Social Work Institutes
Consistent with the mission of the state System of Higher Education and Kutztown University, the purpose of the Social Work Institutes is to provide a nexus of scholarship, curricular innovation, and community based solutions in which the program provides leadership in regionally recognized areas of expertise.
One element of the institutes' service areas is scholarship. Institutes provide opportunities for faculty, students and community partners to engage in research related to the particular focus of the institute. This research might be related to discovering the nature of social problems, evaluating community needs, and the efficacy of existing programs. Institutes are laboratories for learning applied research in real-life settings, serving as the vehicle for the dissemination of findings in the form of lecture series, presentations at professional meetings, and scholarly publications.
Institutes contribute to community-based solutions through the development of specialized curricula. These curricula may include elective coursework, continuing education training, custom-tailored staff training programs and independent study arrangements.
Institutes provide the personnel for technical assistance to existing social service agencies. They provide the necessary focus to allow community professionals to engage the social work program in collaborative innovations in practice. The institutes also provide the conduit for professionals to share expertise with each other and with the program via networking opportunities, guest lectures and adjunct teaching.
Institute leadership is provided by a faculty member who is responsible for identifying a team of students, faculty and community partners who engage in strategic planning regarding the mission and activities of the institute. The team identifies community needs in relation to their specialized area of interest, seeks internal and external funding and organizes activities. The institute leader plays a key role as liaison to the social work program leadership and provides ongoing feedback and direction to the program for program renewal.