Grant Awarded to Facilitate Simulation Labs in ECU's Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program

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ADA, OK (10/23/2018) A $40,000 grant has been awarded to East Central University's Social Work Program to facilitate simulation labs through the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program.

The labs are designed to bring together students from disciplines such as social work, criminal justice, nursing and legal studies for example to work in mock multi-disciplinary teams to deal with real-life, complex issues.

"We are so excited and our students are really excited too," said Amy Ward, director of ECU's Social Work Program.

Since the simulation labs were instituted over a year ago, the labs have been conducted in various locations across campus. Now the labs will be centrally-located and housed in the former child care center located in Fentem Hall.

"We will utilize the funding to create the space we need for the simulation labs," Ward said. "The simulation labs will look and feel like a client's home environment. This will give students an experience that feels like the real world."

According to Ward, the new simulation labs will particularly enhance collaboration efforts between social work and criminal justice students as far as joint-response situations are concerned.

"The feedback from students that have participated in the labs is all positive and the internship placements have reported that the interns seem more confident," said Ward. "Also, our advisory board has several members from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and they are very enthusiastic about the sim lab and it's potential."\

Ward also credits Leah Lyon, director of the ECU Office of Sponsored Programs and Research, for her input on the writing and the success of landing the social work grant.