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Master of Social Work Open House

Moderator: 00:00:00 Hello and welcome. We are delighted that you are all able to participate in our virtual open house today. Joining us is our program director, Ethan Haymovitz, and our director of field education, Jalonta Jackson. First let’s start with our program director. Our program director, Ethan Haymovitz, is a social worker of practice with the United Nations, the New York City Administration for Social Services, the LA Homeless Services Authority, and the LA Department of Mental Health. He previously taught at the University of Denver and Columbia University, and his educational background is in fact with a bachelor’s in psychology from Vassar, with a master’s in social work from Columbia University, and also has continued his education at Millersville University with a certificate in human services management at University of Millersville and university. Ethan, Jalonta, thank you so much for joining us today.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:01:08 Glad to be here. So just to fill in a little of the gaps, my research focuses on mental health and recovery across cultures. Right now I’m doing research on how diverse Americans make meaning of the concept of mental health, and I’m working with an undergraduate student this semester on how Asian American youth make sense of the concept of mental health. So that’s me. Jalonta?

Moderator: 00:01:41 Thank you for sharing a little bit about your research background. Jalonta, it’s so wonderful to meet you. Tell us a little bit about your background.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:01:48 Yeah, so I am from Chicago, and I’m a true Chicagoan. My background began I went to Southern Illinois University, where I received both my bachelor’s and master’s in social work. I’m currently finishing up my PhD at Auburn University in public administration, public policy. My practice background includes I was a probation officer for over seven years in Lake County, Illinois, where I specialized in the supervision of high-risk women offenders. Prior to that, I did about a year or two as a substance abuse counselor for women, high-risk women, and that has really followed me into what I’m doing now in academe as far as my research interests.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:02:29 I am a very, very just a person that’s really into criminal justice policies and especially those that impact minorities and specifically women. Right now, that is what I am doing for my dissertation, is just doing some editing in terms of women and menstrual products. I think we all have heard that in the news in terms of how criminal justice systems, unfortunately, do not provide menstrual products for women. So as a social worker, I am about advocating for women in the criminal justice system, but also advocating that we make some changes to different policies and pieces of legislation that impact those that are incarcerated.

Speaker 1: 00:03:16 [inaudible 00:03:16].

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:03:22 Is everyone on mute?

Speaker 1: 00:03:26 [inaudible 00:03:26].

Jalonta Jackson: 00:03:26 I just unmuted myself. I hope everyone caught everything.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:03:34 Because it looks like my video is showing when sound is on. It’s very weird. There is no sound to be heard here. Okay, and I think we should say a little bit about what brought us to social work. I thought it was a really great idea, Jalonta. for myself, it’s so hard to imagine that this was the world I was growing up in. But back in 1993, in Long Island, New York, the suburbs of New York City, I didn’t know a single gay person. My parents never talked about gay people, and it was social workers who connected me with other gay youth in my area and allowed me to feel like someone who could connect as an adolescent with other adolescents with similar experiences. That was really valuable to me, and I always valued social justice and making the world a better place. So that was what motivated my landing in social work.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:04:40 Yeah. Very similar to you, Ethan, in terms of how your childhood or your upbringing and things like that, how it influenced you, same as me. Growing up in the city of Chicago, I was surrounded by a lot of drug use, a lot of gangs, just feeling like, “Hey, what can individuals within the community, how can they be helped? How can I myself make it out of the inner city of Chicago?” So for me, it was always just, “What can I do? How can I elicit some form of change in inner city Chicago?” When I went to college, I had absolutely no idea in terms of … First, I’ll be honest. I didn’t even know social work as a major, it even existed. I was going to some type of medical field because of that medical approach of helping someone medically, right? That’s all I knew in terms of helping someone. But when I got there, I did one of those sort of career assessments, and it just flew off the chains in terms of social work. It pointed me in that direction, and so when I got to social work and I was researching, when I got to the practicum or the internship in terms of what I should do, I, again, was very clueless, but I happened to be in Southern Illinois, where there’s a host of prisons in Southern Illinois. I am so happy that I found a prison, and it was a work release center. There, I was exposed to so many individuals. I’ll be honest, didn’t necessarily know them, but they were so familiar, where I grew up in inner city Chicago. It influenced me to say this is the population that I wanted to work with.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:06:12 So I knew I wanted to continue to work with the criminal justice population once I graduated with my degree, but I’ll be honest. I had no idea until I was a substance abuse counselor in terms of women, the number of women, and the women are the fastest growing criminal justice population that there is. So for me, I said, “We have to do something about this,” because I felt like this was a forgotten population. So, again, as a social worker, just wanting to do something, and so that has stuck with me and that has really just really motivated me to want to continue to reach out and assist others and empower others within the criminal justice system using social work practices and models and doing so both at the micro level, the mezzo level, but ultimately now at the macro level.

Moderator: 00:07:03 Absolutely. As an enrollment counselor, I get to speak to the full gamut of students who call in, some who already have their cape on and are out there, doing great things, and some who are just inspired by some of the stories that you’ve shared, right? Have had an experience and are interested in stepping into the field and giving back, continuing that advocacy work, continuing that great commitment for advocacy, social justice, and just helping communities who need us the most. I would love for us to talk a little bit about what is social work, therefore, exactly, and what is it that they do?

