Al Jabri 2
Grant Proposal for a Virtual Online Program
JABER AL JABRI
Professor Iswari Pandey
July 5, 2020
This project intends to provide a way that can solve the problem of internship programs especially for social work students and most specifically at such tough times of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a grant proposal aiming at getting funds to aid the development of a virtual online program where students can easily express their understanding of the course and provide a safe platform to observe the measures by WHO to curb the spread of the virus. Notably, the program is highly potential to guide this achievement and can therefore be done on a cheap cost helping a lot of people
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic globally, things have become tough to most individuals. The disease has turned to be a killer taking a lot of lives all over the world. More so, the disease lacks any known cure making it a mystery to everyone. However, the virus has been known to be communicable and can be spread through touching contaminated surfaces as well as breathing contaminated air. For this reason, most institutions have bee shut down and rules put in place to curb the spread of the disease. Among other regulations, maintaining hygiene, wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing are the major ones. As a result, to adhere to the rules and regulations, most activities have been postponed. Among them internship for learners taking various courses such as business, medical, teaching as well as social work. Students who take social work courses need to be in an environment that will help them practice the skills that they have learned in class thus helping the professors to evaluate the learners’ understanding and suitability in execution of required skills. However, due to the global pandemic, this has proven to be challenging because of not only the social distancing rule but also as a result of fear by both the workers, learners and facilitators of learning to contact the virus.
Internship is a key requirement to complete a course especially the most practical courses. In fact, internship helps a learner to gain first hand experience in their field of career. Notably, any action that can be taken to facilitate internship practices especially at times when physical availability is a challenge are highly essential. Development of online platforms to facilitate internships is therefore a big step towards realizing this critical need. Concisely, social work students are affected highly when it comes to internship requirements especially at this period where the whole world is experiencing the Covid-19 global pandemic (Hanc, 2020). A virtual online platform where social work students can gain the experience required through internships can be developed effectively thus filling in the gap of internship requirement. This is possible through observation of various key factors that facilitate meeting of this requirement. This proposal demonstrates the features that are capable of realizing this if effectively implemented. Through development of the virtual program, the learners will be exposed to people who need social workers as well as other social workers in general. However, this will lack the physical interactions but instead, an online platform such as zoom will be utilized. Consequently, the learner will have been exposed to real social issues and the facilitators will be able to monitor and evaluate the performance of their students.
Statement of the Problem
Creating a virtual internship program for students studying social work
Previous attempts to cater for the internship practices have been witnessed. However, there has not been a previously used online platform to accomplish the same need. Notably, the establishment of an online platform will observe various measures that have been outlined by the World Health Organization in attempt to curb the Corona Virus spread bearing in mind there is no known cure so far. For instance, there is an urge to maintain social distancing which could be difficult for social workers (Grobman, 2019). This therefore makes it important to look for ways where such measures can be observed effectively. With online platforms, there is no need to physically meet with others and therefore it is a better option to work with.
With this plan, social workers, education facilitators, social work students among other members of the society will benefit. Notably, the students will be able to monitor their health as they gain the required experience from interacting with experienced social workers on the platform. This will also increase their awareness and make them feel comfortable and safe since they will be working at the comfort of their homes. Consequently, doctors and scientists will direct most of their attention on developing vaccines for the disease and hopefully finding a cure to this killer disease.
There is a need for establishment of safer grounds to curry on with the course requirements as per institutions. Creating a virtual program that allow online platforms to focus on the need to fulfill internship purposes is therefore an essential and important move. The program surpasses the normal by allowing interactions between social work students, their facilitators as well as social workers in a safe ground that does not require them to physically meet in order to fulfill the internship requirements (Sweitzer & King, 2013). This way, they can observe the various laid measures for curbing the spread of Covid-19 and ensure their own safety as well as their loved ones’.
