Four Elizabeth City State University social work graduates returned to their alma mater, virtually, to share their experience as graduates and part of an articulation agreement between the university and Halifax Community College (HCC).
The two institutions signed the articulation agreement – the 2+2 Partnership Program – in 2016 for students with an associate degree in Human Services Technology from HCC to transfer and receive the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree at ECSU. In recognition of this partnership and National Professional Social Work Month, Dr. Kim Downing, Director of Field Education and Dr. Mary Stephenson, liaison for ECSU’s 2+2 Partnership Program, coordinated a BSW Alumni Panel.
On March 30, the four graduates – Brittany Lopez, Lori Parrot, Kadesia Owens Ellis, and Amy Stokes – shared their experiences as 2+2 students.
“Each student positively reflected on their individual perspectives of the benefits of this collaboration,” said Dr. Downing. “They spoke highly of their encounters with supportive faculty, the knowledge they obtained throughout the experience, and the skills and opportunities they have acquired as a result of participating in this program.”
In addition, each student shared her journey of professional growth since earning the BSW Degree.
Brittany Lopez works for a local department of social services and is on track for a social work position. Lori Parrot was employed at a non-profit organization and obtained employment at the agency where she completed her internship.
Kadesia Owens Ellis was promoted from a pre-professional position in the public-school system to a social work position at a local health department. Amy Stokes has secured a permanent social work position at a local nursing home/rehabilitative center.
The students confirmed the BSW degrees have led to upward economic mobility. Ms. Parrot said she received a significant pay raise and access to medical insurance and a 401K.
Ms. Owens Ellis and Ms. Stokes are both enrolled in a Master of Social Work program at Walden University and East Carolina University. Both students qualified for the advance standing placement, a competitive part of the application process.
Ms. Brumsey-Moore is the lead adjunct faculty for the internship experience at HCC, for transfer students. She works closely with students and prepares them for transitioning into the workforce and/or graduate school.
“This panel was an opportunity for our alumni to reflect on their academic experiences, professional journeys, and progress and hopes for their future,” said Dr. Downing. “The success and advancement of our students remain the foremost motivation for this partnership, and faculty and staff will endeavor to focus and invest in the continued development and preparation of future social workers.”