MSW@USC Webinar
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MSW@USC Webinar



Presentation about the MSW@USC program, the online MSW degree offered by the University of Southern California.

Presentation about the MSW@USC program, the online MSW degree offered by the University of Southern California.



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  • Hello everybody! Welcome to the USC Virtual Academic Center Webinar! Thank you all for taking the time to join us today. The first thing to note is that your line is currently muted, and your lines will remain muted throughout the course of the webinar presentation to ensure limiting any excessive background noise. Since there are a lot of participants in the room today, we are trying to avoid any background noise that will distract the presenters. You will have the opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A portion at the end of the presentation. Ok, we have a lot to cover with you all today. First, we have Presenter A talking about X, Presenter B talking about Y, etc., and finally at the end of the presentation we will allow participants to ask questions in the chat box below. Please keep in mind that there are a lot of participants today, and we will not be able to get to all of your questions. If we do not get to your question, we recommend that you reach out to your individual Admissions Counselor. We will also be sending out a survey later this week to get your feedback on the presentation. Please look out for that, and we appreciate any input that you can provide. Ok, let’s get started…….
  • So a little about USC and the School of Social Work….For those of you who are not familiar with the University of Southern California, USC is a tier 1 university located in Los Angeles, California. Specifically, the School of Social Work at USC is the oldest School of Social Work on the west coast and was founded in 1920.-As you will see in the second bullet point, USC has a long history in clinical social work practice. For this reason, our students will leave the program with strong clinical skills, with mental health as a very popular concentration with our students.-USC’s MSW Program is accredited by the CSWE, which stands for the “Council on Social Work Education.” This is a very important accreditation as you are looking into different MSW programs. For those of you who are looking to continue to obtain your LCSW, having an MSW from an accredited university is one of the basic requirements. Currently there are 208 programs in the nation that are accredited by the CSWE. As you’ll see here in the 3rd bullet point, USC’s program is currently the #11 program in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. USC takes very strong pride in its diversity. Especially in the Virtual Academic Center program, you will find students from all cultural backgrounds, ages, work and educational experience, and geographic locations.-One thing that makes USC unique is that we are currently the only School of Social Work that provides a specific sub-concentration in military social work. We will discuss this in a bit more detail in one of the following slides.-Small class sizes. The average class size in the Virtual Academic Center is 12 students in order to maintain the highest quality of education and appropriate interaction between you, your professors, and your classmates.-Faculty and staff support- This is something that really makes the MSW@USC stand out over some of the other online programs that you may be familiar with. In the Virtual Academic Center, it is very important to us that we provide a high level of service that you would expect on campus. After a student has been admitted and enrolled in the program, he/she will be assigned to a Student Support Advisor who will serve as a main point of contact with you throughout the program. Your Student Support Advisor will assist you with class registration, technical support, and any academic concerns that you may have during your time at USC.- For those of you who live in CA or may be a USC alum yourself, know that USC is a very proud school. One of the advantages of attending USC is its very strong alumni base. One of the assets of the Virtual Academic Center is being able to expand the Trojan alumni family across the country.
  • As of September we’ll have more than 2,000 enrolled students in the US. Our highest enrollment states are CA, Washington, Fl and Texas.We hope you join them. We even have 14 students in Alaska and 17 students in Hawaii.
  • Now a little more about the platform and the curriculum. “Best of Both Worlds”- The Virtual Academic Center is unique in the sense that it is a good mix between an on-campus and online program. While you do not have to go to a physical campus, you will be attending live synchronous classes where you will receive the same level of interaction with professors and classmates as you would with an on-campus program. The setup of today’s presentation is a bit different than what you would see in the classroom. In the virtual classroom, you will see the professor’s image on top of the screen and then see yourself and your other classmates below. “Same quality education as the on-site program.” The curriculum structure, courses, and placement requirements for the VAC is based off of the on-campus program in LA. As a Virtual Academic Center student, you are considered a full USC student and are invited to attend the graduation in LA with the on-campus students.“Hands-on traditional field education.” We will actually be covering this in a few slides
  • The Virtual Academic Center provides an interactive and intimate environment to maximize learning, as well as communication among faculty and students. The Virtual Academic Center is where you will: Participate in live, interactive classes on a weekly basis Access self-paced coursework produced by faculty who work with world-class instructional designersAttend face-to-face office hours with faculty in a live, online formatJoin an interactive online community that uses familiar social networking, groups and organizational toolsReceive valuable feedback on your field education internship from faculty and peers Create an online portfolio to share with prospective employers And you’ll be able to do it all from anywhere with Internet access -- including your computer, iPhone, iPad or Android device!  
