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Y'all know how this works.  My real name is Roxanne May and I'm a nearly graduated M.S.W. student from the two-year program at U of T. Feel free to add me on Facebook, LinkedIN or message me dire

offers will come soon

finally some good news! I got accepted to the University of Victoria for the post degree BSW. It's online, so hopefully, if nothing comes out of the 2 year MSW I can work full time and complete the 2

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2 hours ago, fylucn55 said:

@UofT2015 Could you let us know more about what your experience was like? What was your undergrad program and how did you find the transition when going into social work? thanks :) 

(Obviously can't speak to UofT2015's experiences but wanted to throw in my 2 cents).

I did my undergrad in psychology and minored in gender studies, the majority of people in the 2 year program do psychology or sociology undergrads but there are lots of other academic backgrounds as well. In terms of transition, it was an interesting one. I went straight from undergrad to grad school, my undergrad was all about memorizing textbooks to write exams, grad school = all papers, no memorization. The first semester of the MSW program is definitely considered to be the most challenging of the 2 years, with lots of papers/assignments due constantly. Second semester tones it down a bit but is still quite demanding given the course load (5 courses, 2 major papers due for each one, = 10 papers). 

In terms of the transition from undergrad to grad school, one thing that myself and my friends found was that while the program is demanding during the first year...it's not hard. I'm queen of writing full paper's the night before the due date and have not gotten a grade lower than A- on anything (and I'm by no means a great writer). The stakes are very low. In undergrad the stress is SO REAL because every paper you write and exam you take makes you freak out about how the mark may affect your chances of getting into grad school...but in grad school, it's pretty much the end goal (unless you want to do your phd one day), and that makes it more relaxed. 

Also, to be honest, a sentiment that I hear expressed over and over and over again from my peers is that you don't learn a whole lot from the courses. I will be finishing the program in a couple of weeks and I'm a completely different person from when I started it, I've learned SO MUCH and feel super confident entering the world of Social Work...but 90% of that learning and skill development came from my 2 practicums. Classes give you some foundation, but they're really not central to your learning in the MSW program, there's only so much you can learn from a book.

TL/DR: first year of the MSW program is demanding, but the stakes are low which makes it more relaxed and profs are easy markers. Get excited for practicums because that's where most of the learning happens!

Pictured below is a pic I just took from my agenda from 1st year of the last few weeks of October.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 11.47.46 PM.png

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10 hours ago, wishingonuoft said:

(Obviously can't speak to UofT2015's experiences but wanted to throw in my 2 cents).

I did my undergrad in psychology and minored in gender studies, the majority of people in the 2 year program do psychology or sociology undergrads but there are lots of other academic backgrounds as well. In terms of transition, it was an interesting one. I went straight from undergrad to grad school, my undergrad was all about memorizing textbooks to write exams, grad school = all papers, no memorization. The first semester of the MSW program is definitely considered to be the most challenging of the 2 years, with lots of papers/assignments due constantly. Second semester tones it down a bit but is still quite demanding given the course load (5 courses, 2 major papers due for each one, = 10 papers). 

In terms of the transition from undergrad to grad school, one thing that myself and my friends found was that while the program is demanding during the first year...it's not hard. I'm queen of writing full paper's the night before the due date and have not gotten a grade lower than A- on anything (and I'm by no means a great writer). The stakes are very low. In undergrad the stress is SO REAL because every paper you write and exam you take makes you freak out about how the mark may affect your chances of getting into grad school...but in grad school, it's pretty much the end goal (unless you want to do your phd one day), and that makes it more relaxed. 

Also, to be honest, a sentiment that I hear expressed over and over and over again from my peers is that you don't learn a whole lot from the courses. I will be finishing the program in a couple of weeks and I'm a completely different person from when I started it, I've learned SO MUCH and feel super confident entering the world of Social Work...but 90% of that learning and skill development came from my 2 practicums. Classes give you some foundation, but they're really not central to your learning in the MSW program, there's only so much you can learn from a book.

TL/DR: first year of the MSW program is demanding, but the stakes are low which makes it more relaxed and profs are easy markers. Get excited for practicums because that's where most of the learning happens!