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:07:41 That’s a great question. Can you hear me still?

Moderator: 00:07:46 Yes.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:07:46 Okay, great. Like Jalonta was saying, I had no idea what social work was. Even though I had been exposed to social workers for so long, I didn’t even know what it was throughout my whole undergraduate career. It was just sort of on a whim in the end of my undergraduate career that I thought, “Oh, maybe this can get me to achieve the goals that I have in my head. Let me try it out.” But no one explained to me what it was. But what social workers do is challenging. It’s a changing profession, it’s dynamic, and it changes every day, what you’ll be doing. It’s a high-growth profession that enables professionals to make an actual difference in people’s lives. The profession is dedicated to social justice and helping people function the best way they can in their environment.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:08:43 The way that we look at social justice and micro-level mental health practice at this program is that we try to understand how the cumulative impacts of trauma over time that are both environmental and interpersonal join forces to influence a person’s life circumstances, so environmental meaning like social circumstances, systemic oppression, institutional oppression, and everyday slights, those sorts of things combined with interpersonal injustices that we just have in everyday relationships. That’s what creates the trauma that we’re trying to heal as clinical social work practitioners and make a better world.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:09:44 The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the field of social work is expected to grow by 13% through to 2029. But this is an old statistic, and I am very certain this is going to be rapidly increasing in scope, given the COVID pandemic and all this attention to mental health and crisis and stress and general malaise that people are experiencing because of the pandemic. So clinical social work is a means to promote mental health and recovery among individuals and a more just and humane society in the world at large.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:10:28 Yeah, and just continuing with that, Ethan, and describing what social work is is really understanding what it is that we as social workers, what we do. As social workers, we do so much. I mean, we can work with individuals one-on-one. We can lead groups. We can offer mental health counseling. We can offer case management. We can be a broker. We can do policy change. I mean, there’s so much that we can do as social workers. We really do identify individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in need of help, and we do what we can do to assist all of those populations.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:11:06 That’s the beauty of social work, because it is so versatile. We don’t have to just say we’re going to work with children. We don’t have to say we’re only going to work with adults. We don’t have to say we’re only going to work with individuals that are poor or impoverished. We work with everyone. We turn no one away. Again, that’s the beauty of this profession, is stating that we are here and we are open to working with all and we will do our best, and if we don’t know in terms of our scope of practice what it is that we’re supposed to be doing with the problem that is presented to us, we do our best to make sure that we make the proper referrals to be able to get all the help and the assistance that they need.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:11:45 We also do assessments to identify what the needs are by the clients that we serve. We also assess in terms of the environment. We look for strengths in the clients that we work with. We look for support networks, all of these things that help all the individuals that we work with in being able to identify their goals. Some social workers are in the capacity of offering psychotherapy services. We do research. We refer. We advocate for community resources, such as nutrition assistance for childcare. In the criminal justice system that I was a part of, I advocated for legislation change for the women that I work with. I went out and I looked for proper housing and secure and safe housing for families. So there’s so much in terms of that research piece and that advocacy piece that pretty much, I’ll be honest, no matter what general population we choose to work with, it goes across the gamut in everyone that we work with.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:12:40 We develop and evaluate programs and services to ensure that basic client needs are met. That’s something throughout this program that we will continue to enforce in terms of being able to identify those urgent needs and those crisis situations that must be handled first before we can even move on with the clients that we serve. We advocate for policy change on a local, state, and federal level. We work on interprofessional teams in the organization to fulfill their mission and goals, even with students, right? You will look at myself and you will look at Ethan, and you will look at this partnership that we have in providing this service to you as students.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:13:16 We also organize groups, taskforce, communities for social change or social change events and movements, and you’ll see a lot of that in terms of working with me in the field, right, and the things that I’ll do with the different community organizations in being able to promote change. You will take part in that as a student in being able to do these things. So we as social workers, we do a full gamut of things, and I think throughout this program, you’ll learn just how much and what it is that we do as social workers.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:13:48 Right. That said, it’s important to recognize what our social workers are actually doing in the market, given that we do so many different things and we’re trained to do so many different things. Our program, as you know, is very niche. It’s focused on clinical social work, specifically mental health service provision. But a 2018 study by CSWE demonstrated that most MSW graduates, 82.1%, found that their post-MSW jobs were in the clinical domain, working with individuals, families, and groups, regardless of whether they studied policy, practice and programming, management, et cetera. The largest number of jobs that students are getting is in direct work with individuals, families, and groups, so that’s 82.1% of students. The vast majority of students are doing clinical social work, so we are really you for the job market in designing the program like this. It’s a rigorous, yet flexible program to teach you to do just that.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:15:03 Yeah. So in doing that, so not only do we take what it is that we do as social workers and how we do social work, we have to really look at why, typically, individuals become social workers. Ethan gave his background on why he came. I shared with you guys in terms of how I became to be a social worker. Here’s just some statements by individuals, just to really just sort of support the different options of why individuals come or they study social work and become social workers. We all hear the thing of, “Hey, I want to help people, and that’s why I became a social worker.” So with this first statement, it says, “You can help people from all walks of life and change the world in so many levels.” That is so true. You can reach so many individuals in this field of work. Also, the work you do has a direct impact on people’s lives, and it does. That’s why we are so careful in terms of how we will teach you, how we will guide you, how we will mentor you in this field.

