June 26, 2023

In recent years, Columbia College has established itself as a national leader in Trauma-Informed Education and Practices. The Division of Education offers a Master of Education in Trauma-Informed Education as well as a Certificate through the Institute for Building Resilience through Trauma-Informed Practices. The Institute was created in order to prepare leaders to heal wounds, build resilience, and promote social justice. In June 2023, the Alston Wilkes Society became the first community organization in South Carolina to be certified by Columbia College as a TIP (Trauma-Informed Practices) agency.

“At Columbia College, we understand that trauma is underdiagnosed, under-treated, and overrepresented, and its impact is pervasive. This institute champions the use of trauma-informed practices and equips individuals and organizations to build resilience through their work in the world. It is our hope that other organizations are able to see and appreciate the work of the Alston Wilkes Society and seek out opportunities for other organizations to utilize trauma-informed practices as well,” said Provost of Columbia College Dr. Kristine Barnett.

As part of the origin of the Institute, former president of Columbia College Dr. Peter Mitchell and current Program Chair for Social Work Dr. Shirley Huisman developed an all-encompassing list of expectations, competencies, and initiatives that an organization must complete to be certified as a TIP agency. After years of preparation, training, and implementation, the Alston Wilkes Society successfully completed the program that included training for staff guided development of a strategic plan to incorporate trauma informed practice in key areas of the organization.

President and CEO of Alston Wilkes Society Anne Walker shared, “Becoming the first nonprofit agency in South Carolina to be certified by Columbia College as a TIP agency is significant to the Alston Wilkes Society and to those we serve. As we continue on our path of achieving best practices at the Society, earning this certification ensures our continued reputation of providing ongoing quality services for over 61 years. We sincerely appreciate Columbia College working with us to reach this historic milestone.”

Columbia College will continue striving to build resilience through Trauma-Informed Education and Practices, and we invite community organizations to partner with us in this mighty endeavor. For more information, contact provost@columbiasc.edu.

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