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​​​​​​​​​​​​​History
SWAP is a nonprofit organization founded by faculty and alumni members of the School of Social Work at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) and California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) who have a passion for international social work and believe in the value of providing internships and learning opportunities abroad for social work students to develop a global perspective and intercultural competence.  With universities historically ambivalent to faculty-led programs, SWAP board members developed this organization outside of the universities to make international learning programs financially accessible for social work students of color who would not otherwise have had an opportunity to experience studying and working abroad.

Timeline
-2006
  • Faculty from UCLA, Joy Crumpton and CSULA, Grace Orpilla led 7 UCLA MSW students for a 2 week program partnering with Dr. Ayidiya from the University of Ghana, Social Work Department in Legon, Ghana.


-2007

  • The loosely organized international program returned to partner again with the University of Ghana, Social Work Department. The program expanded to 4 weeks. The faculty led program collaboration were with California State University, Los Angeles (Grace Orpilla and Dale Weaver from CSULA), University of California, Los Angeles (Larthia Durnham from UCLA) and California State University, Long Beach (Jim Schrage from CSULB) joined the partnership. 20 students participated.  Placements for the programs included: Prevention programs for diseases HIV/AIDS, street educational outreach for prevention of communicable diseases program, pregnancy prevention, juvenile prevention program, domestic violence. Students went out to the communities recruiting women for education programs, parenting classes and micro business. Women empowerment programs.

-2009
  • The third trip to Ghana in 2009 continued partnership with the University of Ghana, Social Work Department, and expanded the program to 6 weeks (one week of orientation and 4 weeks of field work). Carla Bykowski and Dale Weaver faculty from CSULA supported the MSW students (placed in juvenile detention centers, domestic violence units, and other placements). 5 students participated from CSULA.


-2010

  • Aiko Yep and Kathleen Coatta revive a dormant International Social Work Student Caucus at CSULA.  Dale Weaver and Tasha Willis serve as faculty advisors to the student organization.


-2011

  • The International Social Work Caucus at CSULA led by Aiko Yep (who was an MSW student at the time) organized a service trip to Mexico.  6 MSW students participated.
  • The International Social Work Caucus at CSULA organized a student-led service learning trip to Guatemala.  11 MSW students participated.


-2012

  • The International Social Work Caucus at CSULA led by Aiko Yep organized an international educational tour to Thailand to study human trafficking and modern day slavery.  Tasha Willis and Carla Bykowski accompanied the group as faculty advisors of the tour.  9 MSW and 2 BSW students participated.
  • The dormant social work abroad program began to meet on a monthly basis to discuss its future.  Early board members included Aiko Yep, Carla Bykowski, Dale Weaver, Grace Orpilla, James Schrage, Kathleen Coatta, Rashida Crutchfield, and Tasha Willis.  


-2013

  • The International Social Work Caucus at CSULA led by Sylvia Tan organized an international education tour to Venezuela.
  • The board of directors continue to meet on a monthly basis and prepare to apply for 501c3 status.
  • SWAP applies for and is awarded a seed grant from The Pollination Project.


-2014

  • SWAP's 501(c)(3) status is finalized and approved on August 21, 2014
  • In collaboration with LA UNA, James Schrage and Tasha Willis lead a six week SWAP pilot program in Costa Rica.  8 MSW students participated.
  • Tasha Willis recruits 4 MSW students at CSULA to serve as Junior Board Members and support SWAP's continued research and program development


-2015

  • In continued collaboration with LA UNA, James Schrage and Rosalina De Casas lead a second program in Costa Rica.  10 MSW students participated.
  • Tasha Willis and Carla Bykowski lead a bachelor level service learning program for 2 weeks.
  • Aiko Yep spends six weeks in Costa Rica to observe and support both master and bachelor level programs.


-2016

  • SWAP completed its third program in Costa Rica in continued collaboration with LA UNA with Rosalina De Casas, James Schrage, Aiko Yep, and Diana Rivera serving as facilitators.  Rosalina and Aiko complete site visits to explore potential partnerships with the University of Costa Rica.  3 MSW students participated.


-2017

  • Reunion of all past SWAP and ISWC participants.  Over 20 program alumni members attended.  James Schrage and his wife Vivi are honored for their years of service to SWAP.


-2018

  • Grace Orpilla and Aiko Yep complete site visits and observations during the University of Cincinnati's Viva Nicaragua programming in March 2018




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Social Work Abroad Program (SWAP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to providing international learning opportunities for US-based social work students.