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:16:04]

Jalonta Jackson: 00:16:00 Teach you, how we will guide you, how we will mentor you in this field. I mean, because it does directly impact individuals every day and what it is that they do and the choices and decisions that they make. You can work in a variety of settings to empower, advocate, motivate, connect, and encourage resilience. I just mentioned my criminal justice background, Ethan has that mental health background, you can work in a legislator’s office. I mean there’s so many backgrounds in terms of settings where you can work as a social worker and I think we’re going to talk more about that a little bit later.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:16:31 Also, individuals become social workers to challenge stereotypes and avoid fallacies. We do this in terms of being social workers to fight discrimination or oppression and injustice, no matter the form. And I started this off in and you’ll hear me say this a lot within this program, is that we have to be open to working with all as social workers, and I can’t stress that enough. This is not a profession to turn anyone away. This is a profession to say, we are here and we are ready to listen, and we are ready to do what we can to advocate and to work with you. You can also be the voice for all who cannot advocate for themselves. We know that there are some stigmatized populations that are out there that unfortunately they really just don’t have a voice. That was one of the things that led me into really wanting to be apart of that criminal justice system to advocate for those different groups, because their voices aren’t being heard. Even with the example that I gave in terms of the work that I’m doing right now, the researcher we’re involving public health, amongst women that are incarcerated and specifically, the availability of menstrual products, their voices aren’t being heard because they are looked at as a group that, hey, we don’t have to listen to you because you committed a crime. And so it’s great to become a social worker to say, I’m going to be the voice for those groups that really their voices aren’t being heard. But also we can make this world a better place one person at a time.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:17:48 So even if we’re not going out on this level of, hey, I’m going to speak on behalf of this huge group or this huge system, just the person that will be sitting right in front of you and making that person’s life better or assisting them in being able to be empowered to make their lives better is something that is really important as a social worker.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:18:11 Yeah. One of the things that I like to tell prospective students and anyone interested in the social work career is that it’s kind of more of a lifestyle commitment and a set of values than it is a profession. Because, of course we have a set of professional values and skill set that we bring to all the work that we do, but the work itself vary so tremendously across all of the roles that we play in all of these different places. So some of the titles that you might have as a social worker once you graduated, a group social worker, hospital social worker, psychiatric social worker, family therapist, social work program planner, substance abuse counselor, mental health policy analyst, private practice clinician, child welfare worker, school social worker. There’s so many places that employ social workers, it’s really innumerable.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:19:17 But just some things that [Jolanta 00:23:27] and I could come up with off the top of my head is where the Vera Institute of Justice, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Child Mind Institute, Veterans Affairs, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, United Nations, UNICEF, which is the child facing foundation of the UN, Bank of America. I have a good friend from graduate school who works in HR as a human resources executive in the Bank of America. But there’s tons of social workers that work in employee assistance programs that provide counseling to employees. Gay Men’s Health Crisis has roles for social workers across the board, Association to Benefit Children, that’s a child welfare agency. Salvation Army does everything. Aetna is a health insurance company. Blue Cross Blue Shield, another health insurance company. Administration for Children and Families, that’s the New York City based child welfare agency. National Institute for Health, that’s the federal government body that’s responsible for overseeing grants for research on health sciences and social workers work in that capacity as researchers with policymakers. New York Police Department, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, that’s a general social service agency. New York Department of Health and Mental Health, that’s the mental health body of the New York City government. And the New York City Board of Education, which is basically the board of education for New York City.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:21:02 Fields include criminal justice, schools, government, social services, nonprofits, public health, health clinics, private practice consulting, and more.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:21:15 And so Ethan talked a little bit about those skill sets, those skill sets that you’ll get, obviously along the way as you continue on in your career and beyond Utica. But what, in terms of what prepares you here. What prepares you here, one of the things that we’re happy to say that in education or this MSW degree from Utica can provide you is really the skillsets to be able to sit for the licensing examination. We talked specifically here about New York State, but understand that whatever state that you are from, that you are able to research what those requirements are. And for the most part, you will be able or eligible to be able to sit to take the exam to become a licensed social worker. So graduates of our program in 47 out of 50 states can be licensed without additional coursework preparing you for practice at the generalist level. And we’ll talk about what that generalist form of education looks like in a minute.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:22:10 In New York State the independent practice is a clinical social work typically requires an MSW that includes specific clinical coursework, completion of the LCSW examination, two years of full-time supervise hour of clinical work. And that is post-MSW and again, that’s for that LCSW. The LMSW, which is what many of you, again, and especially if you’re in a state of New York, if you want to sit for that examination, you will really qualify for that in being able to sit for that examination when you complete this MSW program. You can find out more about what those requirements are for the state of New York, the website is provided there. We will make a point to ensure that our electives all involve clinical content to meet New York State requirements. And so any additional questions regarding licensure requirements, you can always contact again, the state board where you are, the state licensing board for social work where you are. If you’re outside of the state of New York, if you’re in the state of New York there is the link there, but also feel free to ask myself or even any questions regarding that. And we’ll be happy to try to address whatever questions you have or at the very least point you in the right direction of where to get answers.