  • Now let’s take a peek inside the Virtual Academic Center. On the left, you will have access to your courses and calendar. In the center is a news and events feed. Similar to social networking sites, this is where you can send and receive updates from professors, students and community groups.
  • In most online programs, students rarely engage with live professors and other students. Our weekly, live sessions are just the opposite. We create an intimate setting with a small group of students, the professor – all facing each other – and encourage interaction. Faculty also offer office hours for one on one interaction and are committed to supporting students.When you register for courses, you select class times that meet your schedule needs. When you join the class, you meet with USC professors who are delivering the same curriculum as the on- campus program. You can join from your house, classroom, library or anywhere in the world – as long as you have a broadband connection, webcam, and phone.  
  • All MSW@USC self-paced coursework is exceptionally produced with the student in mind. Many online programs simply video tape a professor speaking and post it online. USC faculty and world-class instructional designers thoughtfully produce courses using multimedia to ensure maximum learning and interaction. This is an example of an animated lecture piece by Professor Ester Gillies. Professor Gilliesteaches policy and practice classes in both the foundation year and in the Families and Children concentration. (SOWK 534 1.2)
  •  Now, let’s talk about different types of content. One of the distinctive features of the MSW@USC is the high-quality course content provided through engaging videos that brings to life social work theory. Our professionally produced case studies can help you visually experience a “client’s” full range of emotions, for instance, making learning more tangible and accessible.This is a view of our evidence-based practice course, Motivational Interviewing, featuring Professor Betsy Phillips and Professor John Brekke. You will complete this coursework before the start of your field internship. USC is the first school of social work to require completing this type of course before meeting with clients. You’ll also discuss this content in your live classroom sessions with your classmates and professor. You can view course clips on our website at under the Academic > Curriculum > Course Content
  • The dynamic features you just saw in the learning platform demo are also available through the MSW@USC mobile app! The application is free for iPhones and iPads through iTunes and for Android users is the Android Marketplace. The app allows you to view course materials, grades…everything on the go. You can download videos, view asynchronous materials and even receive alerts about upcoming live sessions and assignments. Another helpful feature is the note tool. Here, you can write reminders about an upcoming assignment or something you want to discuss in your next class. The next time you log in to the Virtual Academic Center from your browser, your notes will transfer seamlessly.With the mobile app, it is always convenient to network with your peers and professors, and access the communities and class materials of the MSW@USC.
  • A little about the MSW Curriculum….So no matter which program you choose, all students will begin taking the MSW Foundation Courses. The objective of the foundation courses is for students to have a broad understanding of the field of social work. In these courses you will learn social work theory, different research methods, and learn about all of the diverse populations that social workers are exposed to.Once you complete the foundation courses you will then take your concentration courses. As shown on this slide, you will have four choices for your concentration:The first one is Families and Children- These social workers provide support for children and help families resolve social, emotional and educational problems. This is especially popular for people who want to work in child welfare agencies. Our second concentration is Mental Health, which is normally our most popular concentration considering we do have a very clinical program. Students who study mental health may want to work with those with various mental health disorders, open up their own practice, or work with those that have a drug and alcohol abuse history.Our third concentration is Health, be available this January 2012, is for students interested in helping clients navigate an increasingly complex health care system, the stresses of illness and disease and adapting strategies for maintaining health and wellness.The final one is COPA…COPA stands for Community Organization, Planning and Administration (COPA)- This is really for people who want to work on a macro-level or people who want to effect change on a large scale.
