The Human Services department won the Center of Excellence award, along with a $150,000 grant over three years, and can attribute some success to their unique application.
They turned not to themselves, but to the community members and students, whom they serve, for feedback.
“From the feedback we received, the most unique feature of our application was the inclusion of several letters from community agencies commending our program for its work with the community and for the high level of student preparedness for working in the field,” Assistant Professor Jason Florin said. “We really tried to convey our interaction with the broader DuPage community and how well our students connect their education to the working world.”
Community members and students seemed to agree with the Human Services department and their recommendations, and that carried over to Associate Vice President Joe Collins.
“I thought they had the best application,” Collins said. “They had really good partnerships, great enrollment, and they did a better job meeting the standards.”
The award that the Human Services won goes from August 2012 through June 2013 and continues every August through June for those next three years.
With a total of $150,000 in the three-year span, Human Services plans to use the money to improve its student services, veteran foundations, and community services.
“We have several ideas planned,” Florin said. “Working with Veterans Services and Counseling and Advising to develop a counseling center for veterans on campus.”
According to Florin, some money will be used to give scholarships to students, begin partnerships with internship agencies, faculty development and have expert presenters come to campus.
As the Human Services Department works towards the additions and changes, many students enrolled in Human Services studies are proud and excited for the award to take action.
“Any teacher I have had in my three and a half years in the department, have put their heart and soul into their classes and I truly believe in what they are teaching,” current student Sheila Dalton said.
Human Services said they hope the future is greatly impacted by the money they received and that the students and faculty will grow even more in their careers with servicing people.
“This award is representative of years of hard work on the part of faculty, local agencies, and our students. The students in our program bring tremendous enthusiasm and passion to want to work in the helping professions and this spirit is the reason our program has grown stronger,” Florin said. “As we move forward, we want to see our program grow in the types of specializations offered as well as the types of agencies where our students can intern and eventually work.”