Wartburg set a good foundation

By Katie Hirv ’22

The Wartburg social work program is highly regarded by prospective social work students in part because it is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. For Betsy Schweizer ’21, the social work program was a big factor in her decision to attend Wartburg.

“The social work program was accredited, and the class size was really interesting for me, since it wasn’t too far off from what I was used to from high school,” Schweizer said. “When I was visiting campus [in high school], I met with Dr. Faux, who is the social work department chair. Some life circumstances also led me to social work in general. As a student, taking the social work classes really affirmed my belief that this was where I was supposed to be.”

Wartburg social work students complete a minimum of two field experiences during their academic career, totaling at least 590 hours in the field. Schweizer did her supervised field experience at Crisis Intervention Services, a Mason City organization that serves victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault as well as operates the Survivors of Homicide Program.

“It was both in-person and remote, depending on the day. I had a lot of autonomy, too. I’m was usually at the front desk in the office helping them with their projects. I also went along with the advocates and was able to serve clients on my own as well,” Schweizer said. “I also was on call a few weekends, and that’s where we respond to sexual assaults reported at the hospital.”

Betsy Schweizer

Schweizer was able to make connections between her social work classes and applied projects at her internship.

“I knew how to research different policies for the agency, conduct research within the agency, do program evaluations, all kinds of different things,” said Schweizer. “I think the best experience was getting to know everyone. Everyone was super welcoming, and I felt like I was part of the gang. I was a lot younger and had a lot less experience than the rest of them do, but they’re super cool answering any questions I had. They didn’t make me feel bad for not knowing things.”

After graduating, Schweizer will continue her education at St. Ambrose University, where she will pursue a master’s degree in social work. She also has some ideas in mind as what she would like to do professionally once her education is complete.“I hope to attend St. Ambrose University on their advanced standing track. I can do that because of the social work accreditation. Wartburg has set such a good foundation,” said Schweizer. “I think I want to work in the court system, maybe with victims of domestic violence or maybe juvenile court services.”