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:23:23 Yeah. And I just want to add to what Jolanta is saying. So graduates of our program are qualified to sit for the LMSW exam immediately in New York. And there are three states like California and New Mexico and I don’t remember the third, where they require continuing education units on top of the graduate coursework, the graduate credits that you will earn for your MSW. So that you have to look into by State and we can help you figure that out.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:23:53 Correct.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:23:55 And the LCSW is a whole other level of licensure, but this program does prepare you for the LCSW licensure in New York State, in that New York State has very strict rules that even the elective coursework has to be clinical and we are ensuring that all the electives are clinical so that you can sit for the clinical licensure exam without having to take extra graduate coursework after graduating. So the online master of social work program prepare students to work as clinicians who support individuals, families, and groups in hospitals, schools, and other social service settings. The MSW involves 20 courses, 60 credit hours, is what the degree program involves. It can be completed in eight semesters. Now eight semesters for Utica College is fall, spring, summer, fall, spring, summer, and then a fall and then a spring. So it’s like 2.66 years of coursework. There’s no residency requirement associated with this program, you’d never have to come to campus, which is a great benefit. You will have to do 900 hours of field work, that is required for licensure and for CSWE accreditation and we’ll work with you to make that happen over the course of your semesters in the program.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:25:36 The cost of the program in total is roughly 46,500, which is $775 cost for credit. And that includes some fees with distance learning fees and enrollment fees and things like that. The MSW will prepare students to sit for the LMS licensure exam in most states upon graduation, and also prepare them to sit for the LCSW licensure exam upon completion of two years of supervised clinical social work experience in any state, but New York State specifically, which is in some ways the most stringent regulations for that.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:26:22 So when we talk about outcomes or program outcomes, I look at this as what you should expect as a student to be able to learn. When you get into this program, you take courses through this program, also what you should be able to get out of your field experience. And also again, Ethan had mentioned this skill set, and this is really what we’re talking about here. Utica’s online MSW program advanced the following outcomes amongst students upon graduation. So you should be able to do these things. These are the things that we’re going to continually measure you on. These are the things that, again, in terms of our accrediting body, in terms of what they will measure you on as well, your ability to be able to do these things.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:27:02 And what we mean by that as a social worker, we want to be able to see that you will be able to demonstrate ethical and professional behavior. That you will be able to engage diversity and difference in practice. That you will be able to advance human rights and social economic and environmental justice. That you’ll be able to engage in practice, inform, research and research informed practice. That you’ll be able to engage in policy practice, that you would engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. You will also be able to assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. You will be able to offer interventions or intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. And then you’ll be able to evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:27:41 So a question that I get all the time from students is, well, what should I expect in terms of the coursework? What type of work will I be doing? How would the work look? This is really a good example here of what’s shown the screen in terms of program outcomes of what you should expect your work to look like, because this is what we’re striving for. We’re striving for you to be able to do all of these things. And when we say strive, we really mean that you will be able to do these things and demonstrate these things when you graduate. This is again what our accrediting body looks for. But most importantly, this is what everyone looks for in terms of a generalist practitioner that graduates from an MSW program. And so our hopes is that you will be able to develop these skill sets and you will be able to practice as a social worker efficiently in terms of what you’ve learned here, and combine that with your field practice, to be able to be a great social worker.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:28:36 All right. So I’m not going to walk you through all of the course descriptions here, but this is the list of all the courses that we’re offering at this time. And generally the sequence of the courses in which you would take them human behavior and social environment, social work with individuals, families, and groups, evidence for practice, power, privilege, and oppression, et cetera. The thing I do want to call your attention to at this time is field work. There’s four field work classes, which are split into two in our part-time model. So each field work class, the four field work classes, are split into two halves during the part-time program.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:29:26 And the way the field work is structured is you are spending in the part-time program, seven hours a week in an internship agency, which we would work with you to secure. You would identify your top choices, we would work with you to establish the arrangements necessary to make it happen. And you would get weekly supervision, once biweekly from your agency field instructor, who is the supervisor of your work at the field placement. And then the other week, the other week for the 16 weeks, you would do a group supervision exercise with the instructor of the field work course. So basically you’re getting a lot of supervision. And each field work course is split into sections of eight students each, so it’s a very, very rich experience of supervision.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:30:40 And even the work of keeping track of what’s going on in your field agency, which is typically done by a third party at other universities, at Utica College it is going to be the instructor of field work one, two, three, and four, who is going to be meeting virtually with the agencies at which you’re placed to ensure that you are setting up your goals and tasks correctly. And checking in throughout the semester to make sure that everything that you said was going to get done is getting done. And that there’s no problems coming up. They will have a very deep understanding of what you’re learning in the field and how to bring that back to the group supervision process that they provide bi-weekly in the field work live sessions. And again, you’re also getting bi-weekly hour and a half sessions with the field supervisor, who is your instructor onsite at your field agency.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:31:45 All other classes take place on an eight week schedule. So social work 501, human behavior and social environment is eight weeks of the semester and then that takes place in the same semester as power privilege and oppression, social work-

