Kutztown University and Reading Area Community College signed a two-year grant agreement with Service and Access Management Inc. Thursday to promote innovation and partnerships between university and community agencies. Kutztown University President Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson and Provost Dr. Anne Zayaitz signed the agreement with SAM Inc.’s Nan Haver, president and CEO, and RACC’s Jodi Corbett, Director of Academic Partnerships.
Other representatives from both SAM Inc. and RACC were also in attendance.
Kutztown first developed its partnership with RACC in the field of social work with an initial agreement in June 2018. In this program, RACC graduates with an Associate in Arts in social work are able to earn a Bachelor in Social Work at KU in two years through an accelerated program delivered on-site on the RACC campus. This is very cost-effective for students, who are able to pay lower, community college tuition rates.
Thursday’s agreement with RACC and SAM, Inc. will allow KU BSW graduates to secure employment upon graduation and build agency-specific skills via internships at SAM Inc. Internships will be available for up to six bilingual KU students participating in the BSW program at RACC. KU will offer each of these students a stipend of $2,500.
“Our purpose in developing this program with RACC was to provide a quality, low-cost education to the citizens of this region to further develop our partnership and to serve the community by providing well-educated, well-trained graduates, who after their graduation, can give back and serve their community,” Hawkinson said. “The agreement we sign today with SAM, Inc. greatly enhances our role to expand the opportunities of students in this important field.”
“We are so excited to be part of this program,” Haver said. “We are proud that KU and RACC see us as a valuable community partner and an organization that impacts the community. We are truly grateful for this opportunity and are looking forward to having these students come to us as interns and become fully-trained employees on their hire day.”
Beginning fall 2019, bilingual BSW students at RACC will be able to accept an internship at SAM Inc. and complete one of their elective social work courses in case management with specialized content based on SAM Inc.’s approach. Upon graduation and successful completion of the internship, SAM Inc. is committed to employing these students.
“As a KU alumna, I am very proud of how we have worked together in the role of public education to provide affordable opportunities to students,” Corbett said. “Our partnership with Kutztown University is active and strong because of the relationships that have been built between good people who are doing good things for this community. This is another element we have added to help students get into the workforce and be able to serve the community’s they so-much want to serve.”
“This is a wonderful example of how a four-year institution, a two-year institution and a community organization can come together to provide a more affordable path for our students to earn their degree with a guaranteed job that will result in having well-trained professionals ready to serve the Reading community,” Hawkinson said.
For more information about SAM Inc., please visit http://www.sam-inc.org/pa/.