Joe Burrow Foundation awards grant to UC service-learning co-op program

Funding to support salaries for UC social work students during field placement hours

On Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, the service-learning co-op program at the University of Cincinnati received a ‘Do Good Grant’ from The Joe Burrow Foundation. The funding will provide stipends to UC students pursuing degrees in social work for their meaningful, service-oriented work in the mental health field.

According to The Joe Burrow Foundation, “The mission of the foundation is to provide resources and opportunities to the underprivileged and underserved.” With this award, UC will create a number of service-learning co-ops for students majoring in social work, which will enable those students to get paid, practical experience in their major — all while working with local non-profits who support our community members with the greatest needs.

Students in UC service-learning co-ops also take a reflection course to help further develop their professional skills. They learn to write or refine a resume or cover letter, receive a professional headshot, create an online professional profile, and map a course toward their ultimate career goal. Co-ops funded by the "Do Good Grant" will start in fall 2024 and will continue until all funds are used.

Paula R. Harper, Assistant Director Academics, Career Education

“I am happy that social work students enrolled in the UC College of Allied Health Sciences will have the ability to get paid for their field placement hours,” said Paula Harper, assistant director of UC's service-learning co-op program. “Most students have to work unpaid, so this will alleviate that financial burden for them. We hope to continue to support our social work students by removing this financial hardship that prevents many from entering the social work program.  Removing this barrier could ultimately lead to more social work professionals entering the field and alleviating the shortage of mental health professionals that are available to serve those in need.” 

The service-learning co-op program at UC was founded in January 2020. The program partners with local nonprofits to provide UC students in nonmandatory co-op majors with real-world, paid co-op experiences. To this day, the program has placed more than 700 students into paid co-ops and has partnered with more than 140 local non-profits. Learn more about the service-learning co-op program at UC.

Special thanks to the University of Cincinnati Foundation for their assistance with submission of the grant proposal. 

Featured photo at top: Antoni Shkraba from Pexels

Headshot of By Grace Shields

By Grace Shields

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