North Central’s Social Work major will prepare you with the theoretical framework, critical thinking skills, and hands-on training you need to be an advocate for those in need and a resource for your community. Taught from a Christian perspective, courses will give you a strong foundation in ethics, cultural awareness, human rights, the latest research, and models of assessment, intervention, and evaluation. When you graduate, you’ll be a firmly grounded and well-prepared social worker who can make a big difference in the lives of others.

Hiawatha Hygiene Drive

Last year, the North Central Social Work Program was involved in a hygiene drive to supply the people that live at the the Hiawatha homeless encampment with basic necessities such as food and hygiene. Students raised money, did a chapel offering, and then used that money to make meals for the encampment 3 times. Students in the social work department teamed up with the Ain Duh Yung Center and used the remaining money to create personal hygiene bags for homeless Native American youth. One of the students took on the initiative to purchase all the supplies but then everyone came together to help put the hygiene bags together. Also, the students did a donation drive with the typical hats, gloves, and mittens, but then the Native American community had identified that there was a big need for flashlights and feminine hygiene products. So, NCU donated pounds of feminine hygiene products to the community. Working with the homeless encampment was the biggest project they did last year. This year, they collected donations for the Drake fire to help those homeless people that were displaced because of it. Around Thanksgiving, they did a Thanksgiving donation drive.

Interview with Professor Knipe

 Professor Knipe has previously taught at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire & Madison. She is now the Social Work Program Director in the Social and Behavioral Sciences at North Central University and has been teaching there for three years. Professor Knipe came to North Central University looking to teach at a faith-based institution that was smaller than where she was teaching so that she could build real relationships with her students. 

Share with me what you know about the Love Your Neighbor initiative, and why it is important to the College of Arts & Sciences?

It’s a way to minister to our neighbors but also to serve. Whether serving from a faith basis, like ministry work or serving any physical need that is there. 

How do you believe our Christian community at North Central strives to invest in the community, bring together diverse ideas or develop projects? Why is this important?

Professor Knipe says it is important because “it’s part of our mission statement at NCU to serve our world. So if we take our mission statement seriously we have to do things like this. These events are a natural offshoot of what we are already doing regarding our mission.” Part of the college experience is learning how to work with people that are different from you. “Because we are a faith-based and liberal arts college, we value giving students diverse experiences and teaching them how to work with people that are different from them”. 

If you could share one story with a prospective student that might influence them attending North Central, what would you share?

The students who attend NCU want to change the whole world. “They not only want to make a difference in their clients’ lives but they want to change the whole world”. They are much more globally minded compared to students from other universities Professor Knipe has taught at. At NCU we have a lot more access to guest speakers, giving the students an idea of the kind of work they can do in the real world. 

What is the value of bringing real-world experiences into the classroom? And how do you do that in your particular discipline?

“We’re training students to work with people, and without that real-world experience they’re going to have a very difficult time being thrown out into the real world after they graduate if they’ve never had practice in the classroom.” The Social work department has 3 practice courses that teach students how to work with individuals, groups and then organizations. Professor Knipe teaches generalist practice with individuals.