aerial view of campanile

Added Value Opportunities

Added Value

All
BSW, MSW and PhD students have the additional opportunity to be engaged in research
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faculty led study abroad locations focusing on global social work
Fun
opportunities to get involved and find community
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additional learning opportunities provide chances to express opinions, receive additional funding, and assist the School shape policies and procedures

Research Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to be highly-involved in research at the KU School of Social Welfare.

As a School within a comprehensive, premier research university, we value research and encourage students at all levels to take advantage of the opportunities to be a part of the research process. The School has strong research and scholarship in the areas of children and families, health equity, health and behavioral health, social and economic justice, and older adults. 

Find out how you can get involved on the Research Office students in research webpage

Study Abroad

The School offers three faculty-led study abroad locations focusing on global social work.

Study abroad locations are not guaranteed to run every year, so it is important to check with Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE).  

International Social Work: A Costa Rican Perspective

The program provides students a general perspective on social services and broader social problems through a combination of lectures and site visits to social service agencies. These institutions focus on the institutional as well as individual aspects of social problems through individual troubles. In addition to daily seminars and site visits, students will have the opportunity to travel to significant cultural and historical sites in and around San José.  

The following questions shape the context for these experiences: What are the differences in service delivery across cultures? How does culture influence the definitions and responses to social problems and answers? What influence does global economics have on community practice, child welfare, mental health, and schools?

Visit the Office of Study Abroad for more information

Bi-lingual Spanish Language Intensive for Social Workers

The goal of the program is to help students improve their language skills, become familiar with Costa Rican culture, and prepare future social workers to work in programs that serve immigrants. There will be several meetings prior to departure and upon return. While in Costa Rica, students will take an intensive Spanish language course at the Universidad de Costa Rica and live with a host family to further practice their language skills and be immersed in Costa Rican culture. Students can choose between two program lengths: one or two months.

Visit the Office of Study Abroad for more information

Social Welfare in India

Learn first-hand the social, economic, and political currents that impact the welfare system in India. Open to undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Social Welfare; students enroll in one 3 credit course in the School of Social Welfare. The two-week program will take place in Mumbai, India.

Visit the Office of Study Abroad for more information

Social Welfare in Italy

This 12-day program offers students the opportunity to gain an international perspective on social work through lectures, field trips to social service agencies, and presentations by social work faculty from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. The program will focus on the political, economic, and historical context of Italy as it impacts social work education and the delivery of social services. Students will visit social service agencies that address mental health, social work with children and families, public health, government and community-based social work practice, aging, and immigration issues. In addition to daily seminars and site visits, students will have the opportunity to travel to significant cultural and historical sites in Milan, Florence and the Lake Como region.

Visit the Office of Study Abroad for more information

Get Involved & Networking

Providing opportunities for students to find community and unique experiences.

BSW Student Group

BSW students have formed two student groups that are made up of social work students on both the Lawrence and Edwards Campuses. The student groups provide advocacy, service, and awareness to encourage empowerment and challenge oppression and promote social interaction among all social work students. 

The groups meet bi-monthly and hosts regular fundraising and community service events. To find out more, contact the group at bsw@ku.edu.

KU Lawrence BSW Student Group Facebook Page

KU Edwards BSW Student Group Facebook Page

Social Work Doctoral Student Organization 

The Social Work Doctoral Student Organization provides forums for student discussions and invited presentations related to expressed student interests. In addition, the Doctoral Student Organization may voice students’ concerns and suggestions and recommend topics for discussion to the student representatives on the PhD Program Committee, the program director, and the dean. The student members of the Ph.D. Program Curriculum Committee are responsible for liaising with the Doctoral Student Organization year to year.

To find out more information about the Doctoral Student Organization, contact the PhD program director. 

RISE (Resilience, Inclusion, Support and Empowerment)

To empower BSW, MSW and PhD students of color (racially-ethnically) to excel personally, academically, and professionally in order to foster successful degree. Learn more about RISE.

