Social Issues at Grand Canyon University
Social work students need to be able to explain social health issues. It is essential for social workers to understand the needs of the community in order to develop an effective proposal that addresses social health issues (Leisink, , Boselie, Van, Hosking, & Edward Elgar Publishing 2013). The Grand Canyon University is a private academic institution in Phoenix, Arizona with a Christian mission of making a difference in the lives of others, and providing an opportunity for quality, affordable education (Grand Canyon University, 2018).
The Grand Canyon University community is mainly composed of students, lecturers, and other staff of the University. The social issues this community is dealing with include criminal activities of students, social problems in education, peer pressure that can affect students negatively, race, and social class, and substance use among students (Leisink et al., 2013). The target population of Grand Canyon University is mostly students who are of a mixed race and advanced in technology. The students have mixed social economic classes with low and high-income classes, and an age bracket of 18-35 years old (Leisink et al., 2013).
The risk factors that may contribute to some of the social issues include students’ believe that substance use will not cause any harm, peer pressure, genetic predisposition to addiction or exposure to substance use, parents who use drugs, neighborhood poverty and violence, and norms and laws favorable to these issues. Protective factors include parental involvement, availability of faith-based resources, laws and policies, and early interventions (Smith, 2018).
The Grand Canyon University is mostly composed of students on campus and online students undertaking different educational courses. Characteristics of these students include technology advanced generation. Most of these students are young generations in their youth (Grand Canyon University, 2018).
Resources available for students include competitive tuition costs so that education is within reach for all students. Grand Canyon University also offers convenient learning options, which include a traditional campus environment, evening classes, and online degree programs. The University also offers opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering education for students, which include scholarships, reduced tuition amounts and other special offers (Grand Canyon University, 2018). There is no a resource gap as their campus is rapidly expanding their infrastructures, new amenities and a rapidly growing student population. The university is changing the landscape of West Phoenix (Grand Canyon University, 2018).
The community recognizes the social issues and the need for programs or resource that address these social issues. The community is committed to transforming the surrounding neighborhoods into a safe, thriving place for those in the community with hope and better future. The community also provides academic excellence and a vibrant campus life to students. It has implemented initiatives in the surrounding area to open educational opportunities to all (Grand Canyon University, 2018).
The social issue for my proposal is substance use, which is a condition where students use one or more substances in harmful amounts (Smith, 2018).
Project proposal (mezzo level) of analysis deals with small and medium sized groups. This can be neighborhoods, local organizations, and schools. Mezzo social work focuses on the cultural change rather than individual change and is more suitable in addressing the social issue (Smith, 2018).
The target populations affected by substance use are the students of the Grand Canyon University. This is because of the influence from the society and other students.
The first step of the Strategic Prevention Framework is assessing needs. This helps prevention professionals to identify substance use and other related factors and the contributing factors and that the prevention efforts are appropriate and targeted to the needs of communities. The professional also assesses the resources available to the community and its readiness to address these factors (SAMHSA, 2018).
This information is important when planning a proposal. This step will collect information from a variety of sources and this information is important in the writing down of the proposal and identifying substance use problems, and factors that contribute to these problems. This information will help in identifying resources needed to address these factors (SAMHSA, 2018).
Prevention strategies for students/clients dealing with the social issue you have selected include enhancing legislation that impacts substance use by reducing acquisition of legal and illegal substances. Establishing a regulatory board work group to identify prescribing trends and discuss enforcement, and establishing a task force to identify specific improvements that should be made to enhance the Arizona Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Programs (SAMHSA, 2018).
The social issues this community is dealing with include criminal activities of students. This is where students on campus engage in criminal activities in the institution like theft and sexual activities, which are illegal. Social problems in education can also affect students of low-income families. These families have difficulties in accessing education. Another social issue is peer pressure that can affect students negatively more than positively. Students can influence other students to negative behaviors affecting them socially and even mentally. Another social issue is race and social class that involves tackling the issue of equity and equality in education regardless the race and social class of the students and the issue of substance use by students where students engage in substance abuse in the institution (Smith, 2018).
Risk factors driving patterns and behaviors to substance use are low social economic status of family members and financial strain, low self worth, child abuse, family members’ substance problems, depression, and gang involvement. Protective factors are parental education and family income supplements, family support, discussing problems with family or friends (SAMHSA, 2018).
The neighborhood profile data was analyzed from four data sources, which are secondary data, observational assessments, neighborhood connector interviews, and resident surveys. The secondary data was analyzed to describe sociodemographic characteristics of neighborhoods, while observational assessments were used to quantify and qualify aspects of the built environment. Neighborhood surveys and connector interviews were analyzed using frequency distributions and content analysis (Henderson, 2012). Each source provided useful insights into different aspects of the community environment. When combined as one profile, they provided comprehensive detail of the physical activity and nutrition environments of the neighborhood (Henderson, 2012).
The secondary data was structured to describe the community environment and the people residing within it. Census data was used to describe the population characteristics and neighborhood characteristics such as house ownership and vacancy. Observational assessments described neighborhood conditions, resources, transportation routes, food, and recreational facilities. Neighborhood connector interview described the neighborhood assets and resources, neighborhood opportunity for environmental, structural improvements, and challenges to neighborhood development. Neighborhood survey included identification of attitudes toward community health issues, identification to environmental assets and barriers, and prioritization of neighborhood issues related to physical activity and nutrition (Henderson, 2012).
Grand Canyon University. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.gcu.com/about GCU.
Henderson, M.A., Sanchez, Z.C., Koegel, K.A., Zawacki, L., Martinez, G., Ingram, M. (2012). Californian Journal of Health Promotion. Health Disparities in Latino Communities. Volume 10, Special Issue: 37-51.
Leisink, P., Boselie, P., Van, B. M., Hosking, D. M., & Edward Elgar Publishing. (2013). Managing Social Issues: A Public Values Perspective. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Pub. Ltd.
Smith, E. M. M. A. (2018). Key issues in education and social justice. S.l.: Sage Publications.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.com/applying strategic prevention framework.