Hello everybody! Welcome to the USC Virtual Academic Center Webinar for Military Prospective Students! Thank you all for taking the time to join us today. The first thing to note is that your line is currently muted, and we ask that you please remain muted throughout the presentation. 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. I’m Janine Braun, Director of Admission for the USC School of Social Work and I’ll give you an overview about the Admissions process and the program. Next we’ll have Anthony M. Hassan, EdD, LCSW,Director, Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families (CIR) talking about CIR and the military sub-concentration and Nick Bryden, Senior Assistant Director at USC Financial Aid Office and Samantha Marquez from the Office of Academic Records and Registrar to discuss Veteran Education Benefits and Financial Aid.At the end of the presentation we will allow participants to ask questions in the chat box below. All of our presenters will be available to answer questions. 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…….
Now a little more about the Virtual Academic Center. “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 seethe 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 VirtualAcademic Center 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.” is an intricate part of the program.
The MSW curriculum is structured in two parts. First year is foundation year curriculum 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. 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.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 and later in the presentation you will hear much more about this. Currently we are the only School of Social Work that provides a focused specialization in this area. Field Education.As many of you know, field education is often considered the heart of any social work program. In the program you will be required to complete two field placements. Full-time students will complete their first field placement semesters 1 and 2 and their second field placement during semesters 3 and 4. Our 3 and 4 year students will complete their first field placement semesters 3 and 4 and their second field placement in semesters 5 and 6. MSW@USC is different from other online programs in the sense that we find the field placements for you in your area. If you choose to earn a sub-concentration in Military Social Work for example, you would complete 600 hours of field placement at a military hospital, Veteran Center, or on a military base school. Upon graduation, students will have completed a total of 1,050 hours in field placements gaining the skills and knowledge needed to become a successful social worker.
So considering the Virtual Academic Center offers students the best of both worlds the opportunity to earn their MSW virtually anywhere in the country, there is no need to relocate to Southern California. With multiple start dates a year, students can begin the program at their convenience. Students retiring from the military or transitioning off of Active Duty orders do not need to wait until the start of the traditional academic year to begin classes. The program is very compatible with the military lifestyle. The online program allows military spouses to start a program without worrying whether or not they will be able to complete their degree before relocating to the next duty station. The program allows students to build relationships with a diverse group of classmates from all over the country. Since the classes meet online, the MSW is great for students who have a service member deployed, allowing them to spend more time at home with children than away in a classroom. The MSW program also provides an opportunity for students to give back to their military communities. Many Military Social Workers are war veterans who have suffered from the same stresses of military life as their clients. Military Social Workers truly understand the mental health disorders ranging from PTSD, anxiety and depression facing military personnel because they have experienced it themselves and watched those close to them suffer. The MSW helps prepare veterans to turn their military experiences into a professional career and provide a full range of human services to our nation’s military and their families.
So what are the Admissions Requirements for the program?-Some of you may be jumping in the air after reading the first bullet point. 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.”
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.
Lincy Foundation Scholarship - Veterans who are ineligible for the Yellow Ribbon award may also qualify for this award. Eligibility for these scholarships will be determined by the information submitted on the military information form. Gary Sinise Scholarship- To be considered for this scholarship, please complete the application form and submit it along with the 2 page essay describing your service and the nature of your injury. The number of awards available and the amount of each award will vary depending on available funds.
Photo credits:U.S. Army Capt. Mark Topp holds his daughter May 14, 2010, upon his return to Hector International Airport in Fargo, N.D., after serving in Kosovo for a nearly yearlong NATO peacekeeping mission. (DoD photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H. Lipp, U.S. Air Force/Released)Photographer's Name: SMSgt. David H. LippLocation: FargoDate Shot: 5/14/2010Date Posted: 5/20/2010VIRIN: 100514-F-WA217-108http://www.defenseimagery.mil/imagery.html#guid=e18414d61fecce377f4410faab1da508330bfce4
CIR informs policymakers, trains providers, builds community networks and capacity, and drives applied research (giving emphasis to promising interventions that have broad applicability and scalability) toward improving the lives of community-dwelling veterans and their families.