  • In addition, we have a sub-concentration in Military Social Work and Veterans Services which can be done in conjunction with any of ourconcentrations. So for example, you can choose mental health with a military sub-concentration and work in a VA hospital treating patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. As mentioned in the beginning of the presentation, the military sub-concentration is unique to USC. Currently we are the only School of Social Work that provides a focused specialization in this area.
  • After your studies are complete, you will have lots of job opportunities and the school has resources to prepare for your job search by offering workshops and courses on resume writing, job search strategies and interviewing skills.Despite the current economic situation, career prospects in social work are still excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 6.9 million new jobs will be available in social services by 2018. One of the highest need areas is going to be the addressing increasing needs of veterans and their families.
  • Just like on-campus, Virtual Academic Center students have 3 choices as to how they can complete the program. Students can choose to attend the program full time for 4 semesters, a part-time program in 6 semesters, or 8 semesters. Also outlined here is the number of units you can expect to take in your first semester. For the Part-Time Program in 6 semesters the number of hours moving forward is greater than in the 8 semester part-time program. Generally our students who attend the full-time program do not work due to the rigorous workload and the start of field placement 20 hours per week in the first semester. Don’t forget we offer the advanced standing program for exceptional students who meet the criteria and have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better. If you qualify you could earn your MSW degree in 3 semesters if you go full-time, taking 35 units. It is very important to speak with your admissions counselor about this to help determine what the right track is going to be for you.
  •  MSW@USC is different from other online programs in that students are not responsible for finding their placement site.  We have a national field development team to establish relationships with agencies across the country and in your geographic area.  The field placements that you will complete in the program are aligned with the USC curriculum: The goal of the Foundation year is to build professional competencies and for students to develop a broad understanding of the field of social work.  Students are placed in an agency setting and with a population that they have not worked with previously to broaden their professional experience.  When students leave our program, they have the ability to work with a variety of populations and in agencies of varying focus.     In the Concentration Year, students are more actively involved in their placement process and can specify agency types and populations that they would like to work with that are appropriate for their Concentration. To assist the student in deciding which agency to select for their Concentration year placement, more than one interview may be completed.    In both years, though not required, students are encouraged to recommend agencies in their community.  We cannot guarantee that all sites will meet USC and CSWE criteria or will have a placement slot available when you are scheduled to enter field.  Current placement sites include community based agencies, VA organizations, health and hospital settings, mental health/behavioral health facilities, substance abuse, child and family services, adoption and foster care, schools, prisons and corrections, hospice and adult day agencies to name a few.
  • All students applying for the MSW@USC are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Only those students officially admitted to the program can receive financial aid; however, applying early will help ensure that you receive an award if you are accepted. Starting this process today will make enrolling in the program much easier. For more information about the federal loan process, contact USC financial aid office.Apply 8 weeks before classes start or as soon as possibleReport correct enrollment info (Are you taking: 4–7 units per term, 8–14 or 15+ per semester?). Remember that each term is different. Pay close attention to semesters that are on the border of 14 and 15 units.
  • If you are taking less than 15 units, calculate your individual tuition by multiplying thenumber of units you will take each semester by the per-unit rate. Example: 6 units x $1,473= $8,838 per semester 11 units x $1,473= $16,203 per semesterThe most current per-unit costs can be found online Tuition ratesare updated each academic year. Please check with your academic department regardingany program fees. Reflected here are 2012-2013 academic year rates.Some students start off as part time and then go to full time. When the see the tuition go up they will need more than the unsublaon. It is important to still see if you are eligible for Grad PLUS now so later on you can already know if you can borrow the Grad PLUS or not.
  • If you are concurrently enrolled in or attending another institution during the 2012–13 academic year, your loan eligibility will be less for the unsubsidized loan. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program was established to encourage individuals to enter and continue in full-time public service employment by forgiving the remaining balance of their Federal Direct Loan Program loans after the borrower has made 120 qualifying monthly payments (beginning anytime after Oct. 1, 2007) while employed full time by a public service organization. The 120 required payments must be made under on or more of the following Direct Loan Program repayment plans:Income Based Repayment (IBR) PlanIncome Contingent Repayment PlanStandard Repayment Plan
  • Graduate academic progress is monitored annually at the end of either your spring or summer semester. Failure to meet these requirements will cause a student to be ineligible for financial aid. For a student to reestablish their aid they must complete a SAP appeal. If a student attends at least 60% of the Payment Period or Period of Enrollment then they have earned 100% of their Title IV aid.