Additional Learning

Providing safe spaces for critical conversations and expanding learning opportunities.

Pathway to the Profession is an event series that provides learning opportunities throughout the year for all levels of social work students. This material is not graded and participation is just encouraged, not mandatory. We will use a hybrid approach, combining pre-recorded & live content and will also include some virtual activities (informational and for fun). We will have workshops, professional development, employment prep, and graduate school prep. These events will not be in-person for the 2020-21 academic year. 

If you do not have access to the Pathway to the Profession Blackboard site, contact Vicki Mignot, student services coordinator, at vmignot@ku.edu or Amea Chandler, academic success coach, at amea@ku.edu

The Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial and Social Justice Program supports BSW, MSW, and PhD students in the KU School of Social Welfare who have historically and contemporarily experienced marginalization and oppression. Through financial support, mentoring, leadership and professional development opportunities, the Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial & Social Justice Program aims to enhance community, retention, and success for program scholars. 

 The Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial & Social Justice Program provides three programs for BSW, MSW, and PhD students in the KU School of Social Welfare. 

  1. BSW Students: Toni Johnson Scholars ($3,000) 

  2. MSW Students: Toni Johnson Scholars ($6,000) 

  3. PhD Students: Toni Johnson Dissertation Award ($3,000) 

To learn more go to the Toni Johnson Scholars Program webpage

The Sigler Family Aging Scholars Program aims to develop the next generation of leaders in the field of gerontological social work by offering an innovative, individualized, and community engaged learning opportunity to Bachelor's and Master’s students in the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare who demonstrate a passion for serving older adults through multi-level gerontology practice, policy, and research.

To learn more go to the Sigler Family Aging Scholars Program webpage.

Integrated Health Scholars Program provides a value-added educational experience for exceptional clinical MSW students at KU to develop knowledge and skills in integrated mental health, substance use, and primary health care service delivery. Applicants must be enrolled in either the Advanced Standing MSW plan of study or the advanced year of the Traditional MSW plan of study. 

To learn more go to the Integrated Health Scholars Program webpage

School of Social Welfare Student Positions & Position Descriptions

Student representatives are always needed in various capacities to provide input and feedback to the School and to support our educational mission. Elections for each academic year are held in the fall of that year. If you’re interested in getting involved with the School and have questions about any of the positions, please feel free to contact Kristin Trendel at katrendel@ku.edu.

BSW Program Committee (3 student members)

The BSW Program Committee is responsible for overseeing the explicit and implicit BSW curriculum, and reviewing and voting on policy issues related to the MSW program. The committee meets five to six times per year, generally on Friday mornings in Twente Hall from 10 a.m. to noon. The committee is comprised of the BSW program director (who serves as chair), the director of Field Education, four faculty members (representing the human behavior, research, and policy sequences and the diversity course) and three students (representing junior and senior level classes and at least one student from the Edwards Campus). Students are responsible for attending meetings, responding to emails from the committee chair, and maintaining communication with the students that they are representing on the committee. Students contact their peers and bring concerns and issues to the attention of the BW Program Committee and share the outcomes of meetings with their student peers.
 
MSW Program Committee (3 student members)
The MSW Program Committee is responsible for overseeing the explicit and implicit MSW curriculum and reviewing and voting on policy issues related to the MSW program. The committee meets five to six times per year, generally on Friday mornings in Twente Hall from 9 to 11:00 a.m. The committee is comprised of the MSW program director (who serves as chair), the director of Field Education, three faculty members (representing the generalist year, the clinical specialization and the macro practice specialization) and three students (also representing the generalist year, the clinical specialization and the macro practice specialization). Students are responsible for attending meetings, responding to emails from the committee chair, and maintaining communication with the students that they are representing on the committee. Students contact their peers and bring concerns and issues to the attention of the MSW Program Committee and share the outcomes of meetings with their student peers.
 