Funding:CIRhas received approximately $20 million in current funding. Currently funded projects: Evaluating clinical impact and changes in therapist knowledge, skill, and sense of competence in treating military-impacted populations after completing Military Behavioral Health training coursesDeveloping and refining Virtual Reality technology (Virtual Patient) as well as Military Social Work training and education curricula in order to increase competency and capacity in behavioral healthcare for military-impacted populations (For a description of the Virtual Patient, see Section B: Strategy #2 – Innovation)Evaluating the impact of educating and training military social work students and behavioral health providers through the use of an evidence-based curriculum, in combination with specialized artificially intelligent human avatarsManaging and measuring a training partnership pilot program with the California Army National Guard, using a stigma-minimizing, problem-solving skills approach to support and enhance reintegration goals of servicemembers and their adult family membersIdentifying gaps in and barriers to behavioral healthcare for homeless veterans in Skid Row through focus groups with Skid Row area providers and homeless veteransTesting the effectiveness of interventions in regional school systems designed to help address military children’s needs by modifying the school climateDeveloping a Virtual Reality-based avatar guide aimed at reducing common barriers to care and connecting military-impacted populations with needed services
Clinical Skill Assessment CIR's Clinical Skill Assessment was developed to assess military-relevant clinical skills in a timely and cost-efficient way. Developed in part as an alternative to a live standardized patient, the CIR measure is informed by the work of leaders in social work clinical assessment, and as well as a standardized video measure that used to measure skill development among Dutch medical students. The CIR measure is computer administrated and asks clinicians to respond to 14 video clips of a veteran/therapist interaction. Responses are scored in the domains of rapport building, appropriate communication and cultural awareness, unique issues relevant to military context, legal and ethical issues relevant to military clients, and culturally-informed client assessment. A validation study of the measure is currently underway. Virtual PatientWorking closely with USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), CIR is developing a virtual human avatar—the Virtual Patient (VP)—for use in both online and on-ground “face-to-face” teaching environments in order to strengthen learning outcomes. The program’s first VP will be artificially intelligent and programmed to simulate a veteran who has been exposed to combat stress. Its purpose is to provide current and future therapists with the opportunity to advance their skills in treating servicemembers or veterans through practice with a realistic patient.Telehealth for Clinical Psychotherapy Services CIR is currently developing new telehealth and web-based technology tools to deliver clinical psychotherapy services to real clients, including veterans and their families.
MSW Military Sub-ConcentrationTheUSC School of Social Work strives to increase the capacity and competency of behavioral healthcare providers who treat veterans and their families by offering a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree with a specialization in Military Social Work. By 2014, the School hopes to graduate 200-300 MSW students with this specialization per year.CIR plays a critical role in supporting this program by providing it with curriculum and specialized content, new and innovative teaching technologies, and sophisticated evaluation and research strategies that seek to improve learning outcomes, increase provider effectiveness, and ensure capacity and quality of behavioral healthcare for military-impacted populations.Evaluate the Military Social Work specialization’s current courses and implement evidence-based improvements to their contentApply subject matter expertise to the School’s online course developmentEstablish a recurring Military Culture curriculum within the School’s Global Summer Immersion ProgramContinuing Education for ProvidersCIR has established a Continuing Education (CE) Program to expand the capacity of experienced behavioral healthcare providers who wish to strengthen their effectiveness in working with military-impacted populations. CIR’s CE Program is currently offered on-ground (in the classroom) and will be offered online through a web-based platform starting in December 2011.On-ground Program: CIR currentlyoffers on-ground CE courses throughout the year. These courses are offered at CIR facilities located in downtown Los Angeles, and are taught by USC-affiliated faculty and expert consultants from other organizations. Online Program: Developed in partnership with the NYTimes Knowledge Network. Incorporates high quality, multimedia, competency-based trainings in military culture and clinical practice that offer high levels of web-based interactivity and provide “how to” application-oriented content for improved efficacy and increased patient retention, satisfaction, and therapeutic alliance results. Will launch on December 5, 2011.