  • Any questions about federal loan need to be addressed through the USC Financial Aid Office. For scholarships, you can call the Admissions Office at the USC School of Social
  • There are a variety of scholarships options you can contact the USC School of Social Work admissions office for more details.
  • Any questions about federal loan need to be addressed through the USC Financial Aid Office. For scholarships, you can call the Admissions Office at the USC School of Social Work
  • Benefits of being a Trojan. After graduation, every Trojan joins an invaluable worldwide support network of nearlyThe Trojan Family is 230,000 living alumni. With alumni groups on five continents, Trojans roam, but they are never alone Hailed as one of the strongest networks in the nation, consisting of devoted alumni who maintain a close association with the university, mentoring students and opening career doors for fellow graduates. Also, you will have opportunity to join the USC Social Work Alumni Association to stay connected to the school, your profession and fellow classmates, too!The Virtual Academic Center expands the Trojan alumni family across the country.
  • So what are the Admissions Requirements for the program?-Some of you may be jumping in the air after reading the first bulletpoint. So no, the GRE is not required for admission! Because Social Work is a unique field, and we are looking for students who are passionate and able to display emotional maturity and stability in difficult circumstances, we did not feel that the GRE properly measures those items.-You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with at least 18 credits of liberal arts. This could include English, Math, and Science courses. If you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution , you most likely would have taken these courses to fulfill your general education courses to graduate.-Ideally we are looking for students who have a minimum GPA of 3.0. However, we do understand that there are certain circumstances that may have led students to have a slightly lower GPA. We will be able to review students who have a GPA of 2.5-3.0 who have a strong profile in other parts of their application. You will also have the opportunity about your undergraduate experience in your Statement of Purpose which we will cover in the next slide.-”Strong academic promise to perform successfully at the graduate level.” USC’s program is a very rigorous one and we are looking for ambitious students who will be able to handle the rigorous and challenging curriculum that USC provides.“Commitment to social work values”“Experience in providing service to people is preferable, but not required.” For those of you who are not currently in the social work field or may be right out of college, we suggest that you add any volunteer work that you may have participated in on your resume.- “Emotional maturity and stability, with the capacity for self-awareness.”--Up to 12 hours of coursework completed within seven years at the time of application and from another Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited school of social work can to be considered for transfer credit. The courses must be equivalent to USC’s curriculum and passed with a 3.0 grade or better. For more details, go to the Apply Now section to review the Transfer Credit Request Form.
  • --Up to 12 hours of coursework completed within seven years prior to the time of application from another Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited school of social work can be considered for transfer into our program. The courses must be equivalent to USC’s curriculum and passed with a 3.0 grade or better. Students must provide the required documentation for review by the Vice Dean. Once this review is complete, the student will be notified of the Vice Dean’s decision. For more details, go to the Apply Now section to review the Transfer Credit Request Form and contact your Admissions Counselor.
  • --Those who have earned a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program within the last 5 years will be excited to hear we’re launching an Advanced Standing option. In order to apply for Advanced Standing, students must have graduated with their BSW no more than 5 years ago. They must have earned a 3.25 or higher overall gpa and a 3.5 or higher gpa in their social work coursework. Applicants will be required to submit two letters of recommendation from social work reference specifically one from a BSW professor, the other from field placement supervisor. Students must pass the bridge courses prior to starting their concentration year. The Advanced Standing MSW program is a 3 semester (full-time) or 5 semester (part-time), 35-credit unit version of the normally 60-credit unit MSW program. Students who meet this criteria and wish to discuss the Advanced Standing option and application process can contact their Admissions Counselor or call the admissions hotline and ask to be directed to Lauren Woodfork. She is the main admissions contact for Advanced Standing students.