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:32:04]

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:32:00 …in the same semester as Power, Privilege and Oppression, Social Work 504. It’s eight weeks, then eight weeks, so you’re technically only taking one academic course at a time, and you’re doing your field work placement at the same time. We’re trying to make this as flexible and workable as possible for people with families, for people who have lives outside of school, but make it as rigorous clinically as possible.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:32:29 And another important thing to note is that we have three start times per year, fall, spring, and summer and the first time we let students into the program will be fall 2021. And every class will have a live session required for all coursework. Every class will have eight live sessions per class. But if for some reason students can’t make it to those live sessions, there is an alternative assignment that can be done. You write a paper on the recording of that session that adds to the discussion and adds value to the discussion that was had in the context of the live session so that you are basically participating, even though you weren’t there synchronously.

Moderator: 00:33:31 Thank you for the curriculum overview, Ethan. Just want to remind participants to please continue to include your questions. Some folks have joined us a little later and some have gone ahead and are submitting questions. For those who’ve joined us a bit late, that’s fine. Just be sure to include a question in here if it comes up and I’ll be sure to mention it at the end.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:33:55 Let’s take a look visually at what Ethan was just discussing in terms of what the curriculum layout will look like. And so for those of you who maybe still are confused by the field component, I hope to be able to give you some clarity with that in looking at this curriculum map.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:34:13 I think what’s most important to really point out first is if you notice, and again, this is a repeat of what Ethan just discussed and went over, if you take a look at semester one, semester one really is two terms. D1 is a term which is eight weeks, D2 is a term, which is eight weeks. And then we go into the next semester, which we start all over again. D1 for semester two will be eight weeks so on and so forth. For D1, the first eight weeks, you will take one course. And then for D two, the next eight weeks, you will take one course.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:34:47 If you take a look specifically at semester two, this is how we have the program designed as of right now, that that is when you will begin your internship. For D1, the first eight weeks, you will be doing a class and in D1, you will be doing a class over the course of that entire semester. For both of those terms, you will also be registered for SWK 531, which will be field work one. That will be 16 weeks, so that covers D1 eight weeks and D2 eight weeks. For 531, you will receive supervision not only by myself or any other field instructor, but you will also receive supervision by the site supervisor where you will be placed to do your internship. And when I say placed, I mean, the end where you choose to do your internship. You will certainly receive guidance on what the criteria is in terms of site placement and where you can do your hours.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:35:47 Again, Ethan, in terms of design of this field program, we try to design it in a manner that offers ultimate flexibility for you. And so if we look at this, this will be approximately about seven hours per week that you will be actually in the field doing your internship. Whereas with this particular class, again, there will be some classwork involved, but it will be all related to the actual field work that you will be performing. You will receive that actual supervision, that guidance. You’ll come to the 531 class, where you will receive supervision by the field instructor. But also we will give you some pointers and some directions on some of the cases that you’ll be working on in the field. If you have questions, if you have concerns, if you want to debrief some things, this is where you would do it in relation to the actual field internship in terms of the practice that you’ll be performing in the field.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:36:40 And so we will start again in terms of semester two. Your second semester in this program, that is when you will begin your field placement. If you notice every semester after that, you will continue your field placement. And again, we’re looking at about an average of seven hours per week. Seven hours per eight weeks that you will be engaged in your actual field work. And so I hope this makes sense.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:37:06 Again, this is a visual layout of that. If we look at this total, we have a lot of students that ask, “Well, what does this mean total wise?” This means 900 hours spread out over 16 weeks semesters that you will actually participate in field. You’ll be doing 900 hours total that equates to about seven hours per week, beginning semester two for you to engage in your actual field practicum. And again, along with this, you will be doing not only your internship, but you will also have those courses. Again, one course per term, but the actual internship class or your field class will be laid out over the entire semester.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:37:47 Ethan, I apologize because I see you’re ready to jump in. Did I do something wrong or do you want to add some stuff?

