In 2001 I dropped all of my classes at the University of Illinois at Springfield’s social work program. I had a professor who is a member of the left-leaning National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and a lobbyist. She told me: “You can not be a Social Worker and be pro-life.” I assume she didn’t know I was a Catholic Christian and a conservative.
The professor, Sandra Mills, told everyone in her class—there were four students—that we “should” join the NASW. She was upset when some students did not join the NASW, but instead joined the North American Association of Christian Social Workers (NACSW).
We also were told we had to lobby state representatives. I would have had to deny my political beliefs and moral intelligence just to get a passing grade in this class.
If it weren’t for this woman and the mandatory class, Social Work Methods III, that she taught, I would have stayed at that school and finished my degree. But, no one else teaches the class.
I had a chat with my adviser and the head of the program, he told me to “just take the class, or pray she takes a sabbatical.” I became disgusted and dropped all my classes.
So what did I get? Half a social worker’s degree, and 20 grand in student loans. I waited and prayed for a sign from God.
My alma mater, Springfield College in Illinois, has partnered with Benedictine University. Now I can earn not only an A.A., but a B.A. at Springfield. I am back in school at the age of 41.
I have decided to change my major at a significant cost to Teacher’s Education. I only hope that the new program isn’t based on illiberal ideology because they will have a fight on their hands. This institution is Catholic, and I expect to learn and to receive my degree without being threatened, coerced, or mocked because of my political affiliation or Christian beliefs. So, wish me luck.
My former adviser said that I was one of the best social workers she knew. But I don’t have that piece of paper, so I am not really a social Worker. Surely Jane Addams has turned over in her grave myriad times, but I am sure she has at least once for me.
Sandra Fuiten is a student in Illinois.