  • So what does the application process look like? If you know that you will be applying to USC’s MSW program, we recommend that you reach out to your Admissions Counselor at your earliest convenience. In fact, it is a requirement for all prospective students to speak with an admissions counselor before moving forward with the application process, as we want to take the time to learn more about you and your goals, and to make sure that you understand all aspects of the program and application process.“The following six components are required for an MSW application to be considered complete:”-Online Graduate Admission Application – Your Admissions Counselor will take 15-20 minutes to go online with you and walk you through the application to make sure that you understand all parts of the application that are necessary to complete. You and your AC will also set submit and complete goals together and figure out the best way to work together throughout the application process.-Official Transcripts- We need transcripts from any and all institutions attended after high school, even if you attended a community college for one class during a summer. We recommend that you order your transcripts as soon as possible as it sometimes takes a while for schools to process and send transcripts. Unfortunately, this can serve as a roadblock for some students. There are instances where a prospective student will submit their application but will not be reviewed for the appropriate cohort because their transcripts were not received on time.-Resume- Here we ask students to highlight their academic, professional, and volunteer experience that they have.2-3 letters of recommendation from an academic or professional reference. This should come from a professor, work supervisor, or community leader/volunteer coordinator. The recommenders that you choose should be able to speak to your work academically or professionally, and be able to articulate your goals and the reason why you would be a good fit for a graduate program.- Statement of Purpose- This is a very important part of the application, if not the most important part of the application. This is your essay telling us a little bit about yourself, what has led you to start a career in social work, and what you plan on doing with the MSW once you have it. Your Admissions Counselor will send you a list of suggested questions that you can use to brainstorm ideas. Because this is such an important part of the application that also serves as a writing sample for students, we do suggest that students take this part of the application very seriously and to make appropriate edits before submitting the application.
  • Save the Date: One of the advantages of the Virtual Academic Center is that we have several start dates throughout the year. As you can see on this page, we are currently taking applications for May 9, 2013. The deadline for the May 9 start is April 3. For advanced standing applicants start date is June 3 with application deadline April 26. We encourage students to not wait until the deadline to submit the application. Again, it is a requirement for all students to speak with an admissions counselor before starting the application process. If you interested in applying for the May 9 start or advanced standing start on June 3, we recommend that you reach out to your admissions counselor as soon as possible.

MSW@USC Webinar MSW@USC Webinar Presentation Transcript

  • MSW OverviewPRESENTATION TITLEPresentation SubtitleEarn yourMSW online.
  • MSW OverviewUSC School of Social WorkRanked no. 11 amongsocial work programs byU.S. News & World Report
  • MSW OverviewMSW@USC Students Represent Our NationStudents enrolled as of January 2013
  • MSW OverviewVirtual Academic Center Best of both worlds Interactive web-based learning environment Same quality education as the on-site program Hands-on traditional field education
  • MSW OverviewThe Virtual Academic Center
  • MSW OverviewFamiliar Social Networking Tools
  • MSW OverviewFace-to-Face Classes
  • MSW OverviewSpectrum of Social Work Practice featuring Professor Esther GilliesPolicy and Practice in Social Service Organizations
  • MSW OverviewEvidence-based practice course featuring Professor Betsy Phillipsand Professor John S. BrekkeMotivational Interviewing
  • MSW OverviewMSW@USC Mobile App Receive instant alerts forupcoming live sessionsand assignments View self-paced coursecontent Communicate withclassmates andprofessors
  • MSW OverviewAdvanced StandingConcentrations Community Organization, Planning &Administration (COPA) Families and Children Health Mental Health Social Work and Business in a GlobalSocietyConcentrationsSub-Concentration Military Social Work &Veterans Services
  • MSW OverviewMilitary Social WorkFirst program of its kind at aresearch university.Sub-concentration features: Clinical training inpreparation for practicewith service members,military families and veterans Training in the treatmentof combat-relatedPTSD and veteranreadjustment issues.