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:37:54 I just want to add two things. Number one, the way we’ve structured this is we wanted to give students the opportunity to acclimate in semester and get some basic foundational concepts [inaudible 00:38:07] before they enter the field. That means that in this eight semester structure one semester, and it can be any semester, we have it marked down as semester four here, but one semester students have to choose to do a full field work, which would be 14 hours a week. And [Jalanta 00:38:33] can work with you and your schedule on how to make that work. And if it makes more sense to do it in the ninth semester for you and do it seven hours a week, then it can be done that way too. It’s just how you want to structure your program and how you want to get it done.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:38:48 The other thing I want to point out, which is unrelated to fields, but very important distinction of our program is that we’ve tried to make this as mental health and clinical social work focused. Even the research and policy classes are focused on how to build the best, strongest mental health practitioners as possible.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:39:16 Social work 503, which is in semester two is Evidence for Practice. And that is focused on learning to be a good consumer of research evidence to do good clinical work. Power, Privilege, and Oppression is focused on how concepts of power, privilege and oppression play out in clinical work so you can do the best clinical work you can do and navigate diversity and difference within the clinical situation.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:39:48 Also, we give you, in the other research course, which is Clinical Case Evaluation, that’s in semester seven, that is a course that teaches you how to evaluate clinical practice. In addition, the policy classes, it’s important to note are also mental health focused. The first one is advocacy for mental health, that’s in semester four. And that’s all about raising awareness, working with key stakeholders and people who can make a difference and have impact on the mental health landscape through advocacy.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:40:26 And Mental Health Policy is a broader course in semester seven, which teaches you how mental health policy is constructed, how it looks in certain states and what goes into building good, strong mental health legislation. That’s a huge distinguishing feature of our program. It’s very specific and niche.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:40:52 I love that, Ethan, that you’re stressing that, because that’s so important that we identify how this program is different from many programs that typically take that first foundation year and really just give you just general foundation courses without having the specification of a very mental health focused agenda or curriculum. And so thank you for stressing that Ethan.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:41:16 Even in semester three, you’re taking Recovery, Theory, Values and Skills and Assessment in Mental Health Across the Lifespan, which is typically a second year or specialist year course. We’re introducing that early on. And I guess the last thing I’d say about this is that one other thing … I don’t know if it comes up in the slides, but it’s worth mentioning here. One of the things that we stress the importance of starting in field work 2, is that students get four hours of personal psychotherapy with a licensed clinician as part of their training in the program. They have to do that whenever they’re doing field work 2A or 2B. They have to do four sessions. That’s the minimum.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:42:05 If you’re already doing it with a practitioner, that’s great. You can use that, but if you haven’t looked into it yet, we’re really encouraging and requiring that because we want to make sure that students get a sense that insight and psychological awareness is important in this work. If you want to be the best clinician, you can be, you need to have that. And also we want you to have a sense of what it’s like to be in the client’s seat. And also clinicians working there, doing their magic, what are they doing? We want to give you some exposure to that. That’s the value of it and we’ll talk about that more as the program progresses. Just want to make sure I got that in.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:42:52 No, thank you for that clarity and adding that, which that last piece was such a critical component. I think that students will see that you will get so much and you’ll learn so much, you will be able to evaluate the practitioner. You’ll be able to see and be able to take what you’re learning in the classroom and actually go through it. And so I think that’s really important that students are able not only to learn about psychotherapy and what that means, but also be able to see it and be able to go through it because these are some things that we’re going to be recommending to our clients. These are some things that we will be doing for our clients. And so, because of that, it’s important that we go through it, that we not only just talk that talk, but we actually go through it and do it. Thank you, Ethan

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:43:36 And we want to create as a whole, a community of learners that are committed to personal growth, development, openness to feedback, and self critique, like, “Oh, this may have been weak on my part. How do I learn the skills I need to better myself?” That’s the idea. Thank you Jalanta, for letting me jump in. Am I next? No, you should do this, MSW Field Placement.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:44:07 Yes, not a problem. Some of this, obviously I’ve already gone over in terms of the specifics of how that looks curriculum wise. When we talk about the actual field placement itself, students are going to be invited to identify a list of top five placements and priority order based on your interests and your location.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:44:25 And again, I want to stress this, that you will receive that assistance from myself and any other field instructors in terms of helping you to identify an appropriate place where you live. We have a limited number of opportunities and Utica established, and we’re certainly open to help anyone that we should take advantage of those local Utica opportunities. It is possible to find tele-help and remote field work opportunities wherever you are. But again, those are some things you want to make sure you disclose to us. They are few and far in between, but that does not mean that they don’t exist and that they are not out there.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:45:01 Utica College will formally establish these relationships, develop contracts and identify suitable field placements in the event that none of the original choices ultimately fit. And so what we mean by that is obviously you want you to have your input. We want you to do your homework in terms of being able to hopefully select where you wish to do your internship. We will certainly work with those particular agencies and organizations that you identify. And hopefully that partnership will work out and you will be able to do your internship where you choose of your choice.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:45:35 However, we do know that sometimes those things do fall through and there are some things that maybe not even within your control in terms of why you may not be able to get placed at your first selection or your first choice. In that event, and we know that sometimes again, those things occur, we do want you to know that we will be right there. We are willing to help and assist in any way that we can. But if there is any questions that are asked by the field agency or organization in terms of contracts and things like that, we will be on board to be able to look at, review and execute those things. And obviously there will be a vetting process, but again, we want to assure you that we will be there along the way to be able to answer those questions from the agency or organization. And most importantly from you as the student.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:46:19 Students will receive weekly supervision for the full 16 weeks semester because remember your actual field course goes over 16 weeks or a full semester. Bi-weekly, you will receive supervision from your agency preceptor and once from the instructor of the actual field class that you will be taking-

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:46:41 Once every other week.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:46:42 Every other week from your instructor, so we will rotate like that. And Ethan pointed this out and he stressed it and I want to stress it again, and this is the beauty of our program, only eight students per field work seminar. It really does give us that intimate approach of being able to address a small number of students. In terms of your questions, your concerns, your voice will be heard is essentially what we are saying.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:47:07 You’re going to complete four sessions of individual counseling in the first year during field work 2 or at least we would like for you to do it during that period and it must be done before you graduate from this program. Students will also receive visits twice a semester from the instructor field work seminars to make sure everything is working out as planned. We will always have constant communication with your site supervisor just to make sure that everything is going as it should go. Any problems, any concerns, any issues we want to make sure that we are addressing those things early on and that we are not waiting until the end. And we hear the field supervisors say, “Hey, there are some problems with this particular student.” We do give you that we will have that ongoing dialogue, but please know that at the very least we will do two visits a semester, just again, to be able to have that dialogue and evaluate how things are going for you in…

