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About louise86

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  1. louise86

    Online MSW Programs

    I completed the distance education program at The University of Tennessee. I highly recommend it. They also have a gerontology graduate certificate you can obtain along side the MSSW. http://www.csw.utk.edu/certificates/gerontology.htm
  2. louise86

    Research-intensive MSW programs?

    It's been many years ago and I don't recall the schools, but when I was looking at programs some had the option of a thesis instead of a comprehensive exam to graduate. The University of Tennessee is the only one I recall off hand because that's where I attended. I did the comprehensive exam, but knew a couple of students who did a thesis instead because they were considering a PhD later. I don't particularly recall seeing any programs that I would call "research-intensive" because the MSW is a professional degree. You would probably want to consider a PhD after your MSW. Having said that, one option could be to make sure you attend a school that offers an MSW and a PhD as that might increase the likelihood you would be able to contribute to research. Get to know the professors and express interest in research early on.
  3. louise86

    Question about Social Work Licensing

    I'm not in MA, but what about professors? Did you have any classes where you had to demonstrate skills? For instance, in my MSW program we had to record ourselves doing a mock session using motivational interviewing and then CBT. If not, think about significant projects (presentations, papers, etc.) you completed that would demonstrate knowledge of social work skills. Also have you done any volunteer work where a social worker was on staff? That could be an option. It could be worth reaching out to other students in your program to see what they are doing or a professor.
  4. Your undergraduate GPA will not affect your graduate GPA. They are separate.
  5. I don't think it hurts to apply this year. The worst that can happen is you are not accepted and then you just reapply next year. If you are not accepted this year you can request feedback on your applications and work to strengthen for the following year. If you are set on starting a program next fall then you might want to broaden your school list with a couple of safety schools that aren't so competitive. Working with undeserved populations is good and strengthens your application, but it's important to understand that tutoring/teaching kids is not social work or social services related experience. It's tutoring/teaching experience. Teaching English in Cambodia may not be looked at in a favorable light. The assisted living facility volunteering and internship is great, but it's the only social services experience you have. What are "one on one chats"? The TA experience also looks nice especially if you plan on applying for one in your MSW program. The research experience is nice, but what does "interaction with the moms and babies" mean? Like greeting them? General chit chat? Or something that actually contributed to the research? Data entry and stat analysis is enough so if your interactions with the subjects wasn't meaningful I probably wouldn't mention it. Many refugees and immigrants are children so that's not a problem. I think the bigger hurdle to overcome is explaining why you chose social work and why you want to be a social worker. Your undergrad is in psychology so why not a graduate program in psychology? Most of your experience is tutoring/teaching so why not a career in that area? Why social work specifically?
  6. louise86

    Attend UC Berkeley or CSULB for MSW?

    Choose the cheapest option. A degree in social work is not really something you want to go into major debt for considering salaries.
  7. louise86

    University of Tennessee Knoxville MSSW Online Fall 2019

    Yes, events in your personal life that may have contributed to you choosing the social problem you chose to discuss in your statement. Social work is a bit different from a lot of fields because it's generally ok to discuss your personal experiences with mental/physical health and/or social problems. My suggestion to people is to briefly discuss the personal experiences and if relevant mention how you cope with or overcame those difficulties so it's clear it won't impact your academic or professional life.
  8. louise86

    University of Tennessee Knoxville MSSW Online Fall 2019

    Yes, I think I was well prepared for licensing. I passed the LMSW exam the first time with very little studying. I accepted a job at one of the organizations I interned with a month before graduation and started working the day after the graduation ceremony. The other organization I interned with also offered me a job at that time. I only know of a handful of students that graduated and did not already have a job offer. Of course this can vary with what area of social work you plan to pursue and where you plan to live. Your internships (field placements) are very important because many students end up working for one of the places they interned at or their supervisor or someone they met while there helped them get a job elsewhere. The MSW is a very versatile degree, though. I did my field placements in mental health and worked in mental health for a couple of years, but recently transitioned into medical social work (dialysis).
  9. louise86

