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Social Workers Change Futures

By Ashley Osborne
Social Work Program

When I decided to major in Social Work, I was already an established student at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC). I found myself attending EMCC on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while simultaneously attending Glendale Community College on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the required Social Work courses.

After signing up for the E2 program, EMCC’s mentoring program, and meeting with my mentor, Sociology faculty, Dr. Olga Tsoudis, I decided to attend a Coffee Talk session and approach Dr. Ernie Lara, president of EMCC, about possibly starting a Social Work program at EMCC. He informed me that the courses were no longer offered because there did not seem to be a need for them. He agreed to consider offering the courses if I could provide proof that there are a number of students interested in Social Work.

Fellow student Maria Moreno-Hasan assisted me in getting the word out and finding other students interested in Social Work. “Estrella Mountain is a welcoming campus that provides and equips students with what they need. That is why I attend this school, and why I wanted to be able to take the Social Work classes here” said Moreno-Hasan. With the help of professor Tsoudis, and several other faculty members and students, I was able to gather information on a number of students interested in Social Work.

After a couple of months of reaching out to the students, I had a meeting with Dr. Pablo Landeros, Division Chair of Behavioral Sciences and Cultural Studies, Dr. Kathleen Iudicello, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Olga Tsoudis, Sociology Faculty, and Linda Cutright, Student Services Specialist: Academic Advisement and presented the information I had collected. Everyone agreed that there was a definite need for social workers in our community and a number of students interested in a Social Work major here at Estrella. As a result, this semester EMCC offers three different SWU classes.

Social Work instructor, Stacy Moreno, said “Throughout this semester in Intro to Social Work, we explored just how broad social work really is as a field, the increasing number of job opportunities that are available, and the real impact we can have, positively, in the life of others; our families, our communities, our society, and in the world. Social workers think globally and act locally. Come explore with us and make change happen!”

Starting this fall, EMCC offers the required Social Work courses that are needed to transfer to the Bachelor of Social Work program at Arizona State University.