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [00:48:04]

Jalonta Jackson: 00:48:00 Be able to have that dialogue and evaluate how things are going for you in the field. Career development services are available through the college and academic advising is also provided. We want to stress that yes, you will be able to identify, some of those top places where you want to do your internship. For those of you who just don’t have a clue where you would want to do it, we certainly have career development that can help you and give you some pointers. Obviously you have you’re … I’m a part of the field team that will give you some pointers and some ideas on where you might be able to do your internship in your location in terms of where you’re living or where you feel comfortable in being able to perform those hours.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:48:37 And again, this is a collective team effort and being able to ensure, and when I say collective team effort, that involves you as a student, in ensuring that you can receive a very good field placement site. Again, we don’t want to force you into a specific place to be able to perform your hours. We want to be supportive of you in terms of where you wish to go. And again, we will vet those places that you select. And hopefully those things will work out in terms of where you wish to go to perform those hours.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:49:08 I just want to add one more thing about the nature of having eight students per field work seminar. Everything that [Jolanda 00:49:20] said, yes. I think the key here is also to recognize that you can be your most vulnerable and honest and authentic self in the context of being in a room with a student alive session with eight students, because you’re going to know them more intimately, you’re going to feel less afraid to be honest and share your mistakes and the risks that you’re taking. That is so critical to learning, to grow in the direction you need to grow to do the work. So that I just wanted to add, there’s something about the vulnerability and risk-taking that students can do in that context that is really, really valuable.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:50:04 Yeah. And it really does offer a safe space for students to be able to speak up and to talk and to be able to just have an open environment, to be able to do those things. But also, I can tell you guys right now, and it’ll prep you for your groups in [inaudible 00:50:19] class, because you will get to understand why it is important to have eight in a group as opposed to massive numbers. And so to answer that question generally, with the assistance of the field team students are to find their own placement site. But again, I say that, it’s not in terms of being assertive of saying, you have to find your own. We’re stating we want you to find your own, and we will assist you in being able to find an appropriate placement site.

Moderator: 00:50:46 Got it.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:50:47 We can establish the paperwork and legal stuff and the perimeters and the infrastructure for that to happen, should it make sense after we have vetted these placements?

Jalonta Jackson: 00:51:01 Yes, yes.

Moderator: 00:51:02 Got it. Now, would students be able to do the field work at their current place of employment if it should qualify? So that would be important to understand what kind of parameters they would need to look at and consider.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:51:18 And there are certainly parameters around that. So students wouldn’t be able to do their hours at their place of work in the capacity of their paid position, but if they are placed in another arena within that place of employment, that offers them something different, where they’re being supervised by someone else, and most importantly, they are participating in social work practice activities, then yes, we can consider that, but we will consider that obviously on an individual basis. Those students would need to speak with the field team to help sort out those things. But again, most importantly … And so let me give an example of that. I’ve had students that will do, let’s say that, say they work for Department in Children Welfare Services, and let’s say that they are working. They’re a paid employee in the division of, I don’t know, help me out here, child welfare services.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:52:12 Well, if they’re getting paid in that position, they can still do their internship if they’re doing adult protective services. So that is something completely different from child welfare. It’s adult protective services. It’s doing something that obviously that offers social work practice activities and skills. And we would consider that. I think the key point is again, ensuring that they are somewhere where they’re not being supervised by the same supervisor in their paid position. And they’re learning something new that is based on social work practice skills and principles. Ethan, do you want to add to that?

Moderator: 00:52:46 Got it.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:52:46 I just want to add, I think it’s a great idea and everybody should consider it, but it’s complicated, very complicated and you have to be realistic about it. And the main issue is how large is the agency you’re working for because small agencies will likely not be able to accommodate that. But larger agencies like Jolanda was referring to would very much more likely to be able to accommodate that kind of request, so.

Moderator: 00:53:19 Great. And another great question to add, and we see this in some of our other programs like nursing is the field supervisor, do they need to have a certain credential, like an MSW as well in order to act in this role?

Jalonta Jackson: 00:53:35 Yeah. So one of the good things, and Ethan, please jump in here and help me out here, in the class supervision piece I believe that all of the field instructors will be licensed, so that piece there takes place of being able to have supervision by a licensed social worker. Now, the other piece of that in terms of the criteria for the field supervisor, absolutely. We would love for them. We want them to be licensed social workers. I think you get the best experience in form of supervision at the actual site, when you are being supervised by a licensed social worker. Ethan, I’m going to have you jump in there, have you set up any parameters in terms of the other criteria for individuals and other professions such as licensed counselors or things like that, to be able to supervise students?

