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Grant allows University to pay social work students for field work

10/21/2001
October 22, 2001

A portion of a federal grant recently awarded to Austin Peay State University's social work department will enable sophomore, junior and senior social work students to earn up to $900 a year for work in rural areas.

Glenn Carter, chair of the social work department, said, "Every social work major has to do a field placement. Through this grant, they can get paid for it. Or they can be paid for volunteer work, which we call 'service learning,' while taking classes."

APSU is among a small number of Middle Tennessee colleges and universities chosen to participate in the project-and APSU has the only participating social work department. Other participants are Fisk University psychology students and nursing students from Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Volunteer State Community College and Columbia State Community College.

The grant, which is titled the Quentin N. Burdick Rural Health Interdisciplinary Program, is administered through Meharry Medical College, Nashville. APSU's share is $6,250 for this academic year. The grant will be continued for a minimum of two additional years, based on available funding.

Joyce Hargrove, assistant professor of social work and director of field placement, is responsible for placing, monitoring and supervising students in these serving-learning opportunities.

Austin Peay is not required to match funds, as is often the case. According to Carter, the University will receive $3,000 the first year as repayment for the administrative time required of Carter and Hargrove. Grant money will be used to buy a much-needed computer and printer for the department.

"But what is most important," Carter says, "is that the grant will pay our students $30 per day--up to $900 per year per student--if they agree to field placements or service learning in rural areas.

"There is no restriction on the number of students who can participate. Social work majors are needed badly in rural areas." "Rural" refers to areas with less than 2,500 people.

For more information, telephone Hargrove at 7504.