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Social Service

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Duane Oldfield

Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of Social Service

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Knox College has a long tradition of its students reaching out to help others. As members of campus organizations and as individuals, Knox students give their time and talents to the local school district and to organizations like the United Way and domestic abuse shelters. Many students are interested in extending those kinds of experiences into careers that might include counseling, social work and education.

Knox offers an interdisciplinary minor in social service to enhance students' familiarity with the many aspects of careers in working with the socially disadvantaged. Because working with this segment of the population, by its nature, involves interactions between people and with governmental, legal, and community agencies, the program addresses each of these areas and ensures hands-on experiences by asking students to complete an internship with a social service agency in Galesburg.


Social Service Alumni Working in Related Field

The Program

The Social Service minor requires five credits in courses focusing on topics central to careers in social work, such as contemporary racial/ethnic issues in society, social inequality and social class, and governmental institutions and their relations to social services.

A core element of the Social Service minor is actual work with a socially disadvantaged group in the community. Students pursuing a minor in social service complete an internship with a social service agency in Galesburg. Recent internships in Galesburg have been conducted at:

  • Initiative for Girls, a program for teens
  • Safe Harbor, a domestic violence agency
  • Knox County Housing Authority
  • Lutheran Social Services' Single Parent Program
  • Department of Children and Family Services


Aside from the minor in social service, a great majority of Knox students get involved in giving back to the Galesburg community and to their hometown communities. The resources that are greatly beneficial to Social Service minors are also available to students campus-wide.

At Knox, students have a number of clubs and organizations that revolve around social service:

Knox also has a Center for Community Service to coordinate on- and off-campus volunteer opportunities for students.In addition to campus-wide resources -- such as libraries and technology -- that are available to all students and faculty, students in the Social Service program are provided with equipment and work spaces for transcribing social interviews, extensive reading material on career planning, and files of information on opportunities for graduate study, field schools, off-campus programs, internships and the like.

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Printed on Sunday, June 16, 2024