TheUSCSchool of Social Work and CIR have relationships with over 500 community care and healthcare organizations in Southern California, including 60 military-specific organizations ranging in size from large Veterans Administration hospitals to neighborhood-based support groups. CIR engages with the academic community, the military, elected officials, the Department of Defense, social service agencies, health care organizations, the Department of Veterans Affairs, specialized technology groups, professional associations, committed foundations, selected for-profit companies, local communities (and their leaders), the University, and many others. In different ways, each of these organizations contributes to CIR’s success. CIR currently maintains relationships with a number of organizations which help expand its impact and lead to program development assistance, technical expertise, operating venues, funding sources, and a wide range of research opportunities. CIR’s funders include the Department of Defense, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and the Lincy Foundation.Furthermore, CIR engages both the public and private sectors, with some of the country’s most successful outreach organizations–such as U.S. VETS and Veterans Centers–across the region. Approximately 100 social work interns from the MSW degree program will be entering their 600-hour internship in these military organizations in Fall 2011.
Join our mailing list to learn more about: New policy briefs Upcoming colloquia, lectures, events Information on the Continuing Education courses
Hello and thank you for joining us. My name is Samantha Marquez from the USC Veteran CertificationOffice to discuss financial aid for military students.
Nick Bryden, Senior Assistant Director at the USC Financial Aid Office. This presentation will cover the fundamentals of financial aid, the financial aid loan process and how it relates to your MSW program. We hope that you find it helpful and we look forward to working with you in the future.
To apply for Financial Aid it is a two step process:Step one: 2011-2012 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)This will allow us to package you for your summer/Fall and Spring /summer terms. Step two: Supplemental form.Should take less than 5 minutes. Asking your Graduation date and your enrollment plans?Are you full time or Part time?Please complete the FAFSA first with USC’s school code. IT will take several days after completing the FAFSA before you can sign in to “My Financial Aid & Documents” and complete the step 2. Also make sure that your USC admissions application has your social security number on it, as this is how we link your FAFSA and to your USC Financial Aid Application.
USC School of Social Work Founded in 1920 – the oldest School of Social Work on the West Coast Long history in clinical social work practice Consistently ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report Hamovitch Research Center – Over $22 million in sponsored research Culturally diverse student body Only social work school with Military Social Work focus Small class sizes Faculty and staff support “Trojan Family” - strong alumni base
Best of Both Worlds Interactive web based learning environment Virtual Academic Center Same quality education as the on-site program Hands-on traditional field education
MSW Program Overview Foundation Coursework Core theory and practice Concentrations Community Organization, Planning & Administration (COPA) Families and Children Mental Health Sub-Concentrations Military Social Work & Veterans Services Field Education 1,050 hours in community practice
Fits Military Lifestyle Complete entire degree at USC Live and work virtually anywhere Begin the program at your convenience Opportunity to give back military communities and turn your life experiences into a professional career
Admissions Requirements GRE not required. Completed bachelor’s degree with a preferred interdisciplinary liberal arts background. Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of approximately 3.0”(or last 60/90 units). Strong academic promise to perform successfully at the graduate level. Commitment to social work values. Experience in providing service to people is preferable, but not required. Emotional maturity and stability, with the capacity for self-awareness.
Application Process The following six components are required for an MSW application to be considered complete: Online Graduate Admission Application (including application fee) Supplemental Form: Social Work (complete on the online application) Resumé (upload to the online application) Statement of Purpose (upload to the online application) Recommendations (submitted online; two required, third optional) Official Transcript(s) Online Graduate Application: http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/applyonline/
Scholarships Lincy Foundation Scholarship is awarded to selected spouses, dependants or children of active duty service members, veterans and those who have fallen in military service. Gary Sinise Endowed Scholarship is made possible by the generosity of Gary Sinise and others and awarded each academic year to a selected active duty service member or veteran who has been wounded in the line of duty.
