aerial of campus with focus on campanile

Support for a successful journey

Advisor Message

Successful Journey

All
programs and field education hold required orientations each year
100%
of undergraduates are required to attend academic advising each semester
All
students receive professional and faculty advising and PhD students receive 1:1 mentoring
32,575
hours/year of individualized field practicum support

Advising

Teaching, mentoring and advising quality

We ask that you still make appointments through Jayhawk GPS but in the notes of that appointment you can indicate how you would like to meet.  Your advisor can accommodate your advising in a number of different ways.

  1. Email advising, to be completed by your scheduled appointment.
  2. Advising by phone during your scheduled appointment (we will need your preferred phone number).
  3. Advising by Zoom during your scheduled appointment (we will need your preferred phone number).

The B.S.W. degree program prides itself on the thoroughness of its advising system. Early advising is recommended for students interested in social work. Pre-social work students (both KU and transfer) are encouraged to obtain advising through the School. Undergraduate academic advising is a developmental decision-making process during which students identify and realize their educational potential through communication with an academic advisor. Advising is an ongoing, multifaceted process, a responsibility shared by the student, advisor, and KU. Advising concerns students' intellectual goals including career planning, enrollment, and course and major selection, and establishes and maintains a relationship between faculty members and students.

For students who plan to transfer to KU, please contact the School to arrange advising by telephone or e-mail.

Once a student is admitted to the School of Social Welfare, a faculty advisor is assigned to assist the student with career and professional matters. In addition, an academic advisor will be able to assist students with enrollment and other academic program requirements for the BSW degree program. Students consult with their academic advisor before enrollment each semester and have their advising hold removed. Students can view their advisors on the myKU portal.

For more information on BSW degree advising, please review the BSW student handbook.

Fall 2021 MSW Enrollment (Summer is optional):

*Important info is hyperlinked within the message* and it would be very helpful if you read this entire section. 

The most common question asked is “How do I know what to take?” You can view part-time and full-time MSW Advanced Standing and Traditional completion plans on the curriculum webpage.

Your specific enrollment time can be found in Enroll & Pay in the Manage Classes section. After you click “Manage Classes”, you will be able to click “Enrollment Dates” to see your specific time. 

The time assigned to you is the first opportunity you get to enroll in your fall 2021 courses. You may enroll any time after this time/date has passed. If you try to enroll before that date and time, you will get an error message.

Please contact Georgiana Spear, gspear@ku.edu, or Amea Chandler at Edwards Campus, amea@ku.edu, if you are interested in enrolling in summer classes and you haven’t talked to them already. We offer SW 863 and a clinical elective over the summer, but students need to have all their 700-level coursework completed in order to take summer classes. If you know you are eligible and want to enroll in summer classes, you may need additional financial aid. The 2020 -2021 FAFSA does not automatically cover summer courses. Please fill out the “Request for Summer Aid” form found on the KU affordability webpage. If you need to discuss financial aid in more detail, please contact your Financial Aid Counselor.

You must also check Enroll & Pay to see if you have any HOLDS which may prevent your enrollment. The most common type of hold this time of year is an NPY Hold which means “Past Due Balance.”  Please try to resolve any holds before your enrollment time. **Every MSW student has a “No Drops Hold” on their account. This just prevents students from dropping classes without speaking to an advisor first. It will not impact your ability to enroll for summer or fall.

The summer and fall 2021 schedule is available for you to view! Please go to www.classes.ku.edu to start looking at course offerings (make sure you select GRADUATE level and view the correct campus). You may start adding classes to your shopping cart right away, but please know this does not save you a spot, it just may help you better prepare for when your enrollment time arrives.

If you already know you will need help or are stressed at the thought of navigating this, please email Georgiana Spear on the Lawrence campus at gspear@ku.edu or Amea Chandler on the Edwards Campus at amea@ku.edu. They can also assist over the phone or on Zoom.

Licensure info can be found on the student resources page. 

Each student has a faculty member assigned as an advisor for consultation on career matters, fields of practice, and concentration. In addition, an academic advisor will be able to assist students with enrollment and other academic program requirements for the M.S.W. degree. Students can view their advisors on the myKU portal. For more information on MSW program advising, please review the MSW Handbook.

Requests for a Leave of Absence or Change in MSW Program Plan of Study

Students who wish to request an intermit (leave of absence) or change their plan of study must complete the Request for a Leave of Absence or change in M.S.W. Program Plan of Study form

One intermit (leave of absence) or change to a plan of study can be made without speaking to a faculty advisor. The proposed change to the plan will be reviewed by the MSW program director, who will approve the plan, approve the plan with modifications, or reject the plan and refer you to your faculty advisor in order to explore other options. A response by the MSW program director to the proposal will be sent to you within five working days. You can review the School of Social Welfare’s policies and procedures for an intermit or change to a plan of study in the MSW Handbook.

