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  • Alexis Padilla, Northeast Arkansas News

ASU brings first simulations, training, and research house to an Arkansas campus

Dirty dishes, drugs, and roaches.

It can be very alarming for newly graduated social workers to see these type of things in real life.

“Something we don’t always think about is the environment that they’re gonna run into and some of our students quite frankly are shocked at sometimes at what they find and it kind of sets them back for a little while before they can even get into their business of why they’re there”, said director of Title IV-E Academic Partnership in Public Child Welfare, Karen Fullen.

Arkansas State University held a ribbon cutting Monday, February 19th, for a new building that can help prepare students for these situations.

It is being called the S.T.A.R house.

The simulation, training, and research house is the first for a campus in Arkansas. It will allow students to get hands on experience that usually doesn’t come until they're in the field.

Professors will be able to set up the house with a variety of props making scenarios as realistic as possible.

Each room is filled with cameras to record each session.

Computer analysis, Deanna Harris said, “They can review what they’ve done and critique themselves or it could be the students that aren’t even in that class. Just give them a scenario of what this person done and how could you improve on it?”.

The unit will be open for social work, criminology, nursing, child advocacy, and other group.

Although, many groups are excited to use the unit, there is one concern: funding.

“There’s budget cuts on campus so we will be beating the bushes to try to find ways of revenue so we’ll be looking for grants, we will be looking for collaboration”, said Patricia Walls, co-chair of the social work department.

The first class to go into the house is set for next week.


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