years at their institution, but this can limit the students who enter this field. Tuition can be prohibitive, and many students in the Human Services program at BCCC may have family obligations including children or caring for elderly relatives. They may also be working while going to school. Relocating or commuting for four years may be difficult for all these reasons. This agreement means that they can work toward a BSW close to home for the first two years.

“These universities want their students to have that experience from the beginning,” Barnes said. “Our program lets students have that experience so they can decide if it is a program that they want to go into. The other thing with our two-year degree, for those of us that have to work and go to school, is that you’ve got the skills so you could be working in the area while still going to school.

Social work deals with a lot of complex issues like family violence and poverty so not only does it involve a lot of specialized training, but students in the program have to feel passionately about the issues they will be facing.

“Most of the students want to start out in this program so that they can see if it feels like their calling,” Barnes concluded. “They know it’s where they are supposed to be. There’s value in being with a cohort of students that also see that and know the importance of the work you’re doing.”

Students should contact Lisa Hill at 252-940-6223 or lisa.hill@beaufortccc.edu or Ann Barnes at ann.barnes@beaufortccc.edu.