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An innovative way of bringing several academic disciplines together on Oct. 17, came to fruition recently with Simulation Labs at East Central University.

Upper-level students from disciplines such as social work, criminal justice, nursing and legal studies came together to work in mock multi-disciplinary teams to deal with real-life, complex issues, according to Amy Ward, social program director at ECU.

“The teams dealt with substance abuse, mental health and child welfare issues and came up with solutions,” said Ward. “Faculty from all of those programs were there and able to give quick feedback. The students absolutely loved it.”

The Simulation Labs provided a professional-like atmosphere, according to Ward.

“The students were able to see what networking looks like as each got to play a professional role,” Ward said. “It was a good experience for them.”

Ward called this event or ‘Pillar 1’ as successful and another event, called ‘Pillar 2’ in November, will bring in fine arts students as actors to help create more real-life situations.

The reasoning behind the labs, according to Ward, is that social work students will not be so terrified and be prepared to deal with clients during their internships.

“By participating in these simulation labs, the social work students will have a better grasp of what to do and how to react to situations, thus providing a smoother transition into their internships and ultimately their careers,” said Ward.


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