CSUSB Advising Podcast

Ep. 49 - What is the Master of Social Work?

March 29, 2023 Matt Markin Season 1 Episode 49
Ep. 49 - What is the Master of Social Work?
CSUSB Advising Podcast
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CSUSB Advising Podcast
Ep. 49 - What is the Master of Social Work?
Mar 29, 2023 Season 1 Episode 49
Matt Markin

In Episode 49 of the CSUSB Advising Podcast, Matt Markin chats with returning guest Dr. Carolyn McAllister, Director of the School of Social Work at CSUSB ! In Ep. 47, Dr. McAllister talked about the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW). In this episode, Dr. McAllister discusses the Master of Social Work (MSW)!  What is the MSW? How is the MSW structured? What is the application process? Find out in this episode!

Find out more about the MSW Program!
E-mail: SocialWork@csusb.edu

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Subscribe to the CSUSB Advising Podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google and more!

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Show Notes Transcript

In Episode 49 of the CSUSB Advising Podcast, Matt Markin chats with returning guest Dr. Carolyn McAllister, Director of the School of Social Work at CSUSB ! In Ep. 47, Dr. McAllister talked about the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW). In this episode, Dr. McAllister discusses the Master of Social Work (MSW)!  What is the MSW? How is the MSW structured? What is the application process? Find out in this episode!

Find out more about the MSW Program!
E-mail: SocialWork@csusb.edu

Subscribe to the CSUSB Advising Podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google and more!

Follow us on social media:

Instagram & Tik Tok - @csusbadvising
Facebook - CSUSB Advising
Twitter - @csusb_advising
YouTube - @csusbadvising

https://csusbadvising.buzzsprout.com/

#acadv #academicadvising #collegemajors #csusb #calstate #highereducation

Subscribe to the CSUSB Advising Podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google and more!

Follow us on social media:

Instagram & Tik Tok - @csusbadvising
Facebook - CSUSB Advising
Twitter - @csusb_advising
YouTube - @csusbadvising

https://csusbadvising.buzzsprout.com/

It's time for another episode of the CSUSB advising podcast. Welcome back, as always, my name is Matt Markin, an academic advisor here at Cal State San Bernardino. On a previous episode we learned about the bachelors in social work. And on today's episode, we're learning more about the master's degree in social work the MSW and we're welcoming back to the podcast Dr. Carolyn McAllister, director in the School of Social Work. Dr. McAllister, welcome. Again,

Thank you so much nice to be here.

So what is the the MSW? How is the MSW structured? How is it organized?

Perfect, so the MSW is a master's in social work. And for us, it is the the final degree in practice. So if you want to practice as a social worker, an MSW is is really that terminal degree. And most students entering social work, are going to choose the Masters social and social work about 90 to 95% of our undergraduate students are going to seek a masters. And we get lots of students from other majors that choose to go into an MSW. I myself, was a bachelor's degree in psychology. And so it was it I pivoted a little bit to get my MSW, but that's very common. So we see a lot of psychology students, a lot of sociology students, but also people from areas like business or math or engineering, who realized what they really wanted to do was work with people. And so social work really, as we talked about before is this work with people. And so we what we were doing in our MSW is preparing you to do that work at a higher level. So we'll talk I think, a little bit about what makes the MSW different from the bachelors. But the MSW is a 60 credit degree program. So it's going to take you two years, or three years to do those 60 credits. And you take classes in a cohort for us. So we admit people in groups of 25 to 32 different classes. So for example, you might be a student in our Monday, Wednesday program, or our Tuesday Thursday program. We offer two different kinds of three year programs and evening program that's catered more to people who work in the field already or whom are working full time, and can only come to classes in the evening. They finish in three years, or we have a totally online program. For people who can't come to campus at all the other things we have, we have one group of students that are what we call advanced standing. These are students who are going to finish their MSW and 36 credits rather than 60. These are students who already have a bachelor's degree in social work and some experience. So what we're doing is we're essentially saying their senior year and their bachelor's in social work is about the equivalent of our first year of our MSW. So they take a bridge class in the summer, and then they do our advanced, you're our second year in the program. The one other thing I want to talk about is that we have a pretty strong it keeps growing concurrent degree, one of the only concurrent degrees on our campus, and the first in the CSU to offer a master's in social work, and Master's in Public Administration. So for people who want to go into public administration, and follow along in the social work area, this is a great concurrent degree, because in 73 credits, you can finish both master's degrees. The other thing is that it takes most students about three years to complete that concurrent degree. But I love seeing those students because they're ready to work and run a social service organization.

Yeah, seems like a lot of variety for students at the graduate level.

Yeah, this is our this is our biggest program, the social that master's in social work programs. I believe we are the in terms of like one major, we are the largest on campus, we admit somewhere between 100 and 150 students to our MSW every year.

Wow. And what sorts of classes can an MSW student expect to take? And you know, how are those courses different from let's say the undergraduate experience?

Perfect. So we have five main areas that students take classes in? First is theory which we call human behavior in the social environment. Why do people behave the way they do and what contexts do they behave the way they do? That's the first set. We have students take classes in micro practice, which is practice with individuals, couples, families and groups. We have students take classes and macro class, macro social work, which is organizations and communities, policy analysis, policy development, and then potentially potentially politics. We have people take classes and research methods because everybody does an independent research project if they're a master student. We have all of our students take classes in an internship or field education. And for us at the masters level, you're doing two internships, two separate internships, you do it in the last two years. So if your two year student in two years, you do one a year, your three year student, you do it in years two and three. That makes sense, right? First year is 480 hours, so two days a week, the second year is 600 hours, or two and a half days a week. So you end up with almost 1300 hours of internship experience over those years, you're really prepared to do it, why you would choose an MSW over a bachelor's in social work as your end degree, because you could start with bachelors and go on to Masters right, is because you want to do something like therapy. So in order to do private practice, or independent therapy, in order to do mental health diagnosis, you need an MSW. There are also areas in child welfare that you could only do with an MSW like adoptions. And at the more macro area, we're teaching you how to run an organization how to really run a do community organizing at the masters level. So you're coming out prepared to maybe be the the deputy director or the director of a county agency with this MSW versus your bachelors in social work. So those are the reasons you would choose an MSW over just ending with a bachelor's.