  • MSW OverviewCareer Opportunities in Social WorkMore than 6.9 million new jobs in social services by 2018* Health care Schools Private clinical practice Child welfare Veterans’ programs Community-based nonprofitorganizations Government offices Juvenile and corrections facilities Human resource programs Private sector companies* Bureau of Labor StatisticsBenefit from the Professional Development Course and workshopson resume writing and job search strategies
  • MSW OverviewEarning Your MSWThe MSW@USC program requires the completion of 60 units,or 35 units for the advanced standing program.Full TimePart TimePart TimeAdvanced StandingSemesters Time FrameLess than 2 years46 2 years/ 2 monthsLess than 3 yearsIn a year83Advanced StandingPart TimeLess than 2 years5
  • MSW OverviewField EducationUSC Finds Placements in Your CommunityFoundation Year Goals• Build core competencies• Work diverse populationsConcentration Year Goals• Focus on area of study• Student interviews/selects option(s)• Agency recommendations welcomed
  • MSW OverviewField EducationFoundation Year 16 -20 hrs/wk 450 hrsConcentration Year 20 hrs/week 550 hrsTotal = 1,000 hours50 percent of time dedicated to direct practice
  • MSW OverviewHow to Apply for Financial Aid1) 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)Available at• 2013-14 FAFSA available after January 1, 2013• Use 2012 income or estimated income• USCs Federal School Code: 0013282) Enrollment and Housing Form for Graduate StudentsAvailable at• Submit after step one• Log in to your “My Financial Aid & Documents” (top right corner)and click on “Document Library”
  • MSW OverviewUSC TuitionUnits Per Semester Cost per Unit Total Cost Per Semester15 – 18 N/A $22,8011 – 14 $1,536 Up to $21,504Estimated cost per year is $44,305.The most current per-unit costs can be found online at
  • MSW OverviewFederal Direct Loan Program and Loan ForgivenessLoans AmountsDirect Unsubsidized Stafford Loan $20,500 annual maxGraduate PLUS Loan (credit based) May borrow up to the cost ofattendance minus other aidreceivedFor more information, visit and click onloans and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and/or Federal DirectGraduate PLUS loanPublic Service Loan Forgiveness:• To learn more go to
  • MSW OverviewSatisfactory Academic Progress
  • MSW OverviewScholarships School of Social Work Scholarships Dean’s Leadership Scholarship Virtual Academic Center Scholarship City Year Scholarships USC Scholarships Outside
  • MSW Overview Full-time students are eligible for both need- andmerit-based scholarships. Award amounts vary. Full-time students will also be considered for theSchool of Social Work Endowed Scholarships. Endowed scholarships are awarded based on a variety of criteria(both need and merit) as outlined by the donors whosegenerosity makes these awards possible.Scholarships
  • MSW OverviewJoin the Trojan FamilyJoin an alumni family that is lifelongand worldwide! Nearly 230,000 alumni on five continents The USC Social Work Alumni Association
  • MSW Overview No GRE required Completed bachelor’s degree with a preferred interdisciplinaryliberal arts background Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of approximately 3.0 Strong academic promise to perform successfully at thegraduate level Sensitivity and responsiveness in relationships, capacity for self-awareness, concern for the needs of others, ability for abstractreasoning, conceptual thinking and strong communication skills.Admission Requirements
  • MSW OverviewTransfer Credit Policy Up to 12 credit hours can be considered Credits must be earned from an accredited MSW program Must have earned a 3.0 or better to be considered
  • MSW OverviewAdvanced Standing Program 3.25 cumulative GPA 3.5 GPA in social work coursework BSW from an accredited school in the last five years Two letters of recommendation from field instructor and professor Passing grades for six-unit bridge courses prior to concentrationyear Two tracks: three- or five-semester program; 35 units total
  • MSW Overview Online Graduate Admission Application Supplemental Form: Social Work Résumé Statement of Purpose Two Letters of Recommendations (third optional) Official Transcript(s)Online Graduate Requirements
  • MSW OverviewImportant DatesVirtual Academic CenterClass Start Application DeadlineAugust 7, 2013 June 25, 2013Advanced Standing - September 3July 1, 2013Transfer Application for September 3 July 1, 2013September 3, 2013 July 22, 2013
  • MSW OverviewGet Started TodayVirtual Academic CenterPhone: 1.877.700.4MSW (4679)Email: sswvac@usc.eduWebsite: msw.usc.eduUniversity of Southern California School of Social Work