So, my job this morning is to give you the broad-brush stroke of the MSW program at the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh. So, first of all we are housed within the University of Pittsburgh which in and of itself is a great place to be under Chancellor Gordon Berg.
The university has done so very well over the past number of years. And we are housed within this historic building. How many have never been in this building before. Pretty cool huh.
And there’s also a lot to learn about the buildings. So, this is the second tallest educational building in the world. There are 40 floors and one of the many things that you will learn about as a student here is Which elevator takes you where I had to coach a couple of people in the elevator this morning to come up with me and also the secret buttons the ones that take you two floors that are not marked.
So just a small part of the many things you’ll learn at the University of Pittsburgh if you’ve never seen this building before on your way out. Make sure you stop on the first floor and just walk around and see how beautiful the first floor is with the arches.
And there are some pictures of the nationality rooms. If you have a little bit of time you can take a self-tour through the nationality rooms. This is really quiet an extraordinary building. Read: Get a Masters Degree in Psychology Online Accredited Cheapest
Oh, I should mention that the cathedral was lit up in this particular picture because we are celebrating our two hundred and twenty fifth birthday at the University of Pittsburgh so in social work, we have a particular mandate that distinguishes us from other professions.
So how many people in the room today already have a bachelors in social work or maybe you’re a senior in completing your bachelors in social work. Do we have anybody in the room? OK. Several hands. OK.
So, what distinguishes us as what can you do with a masters degree in social work from other professions
What Can you do With a Masters Degree in Social Work
OK so what she said is as social workers we look at people within the broader environment. Maybe if you’re a direct practice student you’re looking at an individual within a family within a family system with within multiple generations.
If you’re looking at an organization or a group, you’re looking at a community you’re looking at whatever your client service population is within a larger context societal context racial context all the different contexts. Read: Best Online Healthcare Degrees Complete Guide
So, we’re looking holistically at people not just at the service population whether that’s an individual a family an organization or a community. So, we want to get the context because what do we know as social workers that the context influences that service population whether it’s the individual or the organization. OK. So, there’s an interaction.
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Right. So, we are particularly we work towards empowering our service populations. We rather than have being pathology based. We’re looking for the strengths and the resiliency of our individuals’ family’s communities. OK.
So, we’re very strengths based in our interventions and we have a very strong commitment to working with vulnerable populations the oppressed the folks that do not have a voice. We become the voice for those that do not have a voice in the wider system.
So, we’re very committed to social and economic justice. OK these are pictures of faculty on the latest day of caring so faculty as you can see gets out and gets dirty and not only do, we teach in classrooms by day but we go out and dig urban gardens and are involved in the community in a number of different ways.
So, the School of Social Work has been around for quite some time and as Mr. Mack mentioned we have been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1939. We are currently ranked 11th in the country. We’re very proud of that on main campus here in Oakland.
Our incoming student population is a little bit different each year but it averages about two hundred and thirty students this year. We brought in two hundred and sixty incoming students but the previous year it was two hundred and ten. So that number varies a little bit each fall.
I also have two regional campus programs at Bradford and Johnstown. These are part time cohort programs which means we only admit students every two years. They go through the program together. Read: How Get Online Human Resources Degree Accredited
It is an evening program that is specifically scheduled so that people work by day their working professionals and they’re getting their degree by night. The Johnstown campus has the mental health the direct practice mental health curriculum the Bradford campus has the direct practice Children Youth and Family curriculum. Those two programs do not have any choice.
They go through all the classes together it takes three and a half years and they graduate together so MSW students not only learn a lot but have a variety of experiences that often change their world view. I was talking to a student just Thursday evening in my office. She is about to graduate. In fact, we have a graduation a week from today.
And she had been in my class and said This program changed my life as a program director that was very gratifying to hear that she’s very excited to be completing her MSW and going out and practicing she works for children youth children and youth and has been funded by her master’s program through the CW program and she is very soon to graduate.
So, as you heard Mr. Mack mentioned you know we are preparing students to be professional practitioners.
Our job is to provide the skills the knowledge and the social work values for you to go out and practice in the world equipped to meet the complex and many challenges that are out in the world today this is what my incoming class looks like right about now.
There’s a slight shift in the population each year but generally we are predominantly female and the predominantly full-time students and about 80 percent of our students do elect for the direct practice concentration. You will hear a little bit more about the two different concentrations from our future presenters so the MSW program is divided into two concentrations.
The first semester for full time students non advance standing students that already have a bachelors in social work can come in to the master’s program as advanced standing student. So those students will jump over that first semester of foundation curriculum. OK.
The foundation curriculum all both concentrations take the same courses. And this is your beginning social work generalist’s skills knowledge values. So those courses are generalist practice human behavior in the social environment Social Welfare Foundation research actually comes in Semester 2 but it’s part of the Foundation group.