And you're referencing the internship. So that kind of goes into my next question of as an MSW student, what kind of activities that our students are involved in?

Yeah, so they're doing these two internships, and we're placing you in a community agency. We're trying to match you to where you live, what you're interested in. And then we'll work with you to make sure that there's a supervisor present, that's a social worker, that you're getting adequate supervision, and that your experience is not just, you know, pushing papers and answering phones, you're doing social work. We're not We're not throwing you out there, but we're getting you prepared to work with clients doing the work that you would do upon graduation. So we have such a wide range of internship opportunities. I really commend our field team for working to make sure students get top notch experiences while they're in our program.

And then my next question then kind of leads into that is the the career question. So what kind of career areas have you seen your students go into after graduation with the MSW?

It is so wide that I can't like I can't list it all. Yeah, but um, child welfare is the the biggest area of social work practice for MSW use. But that could be working in Child Protective Services or an organization that supports kids. We see lots of students currently interested in school social work, and to do school social work. You're looking for a PPS after graduation, pupil personnel services, degree certification. We don't offer it but we prepare you for that if you want to do that. I see people work in hospital settings as hospital social workers, hospice settings, dialysis clinics, they work in the court systems, they work in prisons, they work in probation and parole. I've seen social workers work in universities, a lot of advisors may have an MSW or if they work, like we have a care team on on campus, both of our care team coordinators are social workers. We work in therapy so we might work in outpatient mental health practice, I worked in mobile crisis that's done with an MSW. You might work with kids in therapy, you might work with adults in therapy, older adults, you might work in a skilled nursing facility. I think I've probably barely scratched the surface, lots of MSW us and up running agencies, nonprofit agencies, county agencies, larger agencies, and then we see social workers working in politics. So some of my very favorite politicians are MSW's. The one that comes to mind at the moment is Barbara Lee out of the Bay Area. She is an MSW and she's very proud of that.

Wonderful. And one of the episodes we talked about with the bachelor's degree with misconceptions, I'm sure there might also be misconceptions with MSW, have you heard of or know of any misconceptions that people might have about the MSW?

Yeah, I think one of the biggest problems is that at least in the state of California, people can call themselves a social worker that don't have a degree in social work. So sometimes people will see somebody working. In an agency as a paraprofessional may be offering goods and services, which is fine, but they may call themselves a social worker, and have an associate's degree not in social work. So they get this understanding of what a social worker does. We talked about this idea that social workers snatch children And of course, we do remove children from homes, if we need to, it's our very last choice. Usually we know a child is best served in a home where they are loved and supported and where they've been for for their lives, we only remove children if they have to be removed. When I've gone out and called myself a social worker, people usually know social work for two things. The first is this child welfare piece. But then the second and I've had this happen several times, is I'll sit next to someone and I'll tell them, I'm a social worker. And they proceeded to tell me about the experience they had when a loved one died. So lots of social workers work in the field of hospice. That's an area that if I had stayed in the field, I probably would have chosen to do that. At some point. People usually remember social workers very positively from that, because they were there supporting their families. And some of the hardest moments of their lives a loved one is dying, things are tumultuous, they don't know how to how to go forward. And a social worker may help them organize what's going to happen as the loved one dies, what happens after the loved one dies, people in hospice can get bereavement care for a year after a loved one dies, and social workers often other people doing that. So I'm always excited. I mean, it's not good to have a loved one passed. But I'm excited when I know that that's how they've seen social workers, because that's such a positive thing. I mean, the death wasn't, but the support they got was right.

Yeah, absolutely. And for the MSW program, what's the application process look like?

So, so we have such a wide variety of programs that our applications are all slightly different depending on the program for all of our MSW programs, you're gonna go on to Cal State apply, you're gonna apply for the graduate school just like everybody else, and then you're going to apply to one of our MSW programs, and you're going to tell us what choices you want. So what campus you want to be on, because starting in 2024, we're going to have a Palm Desert cohort. But for now, you would tell us if you wanted our advanced standing program, our two year program, or three year program, or our our online program, or MSW MPA program, each of those have slightly separate application packets, all of them require you provide a personal statement, which is an essay specific to us about things about why you're choosing social work, why you're choosing this program. How are you prepared for this program? We're going to ask you also to provide three letters of recommendation. Depending on the program, it might, it might tell us specifically who you need to ask. We may have additional essays for you to write depending on the program. And let's

say someone a student's like, you know what, I want some more information. Where can a student find out more about the MSW program? Oh, great.

Okay, so first of all, go to our website. That's we offer lots of information about our MSW programs on that website. But you can also email us at socialwork@csusb.edu. I don't give a particular person's email because you send an email to that one and several people are checking it. So the right person will answer that email, you're always welcome to call us area code 909-537-5501. If you would like to do that, or you can go to one of our information sessions, we have a number of information sessions, we tend to do them virtually now. Because that works out really well. You can come at your convenience, and learn more about our program. And then finally come in and see us we're on the fourth floor of the Social and Behavioral Sciences building. I prefer if you schedule an appointment, but if you just walk in, somebody will be able to talk to you about social work programs.

Awesome. Well, sounds good. I'm talking to my counselor, thank you again for being a returning guest on the podcast.

Thank you so much. I really appreciate being here.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai