Cutline: School of Social Work Signs Agreement with TERROS, Inc. for Student Internships
The New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work signed a collaboration agreement with a Phoenix-based behavioral health services organizational that will provide paid clinical internships for the university’s students beginning in 2010.
The first-time agreement with TERROS, Inc. was signed in October and calls for students in the university’s one-of-kind bilingual/bicultural graduate social work program to gain 480 hours of clinical experience during summer internships.
TERROS is the primary behavioral health services provider for the Phoenix metropolitan area and throughout Maricopa County. TERROS provides comprehensive alcohol and substance abuse services as well as mental health counseling.
“This new agreement with TERROS will provide an exciting new training opportunity for our students in the bilingual/bicultural graduate program,” said Alfredro Garcia, dean of the university’s School of Social Work. “Over 50 percent of the clients TERROS serves are Spanish speaking. Many are Mexican immigrants. These internships will give our students an opportunity to use their language skills while providing clinical services to this population.”
Garcia said the TERROS internships will also give the students valuable exposure to the entire continuum of care for behavioral health. He said that experiencing and seeing how services are delivered in another state will enrich the students’ internship.
The graduate social work students will receive academic credit for their paid internships. Dolores Ortega, social work professor and director of the university’s bilingual/bicultural graduate program, will supervise the students.
Ortega said Highlands University is working with both TERROS and Arizona State University on an agreement for the Highlands’ students to be housed on the A.S.U. campus in dormitories during their internships.
Last year, faculty from the A.S.U. School of Social Work visited Highlands University to get ideas about how to develop a similar bilingual/bicultural graduate program at A.S.U.
Highland University’s School of Social Work is the oldest school of social work in New Mexico, dating back to 1974. The program is offered at the university’s main campus in Las Vegas, and also at its centers in Rio Rancho/ Albuquerque, Farmington, Espanola, Roswell and Raton.