'Social Work Advocates' spotlights UNE's unique program in arts and social justice
The University of New England’s Applied Arts and Social Justice (AASJ) Certificate program was recently featured in Social Work Advocates for its unique approach in teaching students the tenants of social work through an artistic lens.
The certificate program, under the coordination of Lori G. Power, M.A., Ed.D., offers a 64-credit Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree to on-campus students who elect to do coursework and academic and community projects related to the use of creative arts in social work practice. The program allows students to engage in a course of study that puts the creative process front and center to work with real people and make real change.
Field work and projects associated with the certificate may include painting and healing, theater or writing with incarcerated youth, or the healing power of music for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.
The program does not certify students to become art therapists; rather, it teaches them how to use art as one tool in the therapy they are already providing. Use of the arts also helps drive new social movements and influence systemic change, which is a fundamental social work ethic, Power told the trade publication.
“The certificate student doesn’t need to possess any particular talent in art or music. It’s not about the student as artist; it’s about helping the client to heal through use of the arts,” she said.
Learn more about the AASJ Certificate.