The primary purpose of the advising system is to provide advice, support, mentoring, and evaluation for students by faculty. The Doctoral Program Office also keeps a database for tracking student progress to help students and faculty to evaluate and guide students’ educational planning and progress. Current students can view their advisors on the myKU portal.

There are two types of advisors: Enrollment Advisor and Academic Advisor.

  • The enrollment advisor helps the student to schedule classes, assures compliance with school and university regulations for scheduling, and gives enrollment permission. The enrollment advisor is the PhD program director for all students until they have formed a Qualifying Papers Committee.
  • The academic advisor provides advice, support, evaluative, and monitoring for the student. The academic advisor is responsible to notify the PhD program director whenever serious academic difficulty is identified for an advisee, so that appropriate supports and responses can be devised. The PhD program director serves as academic advisor to incoming students. The PhD program director also helps students to identify an ongoing academic advisor during their first year, based on matching common interests between the student and relevant faculty. A student may change academic advisor at any time by following the procedures described in the PhD Handbook.
  • Once a student has formed a Qualifying Papers Committee, the chair of that committee serves in the capacities of both enrollment and academic advisor.
  • Once a student has formed a Doctoral Dissertation Committee, the chair of that committee serves in the capacities of both enrollment and academic advisor.

The Field Education Office works closely with students and agencies to secure an enriching field practicum experience. Every effort is made to locate a field placement within a one hour drive from the student's home. Learn more about Field Education. 

Assessment of Student Learning

Council on Social Work Education Accreditation requires continuous evaluation

Annual evaluation of educational outcomes through the Council on Social Work Education accreditation process

on average 90% of students perform above average or excel in all competency areas

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

  1. The baccalaureate program educates students for generalist practice at the entry level. Students will be able to practice competently, under professional supervision, with a variety of client systems, and at all system levels.
  2. The baccalaureate program prepares students for advanced graduate work in social work, as well as for degree programs in other disciplines.

OBJECTIVE 1:  Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly

  • Advocate for client access to the services of social work.
  • Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development.
  • Attend to professional roles & boundaries.
  • Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication.
  • Engage in career-long learning.
  • Use supervision and consultation.

OBJECTIVE 2:  Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

  • Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice.
  • Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the NASW Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the IFSW/IASSW Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles.
  • Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts.
  • Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.

OBJECTIVE 3:  Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments

  • Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom.
  • Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.

OBJECTIVE 4:  Engage in diversity and difference in practice

  • Recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power.
  • Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups.
  • Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences.
  • View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.

OBJECTIVE 5:  Advance human rights and social and economic justice

  • Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
  • Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

OBJECTIVE 6:  Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research

  • Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.
  • Use research evidence to inform practice.

OBJECTIVE 7:  Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment

  • Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
  • Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.

OBJECTIVE 8:  Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services

  • Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.

OBJECTIVE 9:  Respond to contexts that shape practice

  • Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services.
  • Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.

OBJECTIVE 10a - ENGAGE:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

  • Substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Use empathy and other interpersonal skills. Develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes.

OBJECTIVE 10b - ASSESS:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

  • Collect, organize, and interpret client data.
  • Assess client strengths and limitations.
  • Develop mutually agreed-upon goal & objectives.
  • Select appropriate intervention strategies.

OBJECTIVE 10c - INTERVENTION:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

  • Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals.
  • Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities.
  • Help clients resolve problems.
  • Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients.
  • Facilitate transitions and endings.

OBJECTIVE 10d - EVALUATE:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

  • Critically analyze, monitor and evaluate interventions.
  • Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
  • Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

GOAL 1:  Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly

Foundation

  • Advocate for client access to the services of social work.
  • Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development.
  • Attend to professional roles & boundaries.
  • Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication.
  • Engage in career-long learning.
  • Use supervision and consultation.

Clinical

  • Maintain a social work identity within clinical settings.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop clinical relationships with clients that reflect an understanding of both self and other.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop respectful and productive relationships with other professional staff.
  • Demonstrate the ability to function within clearly-defined professional roles and boundaries based on client needs and agency context/services.
  • Identify specific areas where continued learning and supervision are needed in order to competently practice at the MSW level.
  • Prepare for supervision with a clear agenda that identifies specific clinical questions and concerns.