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:54:23 So number one, we train every person who is just starting to do supervision in the field agencies in social work principles, so that they at least have a basic understanding of what it is we’re trying to teach students. Sometimes it’s not even in the control of the student or the supervisor, but the supervisor has to leave. They resign, they move on to a better job, whatever. And so there was a social worker who was licensed and had the two years of post-master’s experience as required to do the supervision, but they are no longer there. In which case we would have to identify someone to take their place of the supervision. It may not be a social worker and we’d have to provide them the training.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:55:18 And it could be that we hire someone from the community or someone who volunteers from the community to do that, or one of our field seminar faculty volunteers to do it an hour and a half every other week. Or I don’t know if Jolanda will have the time, but it’d be … We will make that work if that happens or we’re going to find you another agency because that is how it works. There is a set of parameters for which the supervisor has to be operating. And although they do not necessarily have to be a social worker to do the work, they have to be very steeped in social work principles and we can only prepare them so much. So it’s complicated.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:56:12 It’s complicated. And just to wrap that up for you, yes, we want field supervisors to be licensed social workers, but we do have this alternate, right? That if by chance, if that person leaves, or if you found this dynamic or ultimate site, and you’re like, “But the only thing is we have someone there, a master level social worker, but they don’t have their license.” I think that we can find some ways to be able to work through that. If you have, let’s say a master’s level counselor that is there at that site. Again, I think there’s some things, some ways we can work through that.

Jalonta Jackson: 00:56:48 The uniqueness, I think, of our program or something that we can offer is being able to have a field team that we do have licensed social workers to be able to provide that supervision in the classroom. And if need be, we can provide, obviously, that supervision, if needed, in terms of what you’re doing there at that site. Again, there is going to take some things that we’re going to have to vet through to be able to discuss that and really hash that out. But to answer that question generally right now, we certainly want the person that will be supervising you in the field to be a licensed social worker.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:57:23 Just to be clear though, CSWE, our accrediting body, is not concerned with licensure, per se. They are more concerned that it’s two years of post-master’s experience. So as long as they have that … That actually is a much simpler and more straightforward [inaudible 00:57:44] to find, but giving a counselor or a psychologist or a psychiatrist the orientation to social work, that’s probably the more complicated part.

Moderator: 00:57:53 If for any reason our students weren’t able to keep pace with the plan of study that’s recommended, are they allowed to go over the 2.66 time frame for completing the 60 credits?

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:58:10 Should I answer that?

Jalonta Jackson: 00:58:11 Yes.

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:58:12 Yes, absolutely. We understand that our students are going to be working students. They’re going to be having full-time jobs. They’re going to be having families. They’re going to be having leisure time pursuits and have lives outside of school, so … And things will come up. Life happens. So we do anticipate that some students will need to take a semester or two off and return later. There’s full respect and accommodation made for that.

Moderator: 00:58:44 Is there a time limits, such as like a five or six year limit on completing the program?

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:58:49 I think there’s … I don’t know what the time limit is technically, but there would be maximum flexibility in terms of however many appeals you can make we’d be willing to take. So, I mean, we understand how this works.

Moderator: 00:59:07 All right. And the final question we’ll take here and then we’ll wrap it up is, are there other bachelor degree programs that allow students to qualify? Besides the bachelor’s in social work?

Ethan Haymovitz: 00:59:20 Oh yeah. We are not concerned with what your bachelor’s degree is. I don’t think most social work programs do concern themselves too much with it. Some may require that you have a liberal arts training generally, but in our program, I think all of the things that we want you to learn, we’re teaching you in the first year. So that’s why I say, even if you were in finance, you can come into this program and get what you need to be a good social worker. We’re not concerned about whether you have a bachelor’s degree or not. If you want to do the advanced standing program, which is not being offered this year, it will be offered down the line, maybe next year or a year and a half from now, then you would need a bachelor’s of social work from an accredited CSWE accredited institution. That’s a whole other conversation and you should contact me about it.

Jalonta Jackson: 01:00:14 Right. But a bachelor’s in criminal justice, a bachelor’s in education, a bachelor’s in, I don’t know, Spanish, any of those things would do because it really it sets a foundation for a specialization, but keep in mind, we’re going to really help you hone in on those professional social work practice skills. So, no, you don’t have to have a bachelor’s in social work, but we do want you to have, obviously you have to have a bachelor’s degree and we’ll work with you in terms of seeing how those two can relate to each other in terms of the specific fields or disciplines.

Ethan Haymovitz: 01:00:52 Beautifully put.

Moderator: 01:00:54 Thank you so much. And again, we are so honored to have shared this time with you, and we look forward to seeing you both again, thank you, Ethan and Jolanda. And to our participants, if you have questions about how to construct the competitive application, please reach out to our online admissions team at and let us know you’d like to connect with an enrollment counselor. You may actually even speak with me and we’re all here, just standing by, looking forward to helping you

Ethan Haymovitz: 01:01:27 And you can reach out to me or Jolanda anytime.

Jalonta Jackson: 01:01:30 Yes. Thank you.

Moderator: 01:01:33 Awesome. Thanks so much.

PART 4 OF 4 ENDS [01:01:36]

View this virtual open house for Utica College’s online MSW program as Director, Ethan Haymovitz, DSW, LMSW, and Field Education Director, Jalonta Jackson-Glasco, MSW, LSW, discuss key program features.

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