Heather Teter of Pennsville, New Jersey graduated from Elizabethtown College as a member of the Social Work class of 1992. Elizabethtown College first caught her eye when a brother of one of her friends attended the college. Her visit to campus and Elizabethtown's reputation are what sold her on the college.
"When I visited, I fell in love with the campus. It was much more appealing aesthetically then any other campus I visited."
Heather very much enjoyed the close-knit feel of Elizabethtown's Social Work Department. She states that many of her social work peers were also her friends which can make classes more dynamic and enjoyable.
"... the faculty was also very approachable and supportive of the journey through college."
Elizabethtown College works to prepare all of its students for the professional world. The liberal arts aspect of Elizabethtown College was helpful to Heather because it prepared her for job responsibilities beyond the skills specific to Social Work.
"With every experience you take away lessons learned. There are certainly many experiences in college, including dorm life, classroom experiences, and experiences in service learning settings. The combination of all of these experiences helped prepare me for what I have encountered thus far in my professional life."
Elizabethtown College's Social Work Department is very proud of the field placement component of the curriculum. Students complete internships their junior and senior year. Heather's first internship was at Masonic Homes where she worked with the geriatric population. She then spent a semester at a drug and alcohol detox program located in Harrisburg. For her senior internship of 600 hours, Heather interned at a Catholic Charities Family Based Mental Health Program located in Lebanon, PA. She was then hired by this program upon graduation.
"I learned a lot from these experiences, they were each unique, but I took many skills and lessons from each."
Heather currently works at the Milton Hershey School as Coordinator of Student Health Services in the Middle Division. She performs many social work rolls including administration in which she oversees all the health services in the middle school. Heather also works in direct practice with students and families. Heather also develops wellness programs for students around issues such as leadership and self-esteem.
Heather is also an adjunct professor here at Elizabethtown College. She has been teaching a variety of courses since 2000. Courses she teaches include: Practice II-Working with Groups & Families; Social Problems; Mental Health Issues; and Multicultural Counseling Skills.
Elizabethtown's motto "Educate for Service" seems to follow graduates into their professional lives and Heather is an excellent example of this. She works with students who are leaders in the middle school and gives them the opportunity to complete service learning. She organizes a trip for a group of students each summer, during which the students volunteer and spend free time giving back to the community. Heather hopes to pass the idea of giving back on to her students.
"It is an amazing experience to work alongside middle school students who are giving back to their communities and to hear about what they learned from these experiences."