Macro

  • Prepare for and advocate for the needs of vulnerable populations.
  • Identify unique qualities in professional boundaries when partnering with clients in community practice settings.
  • Plan for engaging in lifelong learning to enhance knowledge and skills for work with organizations and communities.
  • Demonstrate the ability to receive and assess the impact of supervision and consultation.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide and assess the impact of supervision and consultation.

GOAL 2:  Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

Foundation

  • Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice.
  • Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the NASW Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the IFSW/IASSW Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles.
  • Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts.
  • Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.

Clinical

  • Apply ethical decision-making skills to issues specific to clinical social work settings and practice.
  • Employ strategies of ethical reasoning to address the impact of technology and other advancements in clinical practice on client rights.
  • Identify and use knowledge of relationship dynamics, including power differentials, to appropriately guide clinical interactions with clients.
  • Recognize and manage personal biases that may affect the clinical relationship and impact clients’ well-being.
  • Utilize appropriate consultation and supervision to process clinical situations involving ethical conflicts or decisions.

Macro

  • Demonstrate the ability to apply ethical standards and laws for professional social work practice in work with organizations and communities.
  • Recognize the ways in which complex systems can generate conflicting priorities and ambiguities that require professional value-based judgments.
  • Use strategies and models to resolve ethical conflicts in work with organizations and communities.

GOAL 3:  Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments

Foundation

  • Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom.
  • Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.

Clinical

  • Articulate professional clinical impressions which integrate research knowledge, experiential learning, and client self-report.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate clients' strengths and vulnerabilities while utilizing specific clinical practice models.
  • Critically evaluate, select, and utilize appropriate assessment, diagnostic, intervention, and practice evaluation tools.
  • Evaluate the applicability of relevant theoretical perspectives to clients' conditions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate informed clinical judgments, verbally and in writing, to other professionals.
  • Safeguards clients' dignity in all communications.

Macro

  • Engage diverse constituents in critical community and organizational analysis and problem-solving.
  • Use logic, critical thinking, and creativity in written and oral communication with organizations and communities.

GOAL 4:  Engage in diversity and difference in practice

Foundation

  • Recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power.
  • Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups.
  • Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences.
  • View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.

Clinical

  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze oppression within systems of service delivery and its impact on client well-being.
  • Demonstrates the ability to identify the intersection between one’s own privilege and power and the client’s culture and background within the context of the clinical relationship.
  • Identify and use practitioner/client differences to enhance the clinical relationship and work toward achieving client goals.

Macro

  • Perform community needs assessments which are inclusive of issues of class, culture, power and other differences.
  • Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values when engaging in organizing, advocacy, and administration with diverse groups.
  • Continue to learn about, recognize, understand, and communicate the environmental and social contexts that shape realities for different people and groups.
  • Utilize the strengths of differing life experiences to build inclusive communities and organizations Engage with and ensure participation of diverse and marginalized community and organizational constituents.

GOAL 5:  Advance human rights and social and economic justice

Foundation

  • Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
  • Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

Clinical

  • Integrate knowledge of the experience and effects of oppression, marginalization, discrimination, or historical trauma in treatment planning and interventions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the depth and breadth of social and economic injustice, and integrate into treatment plans advocacy efforts aimed at eliminating mental health, health, or income disparities.

Macro

  • Advocate for human and civil rights individually and collectively.
  • Engage in advocacy practices that advance social and economic justice in both communities and organizations.

GOAL 6:  Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research

Foundation

  • Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry.
  • Use research evidence to inform practice.

Clinical

  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the evidence-based practice process in clinical assessment and intervention with clients.
  • Effectively evaluate one’s own clinical practice and share results with other professionals.

Macro

  • Utilize community and organizational practice experiences to guide scientific inquiry.
  • Appraise and utilize research to develop and implement community and organizational interventions.
  • Advance research that is participatory and inclusive of community and organizational practice constituencies.

GOAL 7:  Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment

Foundation

  • Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
  • Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.

Clinical

  • Synthesize and differentially apply theories of human behavior and the social environment to guide clinical practice.
  • Use bio-psycho-social-spiritual theories and Diagnostic classification systems in formulation of comprehensive assessments.
  • Consult with medical professionals, as needed, to confirm diagnosis and/or to monitor medication in the treatment process.

Macro

  • Incorporate a broad understanding of theories of change in planning and developing interventions within communities.
  • Incorporate a broad understanding of theories of change in planning and developing interventions within organizations.

GOAL 8:  Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services

Foundation

  • Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.

Clinical

  • Understand the impact of policies on clinical service delivery and the lives of clients and communicate this knowledge to relevant stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assemble appropriate evidence in advocating for policies that improve clinical services and advance client well- being.
  • Engage in efforts to influence policies to promote improved clinical services and enhanced client well-being.
  • Able to assess the effectiveness of advocacy efforts.