Pictured below is a pic I just took from my agenda from 1st year of the last few weeks of October.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 11.47.46 PM.png

I appreciate all the insight you gave, but I must admit I appreciate that your agenda prints "National Candy Corn Day" more

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3 hours ago, tnt92 said:

I appreciate all the insight you gave, but I must admit I appreciate that your agenda prints "National Candy Corn Day" more

Hahaha, the ban.do agendas are actually the girliest and most adorable things ever. There are compliments on like every other page and all the good feels :)

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21 hours ago, UofT2015 said:

Hi all,

I'm currently finishing up the 2nd year of the 2 year program at U of T and will be graduating in June. Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them!

Thanks UofT 2015, I am wondering if hospital placement is guaranteed for advanced standing student at U of T ? I will be doing my  research internship at Sunnybrook hospital this summer and hopefully I can get into MSW program next year with this research experience :) 

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20 hours ago, rosee12 said:

Hi there. I felt the exact same way, so I was very surprised that my acorn status says invited. It does seem like a lot of people that get into the program have very competitive grades/experiences. However, I believe that with determination, devotion and passion, anyone that meets the bare minimum admission requirements can get in.  

I personally had quite mediocore grades myself. Last year gpa 76.5% and cgpa about a 3.2 (my half credit research methods course grade was 89%). I had about 1000 hours of direct social work experience through volunteering and about 1000 hours of extracurricular/leadership experiences from undergrad. I spent an immense amount of time and thought on my statement and assume that my references must have been strong.

If you want to pm me, I'd be happy to talk :)  

 

Congratulations!!! You just lighted up my hopes again :) I completed  my BSW  in 2014 and applied to U of T three years straight after that. I really hope I can get into ANY  MSW program next year.... Thanks for your positive response !  

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17 hours ago, wishingonuoft said:

(Obviously can't speak to UofT2015's experiences but wanted to throw in my 2 cents).

I did my undergrad in psychology and minored in gender studies, the majority of people in the 2 year program do psychology or sociology undergrads but there are lots of other academic backgrounds as well. In terms of transition, it was an interesting one. I went straight from undergrad to grad school, my undergrad was all about memorizing textbooks to write exams, grad school = all papers, no memorization. The first semester of the MSW program is definitely considered to be the most challenging of the 2 years, with lots of papers/assignments due constantly. Second semester tones it down a bit but is still quite demanding given the course load (5 courses, 2 major papers due for each one, = 10 papers). 

In terms of the transition from undergrad to grad school, one thing that myself and my friends found was that while the program is demanding during the first year...it's not hard. I'm queen of writing full paper's the night before the due date and have not gotten a grade lower than A- on anything (and I'm by no means a great writer). The stakes are very low. In undergrad the stress is SO REAL because every paper you write and exam you take makes you freak out about how the mark may affect your chances of getting into grad school...but in grad school, it's pretty much the end goal (unless you want to do your phd one day), and that makes it more relaxed. 

Also, to be honest, a sentiment that I hear expressed over and over and over again from my peers is that you don't learn a whole lot from the courses. I will be finishing the program in a couple of weeks and I'm a completely different person from when I started it, I've learned SO MUCH and feel super confident entering the world of Social Work...but 90% of that learning and skill development came from my 2 practicums. Classes give you some foundation, but they're really not central to your learning in the MSW program, there's only so much you can learn from a book.

TL/DR: first year of the MSW program is demanding, but the stakes are low which makes it more relaxed and profs are easy markers. Get excited for practicums because that's where most of the learning happens!

Pictured below is a pic I just took from my agenda from 1st year of the last few weeks of October.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 11.47.46 PM.png

Wow!!! That is an amazing work !!! Do you have friends in the one year program? Is their school schedule as intensive as the two year MSW cohort? thanks :)

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@wishingonuoft thank you SO much! that's exactly what I was looking for. I love writing essays and researching and not that big of a fan of tests, so that's really great to hear :) My status on ACORN shows "invited" so I have my hopes up but like others, I won't start celebrating until I have the physical acceptance package in my hands haha! 

Another question: I know Mental Health & Health and Children & their Families are the two most popular streams. I was hoping to do my placement at SickKids, do you know how competitive it is to get in there?

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4 hours ago, lindaMSW said:

Wow!!! That is an amazing work !!! Do you have friends in the one year program? Is their school schedule as intensive as the two year MSW cohort? thanks :)

Advanced standing is very intense as well, not the same courses exactly because you skip a bunch of the foundational but still quite rigorous. A lot of Advanced Standing-ers opt to do a summer semester to lighten the load (A bunch of 2-years do that as well).

