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Program Educates, Empowers Refugees

Many Americans have heard about the current refugee crisis, with record numbers of people who have been displaced because of persecution and violence. Out of all those refugees, only one percent enroll in a college or university, according to the UN Refugee Agency. It means many displaced people don’t have access to the tools they need to improve the quality of their lives.

Salt Lake Community College has teamed up with the University of Utah and Jesuit Worldwide Learning to create a Distance Learning Bachelor of Social Work program, empowering refugees by enabling them to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work and gain the professional skills to address a wide range of social issues. Graduates become leaders in their communities, working to alleviate poverty, promote peace and enhance security and stability in the refugee camps and the region.

This innovative program is taught entirely online. Students have access to solar-powered computer labs and complete their coursework while they are still living in refugee camps in Kenya, Malawi, Syria and elsewhere. Here’s how the program works:

·       Step 1 – Students earn a social work certificate from JWL.
·       Step 2 – Students earn an associate degree from SLCC.
·       Step 3 – Students earn a bachelor’s degree from the U of U.

While they are taking their courses, refugees interact online with social work students at SLCC and the U of U. “This program allows all students, including SLCC students, to gain valuable global perspectives,” says Nancy Michalko, executive director of development at SLCC. “The online platform serves as a perfect learning environment for students to share their knowledge and experiences across diverse international communities.”

SLCC needs your help to offer this groundbreaking program to refugees throughout the globe. With your generous contribution, we can provide scholarships to cover the tuition and fees for refugee students. If you would like to make a donation, please go to SLCC's development department's website.

"I use the knowledge to handle cases and to teach my community members how to live together and advocate for people most vulneralbe, like orphan children or unaccompanied minors."  --refugee graduate

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