PhD Program Committee (3 student members)
The PhD Program Committee is responsible for overseeing the PhD curriculum and reviewing and voting on policy issues related to the PhD program. The committee meets five to six times per year, generally on Friday mornings in Twente Hall from 10 a.m. to noon. The committee is comprised of the PhD program director (who serves as chair), five faculty members (60 percent elected by faculty and 40 percent appointed by the dean in consultation with the PhD program director), and three students (representing the first year cohort, second year cohort, and students who have finished coursework). Students are responsible for attending meetings, responding to emails from the committee chair, and maintaining communication with the students that they are representing on the committee. Students are also responsible for managing the PhD Student Group. Students must contact their peers and bring concerns and issues to the attention of the PhD Program Committee and share the outcomes of meetings with their student peers.
 
Field Education Student Advisory Boards (10-15 student members/board)
Field Education Office has two student advisory boards made up of 10 to 15 students representing the generalist year and 10 to 15 students representing the specialization year. These student advisory boards are made up of students in practicum, therefore the work is student-driven. Board members are asked to represent their fellow students and provide feedback and guidance to the Field Education Office regarding practicum planning, the placement process, and the field experience. The Field Education Office also provides updates and asks for feedback on specific initiatives throughout the year, and the boards may also choose to produce specific priorities and/or recommendations for the Field Education Office. The boards meet four times a year, with the possibility of voluntary committee work in between meetings. Representation from all levels of students in field and all campuses are needed. The meetings are connected remotely between campuses in order for all to participate.
 
Current 2020-21 Field Education Student Advisory Board Members:

Generalist Year Board

  • Sara Montgomery
  • Rebekkah Aarnes
  • Robert Armstrong
  • Max Bearce
  • Latrese Kabuya
  • Rachel Parrish
  • Alexandra Swinney
  • Drew Turner
  • Madison Russian
  • Edan Belihu
  • Madeline Birdashaw
  • Hannah Hunter-Lee

Specialist Year Board

  • Kelly Miller
  • Isabella Aguirre
  • Nathan Eikmeier
  • Choco Gbomina
  • Megan Goins
  • Akiyaa Hagen-Depusoir
  • Mackenzie hanna
  • Mary Hutchins
  • Val Merriman
  • Jessica O'Flannagan
  • Kelsey Savastano
  • Stefany Ortiz
  • Robyn Burton
  • Kendra Knight
  • Jenna Ratzlaff

Dean's Student Advisory Board (13 student members)

The Dean’s Student Advisory Board is intended to create an informal setting for discussing the student experience in the School. This can range from the curriculum to field to the environment of the School. The focus of the board’s work is to discuss things that are going well in the School and things that need attention. The group will meet monthly, usually at lunch. 
 
Representation consists of:
  • 2 PhD students
  • 1 Macro student
  • 1 Clinical student from Lawrence Campus 
  • 1 Clinical student from Edwards Campus
  • 1 Generalist student from Lawrence Campus
  • 1 Generalist student from Edwards Campus 
  • 1 Western Kansas Partnership Site student
  • 1 Pittsburg Partnership Site student 
  • 1 BSW junior from Lawrence Campus
  • 1 BSW senior from Lawrence Campus 
  • 1 BSW junior from Edwards Campus
  • 1 BSW senior from Edwards Campus 

Student Representatives to School Faculty Meetings (6 student members)

Three times a semester, the School holds faculty meetings. The meetings are intended to share information about the overall university, the School and individual programs. A variety of issues are discussed and approved, including but not limited to faculty governance and curricula. The meeting is comprised of the faculty, research faculty, the assistant dean, the director of field, and program directors from each campus. Student representatives will be asked to provide a student perspective and on occasion be asked to solicit feedback and input from their peers. Up to six student representatives may be appointed, All representatives must be in good academic standing and enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours in the School. The six representatives will consist of two from the BSW program (one from each campus), four from the MSW program (one from each campus), and one from the PhD program. Representatives will be appointed by the respective program directors.



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