    University of Tennessee Knoxville MSSW Online Fall 2019

    I graduated from the online program in 2016. The online program shares the same faculty as the on-campus program in Nashville. Online students complete all the same classes and coursework as on-campus students. Some classes will require live online meetings via Zoom or Skype. Some classes require group work so that will also help you connect with your fellow students. I started a Facebook page for my graduating class so we could all get to know each other better and I think that helped a lot! If you're in Nashville then you'll be able to schedule meetings with professors if needed and join a couple of the social work organizations/clubs they have. Online students typically attend the Nashville graduation ceremony instead of the one in Knoxville. I live in the Knoxville area and had all the same field placement options as on-campus students in the area and was able to get to know several on-campus students by interning beside them. My field placements were at top community mental health organizations and no one was concerned about me completing the program online. It's also never been an issue when looking for a job. UTK has a solid reputation. Getting into the online or on-campus program is really not that competitive. Put a lot of effort into your statement which weighs heavily in the application process and you have a good shot! There are not a lot of scholarships. There are also not a lot of assistantships or fellowship opportunities (not sure if online students are even eligible for these). Overall, it's a good program and I highly recommend it.
  10. louise86

    Would you go to a non-accredited program?

    Is it Madonna University? ETA: Madonna University was granted candidacy status in Oct 2016. From the CSWE website I found: "Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. A program that has attained Candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, but has not yet demonstrated full compliance. Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is typically a three-year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation. Candidacy applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program." https://www.cswe.org/Kentico82/Accreditation/Standards-and-Policies/EPAS-Handbook.aspx Unfortunately, I cannot find information on what happens to students if the program fails to attain accreditation. However, if they are expecting a final decision in Oct of this year then it appears they are pretty far along in the accreditation process which is probably a good sign.
  11. louise86

    Would you go to a non-accredited program?

    It would be helpful to know what school it is so we can dig around for more information. I would ask how confident they are accreditation will be granted. I would also ask what their plan is if accreditation does not come through because tuition for an MSW is not cheap anywhere. I would also get information about the amount and quality of their field placement sites. You could apply and then drop from the program in October if accreditation doesn't happen with hopefully a full refund of tuition/fees.
  12. You'll be fine. Most MSW programs are not super competitive. Having said that, CA schools probably are more competitive than most simply based on population and availability. Look to see which schools may favor in-state students and those which are out-of-state friendly. I think it's better to attend a program in a state you want to live in simply because of the connections you make during field placements. My biggest advice, and I cannot stress this enough, is do not spend a lot of money on an MSW especially if you are taking out loans for it.
  13. louise86

    Knoxville, TN

    Knoxville and the surrounding areas are generally family friendly. Should be able to find a house or apartment for rent fairly affordably depending on the area you plan to live. I would think renting a house in West Knoxville would be more expensive than other areas, but that's where the better public schools are. You might also consider a few cities right outside of Knoxville like Oak Ridge (excellent public schools and lots of outdoor activities) although housing can be limited depending on what you are looking for. Oak Ridge is about a 20-30 minute drive to campus. Several daycare options for younger kids including a new 24-hour facility that recently opened. Maryville might also be a good possibility. Great public schools. I'm not as familiar with the housing or daycare options in the city, but it's also about a 20-30 minute drive to campus.
  14. louise86

    Last Year - When do I start applying for jobs?

    It was somewhere in between the 1 to 2 month mark that I started applying. My first job was at the agency I completed my first field placement in. I was offered an interview at the agency of my second field placement, but declined because I had already interviewed with the first agency and offered the job within a week. I started working the day after my graduation ceremony. Both of these jobs were in community mental health which probably accounts for the quick hiring as clients are left without services and that means no billing takes place.
  15. louise86

    Grad School & Full Time Job - is it possible?

    A woman in my cohort worked full-time and did her MSW full-time the first year of the program. She worked full-time as a case manager during the day and did her field placement hours during evenings/nights at a hospital. Her classes were distance education, though. In her second year of the program she had to cut back to working part-time because field hours increased and she needed extra study time for the comprehensive exam to graduate. So it's doable, but certainly difficult especially if you plan to take classes on campus.

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