 

4 hours ago, fylucn55 said:

@wishingonuoft thank you SO much! that's exactly what I was looking for. I love writing essays and researching and not that big of a fan of tests, so that's really great to hear :) My status on ACORN shows "invited" so I have my hopes up but like others, I won't start celebrating until I have the physical acceptance package in my hands haha! 

Another question: I know Mental Health & Health and Children & their Families are the two most popular streams. I was hoping to do my placement at SickKids, do you know how competitive it is to get in there?

In short: very competitive. Hospital placements are definitely the most competitive of the placements, there are a LOT of them, but there are a lot of students who try to get them. Unfortunately, the practicum system leaves much to be desired and it is essentially a lottery system that runs algorithms. I have been blessed to death in my 2 years and got my top choice for both practicums including a hospital placement, but that's hardly the norm. 

Basically the way it works is they release all of the practicums and then you submit your top choices, and then they run an algorithm and try to assign as many people to their top choices as possible. (For the 2 year program your first practicum is automatically assigned, for the 2nd year/Advanced standing you get 2 interviews, which you have and then rank and hopefully get one of them). I can't stress enough how crappy the system is, I have many friends who weren't assigned to any practicums/didn't get matched with placements and then had to choose between the left overs that no-one wanted. That's another thing--the practicum office says that all placements are equitable but they clearly aren't.

In terms of Sick Kids specifically, this past year there were around I think ~7 placements there (going by memory), the pool of applicants ranking their picks is 2nd years and Advanced Standing-ers so it's ~230 people--AKA all of the hospital placements become popular very quickly (popular = 10+ people selected them as a rank).

ANYWAY, I don't want to discourage you because it's NOT impossible to get a good placement, there are so many great ones and they all have to be assigned to someone! But be prepared that it is competitive and hospitals are prime real estate. 

Let me know if you have any more questions, I know I just spewed a lot of knowledge and I'm not sure how sensical it is...running on an all nighter lol. 

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@wishingonuoft yeah that makes sense. So it doesn't matter at all whether you get good grades or not, it's all just up to the algorithm to randomly decide who gets their top pick for practicum? Nevertheless though, I'm just extremely thankful that they're taking a chance on me by accepting me into the program!!

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37 minutes ago, wishingonuoft said:

Advanced standing is very intense as well, not the same courses exactly because you skip a bunch of the foundational but still quite rigorous. A lot of Advanced Standing-ers opt to do a summer semester to lighten the load (A bunch of 2-years do that as well).

 

In short: very competitive. Hospital placements are definitely the most competitive of the placements, there are a LOT of them, but there are a lot of students who try to get them. Unfortunately, the practicum system leaves much to be desired and it is essentially a lottery system that runs algorithms. I have been blessed to death in my 2 years and got my top choice for both practicums including a hospital placement, but that's hardly the norm. 

Basically the way it works is they release all of the practicums and then you submit your top choices, and then they run an algorithm and try to assign as many people to their top choices as possible. (For the 2 year program your first practicum is automatically assigned, for the 2nd year/Advanced standing you get 2 interviews, which you have and then rank and hopefully get one of them). I can't stress enough how crappy the system is, I have many friends who weren't assigned to any practicums/didn't get matched with placements and then had to choose between the left overs that no-one wanted. That's another thing--the practicum office says that all placements are equitable but they clearly aren't.

In terms of Sick Kids specifically, this past year there were around I think ~7 placements there (going by memory), the pool of applicants ranking their picks is 2nd years and Advanced Standing-ers so it's ~230 people--AKA all of the hospital placements become popular very quickly (popular = 10+ people selected them as a rank).

ANYWAY, I don't want to discourage you because it's NOT impossible to get a good placement, there are so many great ones and they all have to be assigned to someone! But be prepared that it is competitive and hospitals are prime real estate. 

Let me know if you have any more questions, I know I just spewed a lot of knowledge and I'm not sure how sensical it is...running on an all nighter lol. 

That's really helpful to know, thank you so much!! I am curious about the geographic locations of placements: are most of them located in downtown Toronto? I'm actually hoping to do a placement in a school board or government office setting! 

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11 minutes ago, fylucn55 said:

@wishingonuoft yeah that makes sense. So it doesn't matter at all whether you get good grades or not, it's all just up to the algorithm to randomly decide who gets their top pick for practicum? Nevertheless though, I'm just extremely thankful that they're taking a chance on me by accepting me into the program!!

