The forthcoming Master of Social Work (MSW) program, a collaboration between Goshen College and Bluffton University, is a great opportunity to expand our already-strong social work program. GC has a long standing reputation of preparing their undergraduate social work students for careers in social work due to their intensive classes during undergrad. This additional program will allow the college to build on that foundation.

"I can see the difference between GC's social work program and the social work programs that my peers attend."

— Natalie Hazbun

As part of my senior internship, I am currently living in Chicago with non-GC social work majors. I can see the difference between GC’s social work program and the social work programs that my peers attend. GC’s social work program has a stronger commitment to anti-racism and social justice and creates more open-minded students, preparing us to become the best generalist social worker practitioners that we can be. 

If I were to pursue my MSW through this new program, I would hope that it would continue to be deeply rooted in social justice, while providing me with the practical skills and knowledge to become a top level MSW social worker. I know that I can trust GC to provide me with an intensive education as well as a practicum that will solidify what I’ve already learned here.

A mixed delivery method of in-person and online classes may present some challenges, but it could also end up being a strength of the program. In my experience, online classes can be difficult to manage due to a lack of structure, so I see communication between faculty and students as being really important if it is the primary delivery method of classes. However, a hybrid structure can be beneficial to students who have jobs or additional responsibilities, such as caring for family.

One strength of our current program is the deep connections between students and faculty. Mentorship from faculty members has been important in my undergraduate experience. I wouldn’t want that to change in our MSW program. Balancing online classes with in-person classes will be important to ensure that students have real interactions with other students and faculty members, so that they can foster more meaningful relationships. 

Choosing to collaborate with Bluffton University will allow students to connect with faculty from GC, Bluffton and beyond, with potential to find meaningful internships, jobs and careers after graduating with their MSW. 

Ultimately, I believe that this new MSW program will continue GC’s excellent social work program, and I am excited to see what it has to offer.