The Social Work Department at Carthage has opened up a lot of doors for Katie Smiley. During her sophomore year, she traveled to New York City to attend a social work conference at the United Nations. Now a junior, she is working for Prof. Linda Noer in the Social Work Department and has an internship with the Kenosha Unified School District. For her internship, which fulfills a Social Work Practice I requirement, she follows an elementary school social worker.
“I get to sit in on meetings with staff and parents and work with all of the students that she works with,” Katie said. “The beauty of the internships that you get through the social work program is that they lean toward the career that you want to pursue.”
Katie loves that Carthage’s social work program is hands-on. Faculty help students find internships in the field they want to enter. “The program is small, but the one-on-one work with the teachers is amazing,” she said. Her courses are enjoyable but challenging, she said. “I learn best in a smaller class environment.”
The department’s faculty and size are two of its greatest strengths, Katie said. Faculty incorporate their real-world experiences into their teaching, and focus on what is important for their students’ future careers, Katie said.
“My future goal is to become the best practicing social worker I can be,” she said. “I want to work in a school doing social work and counseling, and eventually work with the mentally ill while possibly speaking publicly about creating awareness for mental illnesses.”
“I have always been fascinated with the inner workings of human feelings, actions, and counseling,” she continued. “I have also always been interested in giving advice and helping people find resources that can lead them to a better life. Social workers can do just that and so much more. I love the versatility of the career.”
“Getting to know people at the school is the best part of the experience; the people here outshine the beauty of Carthage’s campus and make attending the College amazing.”
To be a clinical social worker.
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“My favorite class so far has been Social Welfare Research. We not only get to write a literary review on a subject we choose, but learn about many other topics concerning social work today.”
“My toughest class is Social Welfare Policy Analysis. It has been the toughest for me so far because it deals a lot with government in society and the social policies in America. It is extremely interesting, and I always find myself leaving the class heated due to the subjects we talk about.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Some of my favorite moments at Carthage have been at sporting events when students come together to support one thing. I have also enjoyed pledging a sorority and getting to know so many girls who became my best friends; it truly enhanced my experience and time at Carthage. Getting to know people at the school is the best part of the experience; the people here outshine the beauty of Carthage’s campus and make attending the College amazing.”
Favorite spot on campus
“I love to sit on the rocks down by the lake behind the dorms.”
Biggest surprise so far
“The biggest surprise for me was seeing my face in the school calendar and on the banners throughout campus.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“Do your research! Read about the program, visit with the teachers, and get in contact with some of the students. I can safely say we would love to talk to you about the program. Even if you enroll in Intro to Social Work and find it is not for you, that is OK. Give it a shot. I promise it will be worth it.”