Save the Date DeadlinesStart Dates October 21, 2011 * November 28, 2011 November 22, 2011* January 9, 2012 *subject to change
Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families (CIR) Strengthening the transition of veterans and their families into the community
The Goal: Improving the lives of community-dwelling veterans and their families The Four Pillars of CIR: Research Innovation Education & Training Partnerships
Research: Educational and Behavioral Health Intervention
Influences evidence-based, translational applications of empirically-supported interventions
Current Projects Therapist knowledge, skill, and sense of competence Evidence-based training for military behavioral health Reintegration of deployed CA National Guard members Homeless veterans in Skid Row School based interventions for military children Virtual reality avatars as clinical training tools Gaming technology as family intervention
Innovation: Innovative Use of Current Technology and Development of New Technologies
Education & Training: Military Social Work Sub-Concentration SOWK 641 – Clinical Practice with Servicemembers and Veterans SOWK 640 – Clinical Practice with the Military Family SOWK 642 – Military Culture and the Workplace Environment SOWK 599 – Health Challenges for Wounded Warriors and their Caregivers Continuing Education for Providers On-ground at City Center Online Launch: December 5, 2011
Certification of Veteran Education Benefits at USC The USC Veteran Affairs Office will provide the V.A. with a certification of the vet’s enrollment status and applicable tuition and fees. Questions regarding other types of benefits/services/eligibility should be addressed directly to the V.A.
Outline Steps to Certification Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Financial Aid Useful Websites
Complete the USC Application for Semester Entitlement (ASE)
Provide a copy of your online application for benefits to the VA
Provide a copy of your certificate of eligibility from the VA to USC
Provide a copy of a valid photo identification to USC
USC sends certification of the vets eligibility and status to the VA
VA processes the certification (typically 4-6 weeks to complete)
VA tuition and fee payments come directly to USC (Chapter 33)
Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill
Tuition and fees are capped at $17,500 per academic year (if less than 100% certified, this amount will be reduced by the VA)
Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA); vets enrolled in distance learning will receive up to ½ the national average BAH ($673.50 for 2011 academic year)
An annual books and supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based upon level of enrollment
Yellow Ribbon Eligibility Must be Chapter 33, Post – 9/11 participant. Certification of 100% eligibility by VA. Active duty service members and their spouses are NOT eligible. Children of active duty members MAY be eligible.
Financial Aid Veterans may be eligible for financial aid independent of their VA benefits. Visit the USC Veteran Affairs website and select the link “Financial Aid and Veteran Benefits.” http://www.usc.edu/admission/fa/applying_receiving/rotc/
Financial Aid Application Steps 1) 2011-2012 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) www.fafsa.ed.gov Use 2010 income USC's Federal School Code: 001328 As soon as possible Supplemental Form for Graduate Students Available at www.usc.edu/financialaid Submit after step one Log in to your “My Financial Aid & Documents” (top right corner) and click on “Document Library” As soon as possible
$1,420 per unit (2011-12 AY) fall term If you are taking less than 15 units, calculate your individual tuition by multiplying the number of units you will take by the per-unit rate. Example: 6 x $1,420= $8,520 11 x $1,420= $15,620 The most current per-unit costs can be found online at www.usc.edu/soc. Tuition rates are updated each academic year. Please check with your academic department regarding any program fees.
Federal Direct Loan Program Federal Direct Stafford Loan Annual Maximum= $20,500 * For more information please visit www.usc.edu/financialaid and click on loans and Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan May be borrowed for: cost of attendance minus other aid received Has credit requirements For more information please visit www.usc.edu/financialaid and click on loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan. * If you are concurrently enrolled in or attending another institution during the 2011-12 academic year, your Stafford Loan eligibility will be less.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness 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 October 1, 2011) 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: