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Field Education Office Professional Development Workshop

BSW Cording & MSW Hooding

March is National Social Work Month, and the College of Social Work wants to know why social work is important to students and alumni. 


Please answer one of the following questions in one to two sentences and send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your responses will be posted on the College of Social Work’s social media accounts throughout the month.  

Social work matters to me because:National Social Work Month 2018 web

I study social work because:

I enjoy social work field education because:


Please answer one of the following questions in one to two sentences and send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your responses will be posted on the College of Social Work’s social media accounts throughout the month.

Social work matters to me:

What I enjoy most about working in social work is:

My social work education and field experience at the College of Social Work helped me in my career because:


Student Spotlight
Morgan Larch, BSW StudentMorgan Larch edited online

Senior Morgan Larch did not begin her collegiate studies at the University of South Carolina, but this spring she will graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from the College of Social Work. Her passion for helping others has become a call to action. Larch and fellow BSW student Mary Wilder are currently collecting socks, gloves, scarfs, clothes and toiletry items for Columbia’s homeless.

You can leave items in the donation box across from the second-floor restrooms in Hamilton College, or make a monetary donation. Click here to watch ABC 6 Columbia’s story on the Spread the Warmth Winter Clothing Drive.  

Why did you choose the USC College of Social Work?

I started at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, where I wanted to help people but did not want to be a teacher. I researched different majors and schools in the area and found social work, but the only thing I knew about it was paperwork. It did not seem interesting to me, but the more I researched, the more I realized it might be a good opportunity for me. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it has become something I love.

What do you enjoy most about the College of Social Work?

I enjoy my cohort. We share the same classes, successes and frustrations and learn from each other. For example, I have a lot of support and backing from my cohort with the clothing drive. They also receive the same support for their events. I did not realize there were so many people like me, but it’s a great give-and-take relationship.

Where are you completing field education work?

I’m currently at Palmetto Health Richland Springs, a psychiatric and substance abuse facility in Columbia. When you do field education work, you apply what you learned and realize the importance of classroom education. Everything I learned from my intro and junior classes came together. I did not realize this until I started my field education.

What is one skill anyone interested in social work career should possess?

The skill I have learned over the past few years is empathy. Even if you have not been in the same situation as someone else, chances are you have had similar feelings, and you can draw on those experiences when talking with others. Social work is based on connections and relationships. These are essential when working with clients, and I have found empathy is a great relationship builder.

What advice would you give future social work students?

Social workers do not always get the appreciation, which is fine, because that is not what we are seeking. But working behind the scenes is important, which a lot of people do not realize. Whether you want to start your social work journey in service learning or volunteering, there are different social work avenues, such as research and clinical settings. It is not just a linear path, but several different directions where you can take your career.

What are you plans after graduation?

I plan to earn my Master of Social Work (MSW) at USC though the Advanced Standing Program. That was part of the reason why I chose USC. It was appealing to me because I can receive my degree in 11 months. I like how the BSW curriculum prepares you for the MSW program and the field education work continues. It will be intensive, but I am excited and prepared. 

Alumni Spotlight

Marc Himes, ’01 MSWMarc Himes edited

Marc Himes is the program manager for the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families. The Columbia-based organization is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System and supports statewide fatherhood programs serving fathers and families. He is also a current MSW field instructor.

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families produced, “Facing Early Fatherhood,” a documentary into the lives of three young men who became fathers resulting from an unintended pregnancy. A public screening of the documentary was held on Jan. 11 at the Richland Library Sandhills.

How did the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families develop the idea for producing the documentary?

The purpose of the documentary is to bring more awareness and showcase the issue of young fathers, including their needs and challenges. We identified three young men in our program, two from our Horry County program, A Father’s Place, and another participating in our Midlands Fatherhood Coalition. We tracked the good, bad and ugly of their lives over a period of about 10 months.

What other programs by the center have been offered to bring awareness to young fathers?

We hosted statewide public forums, “What Young Fathers Need,” which were panels with our young men and the challenges they face. In addition, we have done poverty simulations, created a resource webpage for young fathers, www.youngfatherhood.com, and currently developing a curriculum called, “Realty Check,” to help young men make wise decisions regarding having children.

How did the College of Social Work help prepare you for your career?

Social work gave me a broader perspective to do more from a community and organizational standpoint. It was very beneficial to learn how organizations work and provide services, since my goal was to oversee programs.

How satisfying is it for you to work with MSW students as a field instructor?

I like to be a resource and help students overcome some of the same challenges I experienced. I have worked with students for most of my career, from low-income first-generation students to more traditional roles, such as career development at the Darla Moore School of Business. Helping students is my passion, and it’s great to give them practical exposure to the workforce, including issues they may experience in a full-time position.  

What advice would you give someone studying or considering a career in social work?

Keep your options open. Students may come in with preconceived notions about what they will be doing or want to do. For example, a student may have a field placement in one area, and find it is not what they enjoy, or they might be exposed to an area they did not previously consider. It is hard to see the big picture, especially for someone coming straight from undergrad without as many life experiences, but keeping an open mind and learning from every experience will help carve out a career. 

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