Yup, it's all completely up to chance! For sure--and as far as placements go, U of T still undeniably has the best ones in Toronto--it's just hard because altogether they are placing almost 400 students per year so inevitably there are issues.

 

5 minutes ago, tnt92 said:

That's really helpful to know, thank you so much!! I am curious about the geographic locations of placements: are most of them located in downtown Toronto? I'm actually hoping to do a placement in a school board or government office setting! 

Most of them are in Toronto but they have a bunch not in Toronto too (GTA, even other cities)! There are a lot of TDSB and TCDSB placements, I don't recall government office settings but I imagine there must be some for the policy folks!

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So, how many other people who applied to Laurier are starting to get pretty anxious...? ??? For the 2 year program, we should hear back this week or next, and the part-time program will hear back at the end of April. (this info was in an email I received from the admin office)  Did anyone else apply to both?

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7 hours ago, mcvhb said:

So, how many other people who applied to Laurier are starting to get pretty anxious...? ??? For the 2 year program, we should hear back this week or next, and the part-time program will hear back at the end of April. (this info was in an email I received from the admin office)  Did anyone else apply to both?

Hey, 

I applied to Laurier 2 Yr and it will be an understatement to say that I am anxious lol. 

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On 3/25/2017 at 8:07 PM, tnt92 said:

Hey! I'm not sure if you can answer this since it would have been two years ago for you, but how long did they give you to accept your offer into the two year program?

Hey @tnt92, I believe they gave about 6 weeks. My acceptance letter was dated April 1st and I received it in the mail on April 7 (it fell during the Easter long weekend i.e. no mail Friday and Monday). It may have been around the 3rd week of May.

On 3/25/2017 at 9:34 PM, fylucn55 said:

@UofT2015 Could you let us know more about what your experience was like? What was your undergrad program and how did you find the transition when going into social work? thanks :) 

I've personally really enjoyed the 2 year program, similar to what others have said the first term was the hardest and had the most assignments that felt clumped together. As well as wishingonuoft I did my Bachelors in Psychology and minored in Gender Studies but I took a gap year between programs. I'm finding the concepts very similar between psychology and social work although social work tends to look at systemic pieces as well. I've found there to be a lot more reading as it is a graduate level program but many professors adopt a "harm reduction approach" i.e. there are 5 assigned readings, make sure to read at least one.

After the first term courses became significantly easier. I would even recommend taking one or two courses over the summer to lighten the load for year 2 given that you're also in placement 3 days/week. I did this and I find that's it has really reduced my stress level. 

22 hours ago, lindaMSW said:

Thanks UofT 2015, I am wondering if hospital placement is guaranteed for advanced standing student at U of T ? I will be doing my  research internship at Sunnybrook hospital this summer and hopefully I can get into MSW program next year with this research experience :) 

As wishingonuoft has said the placement system is horrible. I was not as lucky as them and I did not get matched multiple times. Given the number of students vs. placements there is no guarantee for a hospital placement even as an advanced standing student. I believe there are about 250 of us total (combined 2nd year and advanced standing) competing for placements and hospitals in general tend to be the most popular. UofT does tend to like research and in my cohort everyone who was accepted had at least an A- in research. The website says that you should have at least a mid-B in all courses but depending on how competitive the cohort is the higher your marks are the better. I know some people have upgraded courses through Athabasca if they are trying to make themselves a more competitive applicant.

22 hours ago, lindaMSW said:

Wow!!! That is an amazing work !!! Do you have friends in the one year program? Is their school schedule as intensive as the two year MSW cohort? thanks :)

I know this isn't in response to me but I would just add in that the advanced standing program is fairly intense as they are taking 4 courses plus 3 days practicum in the fall and 3 courses plus 3 days practicum in the winter. Many that I know chose to do summer courses to lighten their load. Many of my friends and I have found that placement itself is very exhausting emotionally and it's a long day and we don't really complete schoolwork at night, generally that's what weekends are for. And I say that having taken 2 classes and placement each term in my second year so I can't personally imagine taking 3 or 4 although many people have. It really depends on your own limits and how much you can take on.

16 hours ago, tnt92 said:

That's really helpful to know, thank you so much!! I am curious about the geographic locations of placements: are most of them located in downtown Toronto? I'm actually hoping to do a placement in a school board or government office setting! 

