With just two post-secondary institutions in the province offering a Bachelor of Social Work, Brittany Krahn was drawn to Booth UC for its flexibility and accessibility. Being a full-time single Mom, working and trying to navigate the pandemic, “I was able to get my degree with my kids, ages 2 and 3, at home,” Brittany explains. “All of the staff and professors worked to make the program work for me and for my schedule. I really appreciated that.” Living rurally was another potential barrier, yet the virtual and distance options truly put Brittany in the driver’s seat as they became responsible for their own learning with as much support as they needed from Booth UC.
While chatting about other things Brittany appreciated about Booth UC, they pointed out the diversity of perspectives among the professors, as well as the good learning environment for social work students, and the secure spaces for discussion and debate. “Many of the professors made it safe for students to wrestle with some of the material, to have honest conversations, and to confront biases in open and nuanced ways.” The classroom also became one of the first places Brittany came out as genderqueer. “A couple of my profs really honoured the process I was going through, they honoured my pronouns. I could show up as a queer student and feel safe and seen.” Brittany also describes how in one class there were guest speakers who were trans and two-spirit. “Having that representation in the classroom setting was pretty formative,” they conclude.
“My peers did a good job of showing up and really challenging each other as well,” Brittany continues. Booth UC’s social work program is demanding and students go through hours of classes, practicum and seminars together. “Professionally, those connections are really helpful after you graduate and you’re all working in the field.” Today Brittany is putting those connections to use as a Counsellor at Klinic in Winnipeg. They work with individuals and families who have been affected by domestic abuse, both those who are experiencing abuse and those who are trying to decrease abusive behaviour.
Brittany credits Booth UC with preparing them to work in a “profession of values”. In fact, it is one of the many reasons Booth UC’s social work program is highly regarded and sought after in Manitoba. To practice social work, individuals must align with a Code of Ethics and Scope of Practice. “My professors did a really good job of challenging us in those 400-level classes, to confirm before we graduated that we really were applying the values of social work.”
This excerpt is from a longer article that is coming in our next Connect Magazine (Winter 2023). Keep an eye out for the rest of Brittany’s story!
To learn more about Booth UC’s social work program, visit our School of Social Work.