Goals and Objectives
The main goal of the program is to provide a safer platform to continue with the learning expectations and specifically facilitate safe internship programs for social work students while observing the requirements by World Health Organization to curb the spread of the Corona virus. The university management can use the program to make sure that the university calendar is not tampered with more that it already is. Notably, the program intends to bring together social work students, their facilitators as well as various firms to ensure that the learners gain the intended experience same as a person who would have gone to an internship in the firms. Here, the professor can monitor and evaluate the performance of his or her learners thus assessing if the course requirements are being met effectively. A large number of students can depend on this program to ensure they meet the course requirements without having to worry about their safety in the field and also observing regulations stated by the WHO regarding Covid-19 such as staying at home thus reducing the number of individuals exposed to this deadly virus. The University can take this chance to take care of its students and workers in making sure that they are safe and working from home. After some time, the professor will be able to evaluate his learners online and make sure they have the required skills to finally get to the field (Zaremohzzabieh, Ahrari, Krauss, Abu Samah, & Omar, 2020). This program will save a lot of time especially at this period where most institutions are locked down. In three months, the social work students will have portrayed their understanding of the course and also gained enough experience to see them through the field of their career. In addition, after a longer period, say three years, the program will have become part of the institution where internship requirements could be easily met bearing in mind the fact that we may not know how long the Covid-19 will persist before getting a cure. In case the cure is found, the program could also be helpful as an option to visiting a firm physically.
Methods and strategies/ Program Design
The program will make use of online platforms such as zoom where all the interactions will take place. By allowing working from home, the learners, students and firms involved will be able to interact without worrying too much about their safety. Notably, the key requirements to accomplish this is just owning a laptop or tablet and having access to the internet which is a more common feature nowadays. In addition, self-discipline will be key to make the establishment a success. The individuals involved have to observe a high level of self-discipline and at the same time observe ethical issues that may lead to loss of interest from the facilitators as well as the involved firms. Concisely, a training session would be initiated days before these parties can progress to the real business of the program. In fact, training by an IT expert would be very essential to show how easy it is to use the program by all the parties involved. The trainer will lead the group of interested individuals through the required skills which by my opinion, are easy since technology boosted the way things are done and approximately 99% of learners are at least computer literate thus making it even easier to train them over a very short period of time. Surprisingly, the trainer might only touch on the fundamentals such as what is expected and how to achieve what is expected. More to these, the university will create an IT team that will monitor the program to ensure that all the objectives and goals are being realized and at the expected period as timed. At this point, the team should establish a common focus and track the progress of the program thus giving a chance to rectify or improve in case a fault is experienced. If the objectives are clearly and effectively met, then the program is ready to be used and could even be introduced to students who take other courses other than Social Work. This selected team will be responsible of writing a report every weal to the school management that will enable the institution to know how the program progresses. This way, the institution gets fully involved in the business of its students thus making all the parties related to the student development involved. With all these methods and strategies effectively followed it is pretty certain that the program will be a success and a lot of people will benefit from it leading to an institutional growth and clear observation of the school calendar without delaying certain actions such as internships for its learners
Plan of evaluation
As earlier stated, the program will be complete after establishment of a tracking team made of Information Technology experts who will monitor the progress of the program. Here, they will be involved in making sure that the program is working as expected and more so, monitor if the outlined goals are being achieved in the process of using the program. In addition, the team will have to write a report every week to the university so that the success can be traced thus allowing the sustainability of the program. At this point, the university management will provide their feedback to the team and provide any recommendations whatsoever. These will guide the team on knowing what is expected by the university and make use of this information to improve the program. Genuinely, the records and reports of every week assessment will be kept and summarized into one after every forty-five days where it will be checked again to see the progress and performance of the program.
This program intends to go to the future and therefore sustaining it is key. Notably, the funding will depend on its performance over the first internship period. Hopefully, the university will be impressed by its performance and help in funding it over the following years. The students may also contribute to fund the program to ensure its sustainability. This can be done possible by initiating a small fee which could act as a registration fee for funding each student’s internship program for the expected period of time.
The project is a cheap one since every learner will be expected to own a laptop/tablet which is not on the projects budget. The IT team and trainers will require to be payed and provided with the required equipment. Notably, the program will cost an approximate amount of $5000 which is a significant amount for the beginning. With progress and performance, more funding might be essential.
This is basically the first project intended under organizational. However, this is a potential move towards the development of this university thus not defective.
Grobman, L. M. (2019). Days in the lives of social workers: 62 professionals tell “real-life” Stories from social work practice. New Social Worker Press.
Hanc, O. (2020). Theological and practical challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceedings of DIALOGO-CONF 2020. doi:10.18638/dialogo.2020.6.2.19
Sweitzer, H. F., & King, M. A. (2013). The successful internship. Cengage Learning.
Zaremohzzabieh, Z., Ahrari, S., Krauss, S., Abu Samah, A., & Omar, S. (2020). Youth work in a digital society. IGI Global.