Many placements are located downtown, or within one token use on TTC (so anywhere between Etobicoke and Scarborough) for the most part, however some are in other cities (Oshawa, Markham, Peterborough for example). I don't remember there being any government placements and neither do the 2 people I'm currently sitting with but there are placements at TCDSB and TDSB however they prefer that you have use of a car as you're frequently going between multiple schools in a day.

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26 minutes ago, UofT2015 said:

Hey @tnt92, I believe they gave about 6 weeks. My acceptance letter was dated April 1st and I received it in the mail on April 7 (it fell during the Easter long weekend i.e. no mail Friday and Monday). It may have been around the 3rd week of May.

I've personally really enjoyed the 2 year program, similar to what others have said the first term was the hardest and had the most assignments that felt clumped together. As well as wishingonuoft I did my Bachelors in Psychology and minored in Gender Studies but I took a gap year between programs. I'm finding the concepts very similar between psychology and social work although social work tends to look at systemic pieces as well. I've found there to be a lot more reading as it is a graduate level program but many professors adopt a "harm reduction approach" i.e. there are 5 assigned readings, make sure to read at least one.

After the first term courses became significantly easier. I would even recommend taking one or two courses over the summer to lighten the load for year 2 given that you're also in placement 3 days/week. I did this and I find that's it has really reduced my stress level. 

As wishingonuoft has said the placement system is horrible. I was not as lucky as them and I did not get matched multiple times. Given the number of students vs. placements there is no guarantee for a hospital placement even as an advanced standing student. I believe there are about 250 of us total (combined 2nd year and advanced standing) competing for placements and hospitals in general tend to be the most popular. UofT does tend to like research and in my cohort everyone who was accepted had at least an A- in research. The website says that you should have at least a mid-B in all courses but depending on how competitive the cohort is the higher your marks are the better. I know some people have upgraded courses through Athabasca if they are trying to make themselves a more competitive applicant.

I know this isn't in response to me but I would just add in that the advanced standing program is fairly intense as they are taking 4 courses plus 3 days practicum in the fall and 3 courses plus 3 days practicum in the winter. Many that I know chose to do summer courses to lighten their load. Many of my friends and I have found that placement itself is very exhausting emotionally and it's a long day and we don't really complete schoolwork at night, generally that's what weekends are for. And I say that having taken 2 classes and placement each term in my second year so I can't personally imagine taking 3 or 4 although many people have. It really depends on your own limits and how much you can take on.

Many placements are located downtown, or within one token use on TTC (so anywhere between Etobicoke and Scarborough) for the most part, however some are in other cities (Oshawa, Markham, Peterborough for example). I don't remember there being any government placements and neither do the 2 people I'm currently sitting with but there are placements at TCDSB and TDSB however they prefer that you have use of a car as you're frequently going between multiple schools in a day.

Thank you (and wishingonuoft) for providing some really helpful insight!!! I was debating the use of a car or not, so that answer was particularly helpful. I'm currently working in a school and absolutely adore it, so I hope that I get placements within one of the boards. You guys are so motivating!! I'm so appreciative. 

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To anyone who's still waiting to hear back from U of T - I called Angela and found out that all letters (acceptances, rejections and waitlist), were sent on Friday. Expect to know your status by the end of the week! Best of luck to everyone!

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16 minutes ago, Stella25 said:

To anyone who's still waiting to hear back from U of T - I called Angela and found out that all letters (acceptances, rejections and waitlist), were sent on Friday. Expect to know your status by the end of the week! Best of luck to everyone!

Thanks for calling and for notifying us. Are you sure she said that all of them will be sent out at the same time (usually they do it in waves every year)? I just checked my mail and I'm in Toronto and I don't have anything from U of T, and I should by today if it was mailed on friday. My ACORN status says nothing so far. 

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2 minutes ago, sososocialwork said:

Thanks for calling and for notifying us. Are you sure she said that all of them will be sent out at the same time (usually they do it in waves every year)? I just checked my mail and I'm in Toronto and I don't have anything from U of T, and I should by today if it was mailed on friday. My ACORN status says nothing so far. 

I think local mail can take up to two business days although I got my letter today and I live in Etobicoke.

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25 minutes ago, Stella25 said:

To anyone who's still waiting to hear back from U of T - I called Angela and found out that all letters (acceptances, rejections and waitlist), were sent on Friday. Expect to know your status by the end of the week! Best of luck to everyone!

Thanks for the update. That is so discouraging, I thought there would be another wave of admissions. Acorn says nothing for me

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