Macro

  • Analyze policies by understanding the role of social, economic, and political forces on policy formulation, and the implications for less powerful and oppressed group.
  • Actively use policy practice skills to advance policies that improve the effectiveness of social services and the well-being of people, especially the most vulnerable.

GOAL 9:  Respond to contexts that shape practice

Foundation

  • Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services.
  • Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.

Clinical

  • Consider changing social conditions and emerging trends to keep clinical services relevant to the experiences and evolving social contexts of client populations.
  • Identify the social, cultural, political, economic, technological, environmental, and/or legal factors underpinning client problems.
  • Engage in collaborative practice with other social workers, service consumers, and community leaders to address problematic conditions.

Macro

  • Strategically plan organizational and community change and development in response to changing social, economic, and political conditions.
  • Provide leadership in organizations and communities for effective, ethical interventions that improve the well-being of individuals, families, organizations and communities.

GOAL 10a - ENGAGE:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Foundation

  • Substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Use empathy and other interpersonal skills. Develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes.

Clinical

  • Build professional clinical relationships with clients that establish clear boundaries and expectations.
  • Develop clinical relationships that are culturally appropriate and recognize interpersonal and contextual factors that affect the therapeutic relationship.
  • Establish a collaborative process with clients around treatment goals and therapeutic modalities which incorporates clients’ preferences.

Macro

  • Engage diverse community constituents and seek varied perspectives to prepare for community and organizational needs assessments.
  • Use leadership skills to engage staff members and to promote organizational diversity.
  • Use leadership skills to engage staff members in order to develop high levels of morale within organizations.

GOAL 10b - ASSESS:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Foundation

  • Collect, organize, and interpret client data.
  • Assess client strengths and limitations.
  • Develop mutually agreed-upon goal & objectives.
  • Select appropriate intervention strategies.

Clinical

  • Synthesize client data from a variety of sources utilizing bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment in order to form diagnostic impressions.
  • Elucidate clients’ presenting problems and assess their readiness for change.
  • Assess strengths and resources that are available to help address clients’ problems.
  • Use clinical assessments or diagnoses to help develop appropriate intervention strategies within the context of the agency’s services. or circumstances.

Macro

  • Assess and analyze client needs by integrating empirical and community data to inform the development of client-focused programs and services.
  • Assess and analyze community and organizational capacities, strengths, and needs to support the development of client-focused programs and services.

GOAL 10c - INTERVENTION:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Foundation

  • Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals.
  • Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities.
  • Help clients resolve problems.
  • Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients.
  • Facilitate transitions and endings.

Clinical

  • Select and implement clinical treatment plans and evidence-based strategies based on client preferences as well as appropriate theory and research.
  • Utilize clinical frameworks and treatment protocols indicated by assessment findings.
  • Collaborate with other professionals to coordinate additional treatment services.
  • Facilitate termination of clinical relationships with attention to clients’ emotional well being.
  • Facilitate termination of clinical relationships by assisting clients to develop plans to maintain goal achievements.

Macro

  • Intervene with communities and organizations through a variety of models, methods, strategies and tactics identified as appropriate to the context and need for change.
  • Develop a program budget that reflects diverse funding sources to meet client needs.
  • Develop comprehensive program and policy designs that reflect use of the best available research, client feedback, and practitioner wisdom.

GOAL 10d - EVALUATE:  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

Foundation

  • Critically analyze, monitor and evaluate interventions.

Clinical

  • Monitor clients’ progress towards identified treatment goals and evaluate intervention effectiveness.
  • Document clients’ progress in agency records as required.
  • Use established research methods to evaluate clinical and practice effectiveness and/or outcomes.

Macro

  • Evaluate key measurement indicators of program implementation and client outcomes to maintain and improve effective services.
  • Disseminate outcomes of interventions to help understand when and why interventions hinder or improve human wellbeing.
  • Prepare students to become leaders nationally and internationally in advancing social work practice and policy through research and scholarship.
  • Graduate from the program with the critical knowledge and skills they need to become innovators as researchers, scholars, and educators.

Additional Resources for a Successful Journey

Our coronavirus pages were developed in spring 2020 to assist with important updates and provide resources for remote learning and self care. Our program handbooks and current student resources pages provide guidance as you move through the program.

Additional Funding

The School of Social Welfare goes above and beyond the typical financial aid and scholarship support to help provide support for students with additional need.

Scholarships & Funding

The School has has several sources of financial assistance available for BSW, MSW and doctoral students who meet the various criteria including traditional scholarships, emergency funding, travel funding and scholars programs.
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