Diverse populations and you begin halfway through the first semester in foundation field because we believe very strongly that as you’re learning in the classroom you need to be out in the field and applying what you’re learning we have a number of certificate options within each concentration.
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You must identify a concentration you do not have to identify a certificate. Ok if you choose a certificate program there are a particular package of courses and your concentration field will align with that specialization or certificate community organization and social administration is broken down into two tracks community organizing and social administration and you will hear more about that from Professor Tracey soda. They also have a certificate option the Human Services Management certificate.
This is also open to our direct practice students who wish to at some point in their career move into the Supervision and Administration aspect of practice. And so, there are four courses in this certificate program that direct practice students can use two of their general electives plus must add two additional courses onto their MSW in order to fulfill the requirements for the Human Services Management certificate.
So, because we weren’t able to have the entire faculty here on a Saturday for you, I’m going to introduce them to you via a picture. We have two academic deans their associate dean for academic affairs is Dr. McGuire our associate dean for research is Dr Katie green.
You will hear from the two concentration chairs this morning Professor Tracey Saskia and Dr Christina knew him. And so, these are some of our faculty members Dr. Finian Tang Dr. Sean eek. Dr. Sarah good kind. And sadly, Professor Keith Caldwell whose picture remains under the MSW program is now the bachelors program director and no longer teaches for me.
He will be speaking today as the career Director of Career and Alumni affairs. But we are in the process of hiring a new career and alumni affairs director so you will hear from Keith later on but he is now moved on to the bachelor’s program. Here’s some more of our faculty. Dr. Levy Jackson Professor Mulvaney and professor James Cox We have the child welfare education for leadership Grant here at the University of Pittsburgh.
We’re very proud to have the principal investigators housed here. Dr. Helen Kline this is twenty-three-million-dollar grant that 20 30 to I got the numbers exactly reversed in order to educate employees of children youth and family that are out serving families in the child welfare system can be funded to come back and do their MSW.
It’s a wonderful program for those committed to work in child welfare. And these are child welfare faculty. We also have a number of joint degree programs that the MSW degree is paired with a master’s degree in a different school. And we have combined the degrees in such a way where it cuts down on the overall time for you. Read: Cheap Online Sports Management Degree
So, our MSW master’s in divinity degree actually is a co-operative degree with Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the MSW JD program is with our law school the MSW mph Master’s in Public Health and the MSW program or both are both directed by Dr. Valerie Car Copeland.
Masters Degree in Social Work Program
So, as you can see there are a number of different options for you when you come here. We have a gerontology program and the Hartford program you will hear about later on in the morning from Amy degree in the home and school Visitor Program is a state certification and requires two courses beyond the 60 credits necessary for your master’s degree.
We have coordinated these additional courses with the school of education field education. You will hear a little bit later from Dr. making McDonough who represents Field this morning and really is a very essential component to your education here.
Out of the 60 credits that you will complete with your MSW 18 of those credits will be field we believe very strongly this is a practice degree and you must learn how to put what we teach you in class into action in order to be prepared once you graduate to practice at the level that you’ll be required to practice as an MSW.
So, this gives you a lot of time to apply your knowledge and skills in the real world under the tutelage of a field instructor. We have a number of different agency’s approximately 40 over 400 agencies with which we have contracts and agreements with.
We have many field instructors probably closer to 500 field instructors and 400 agencies because we have several field instructors in large agencies for you to do your field practicum. This is certainly not an exhaustive list. And so, we have a very personal matching process that you’ll hear about more from Dr. Mickey McDonough as to how this matching process occurs.
A lot of schools of social work do not have this personalized process that we have here and students simply select an agency or they do the work themselves to match themselves up for their practicum.
We take your field practice very seriously here and we work very hard to credential agencies and field instructors we train them to be your supervisors. And so, we’re very proud of our field education program here and occasionally we have some pretty exciting international opportunities as well. Read: How to Get a Masters Degree in Social Work Online
Our dean has a particular interest in Cuba and has taken students during spring break to Cuba to study social policy. And in fact, along with Dr. Ralph bangs we’ll take students this coming spring break to Cuba. Dr. Ralph bangs and Dean Davis are the directors of the Center on Race and social problems in this course to Cuba comes through the center on race and social problems.
The center is housed within the School of Social Work and is an integral part of the school.
We’ve also had Tracy saw Scott has taken students to Ireland in the past and hopefully that will be in an upcoming opportunity in the future. In addition, for those of you that are interested in international experiences I send down to students whenever I get really well coordinated programs from other schools of social work, I send them out to students.
I had students that were in Guatemala last summer with a program from another school that I had recommended and in fact I had three students that did go to Guatemala last summer. I have at least one that I know that is going to go this coming spring break with a program at Case Western.
So, I’m happy to provide opportunities for you to go beyond our borders if that is something that you’re interested in.