Advanced Standing Webinar


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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 limit any excessive background noise. 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 about our advanced standing program. 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.-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. 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.KC– MSW@USC students are required to completed a Motivational Interviewing course prior to the start of their foundation placement. Student feedback suggests that this course has given interns an opportunity to best opportunity to understand how EBP techniques can promote their field practice. -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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • 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.
  • 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. Here’s a view of Professor Sanger’s lectures – Leadership in Social Work Practice – which is available to you anytime
  • 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 practice concepts or a “client’s” full range of emotions ormaking learning more tangible and accessible.This is a view of Esther Gillies, clinical associate professor, introducing the breadth and scope of social work and identifies the connections between micro and macro social work practice. This course clip is featured on our website at in the curriculum section. Take a look! You’ll also discuss this content in your live classroom sessions with your classmates and professor.
  • 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.
  • 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 (ie. BSW professor or field instructor). 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. Its required references 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. Those who recommend you should attest to your ability to work at an advanced level- 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. Statement of purpose should reflect your personal and professional maturity.
  • Just like on-campus, Virtual Academic Center students enrolled in the advanced standing program will have 2choices as to how they can complete the degree. Students can choose to attend the program full time for 3 semesters (less than one year), or 5 semesters (2 years). Also outlined here you can expect to take 6 units in your first semester,which are the bridge courses, that must be passed with a grade of B or better before continuing on in the program. Of additional note, a full-time student’s second semester is 16 units and a part-time student second semester is 10 units. 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. 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.
  • Jane Allgoodyour first semester you will be taking bridge courses that you must pass with a grade of B or better to move forward in the advanced standing program. If you do not pass these courses you will be eligible to earn your MSW degree through our traditional track.
  • Jane AllgoodHere is a overview about the types of curriculum covered in the bridge coursework. You’ll find this content is very thorough and delves into many timely and pressing topics that are a very important part of your social work education. Assessment in Social Work PracticeA review of all aspect of writing a bio-psychosocial assessment including arrangement of the sections, information to be gathered, engagement with client and other informants, and clinical impressions.A video vignette is used throughout the process so everyone is assessing the same client. Neurophysiology in Social WorkIntroduction and exploration of the mind-brain-body connection with emphasis on how events in the developmental years impact brain structure and how, as adults, people can take advantage of neuroplasticity to make healthy changes in the brain.Uses cutting edge research as the foundation. The Role of Evidence Based Practice in Social WorkAn in depth exploration of the components of a research paper and study proposal.Emphasis on writing research questions, performing literature reviews, and synthesis of the information.Review of the elements of critical thinking.The role of EBP in life-long learning.Introduction to motivational interviewing.
  • Jane AllgoodOnce you complete and pass your bridge courses with a B grade or better you will then take your concentration year courses. As shown on this slide, you will have four choices for your concentration; Families and Children; Mental Health; Health; and COPA and one sub-concentration in military social work which can be done in conjunction with any of ourconcentrations. Currently we are the only School of Social Work that provides a focused specialization in this area. (below are descriptions you can choose to review or not)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 helpingclients 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.
  • Field education is often considered the heart of any social work program and allows students to immediately apply what they learn in the classroom into live practice in your assigned field placement.   Over the course of your advanced standing program, you will be required to complete one internship. Thisinternship is the assigned community based agency where students complete their required field placement.   Full-time advanced standing students (less than one year) complete their field placement right after their bridges courses and during semesters 2 and 3.  The PT advanced standing students (2year), complete their concentration field placement in semesters 4and 5.  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: Advanced standing students jump right into their area of interest 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.    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 Work
  • 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
  • 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 January 8, 2013. The deadline for the January 8th start is November 13th, however, 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 January 8th start, we recommend that you reach out to your admissions counselor as soon as possible.
  • 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.
  • Advanced Standing Webinar

    1. 1. Advanced StandingPRESENTATION TITLEPresentation SubtitleEarn your MSWonline throughadvanced standing.
    2. 2. Advanced StandingRanked no. 11 amongsocial work programs byU.S. News & World ReportUSC School of Social Work
    3. 3. Advanced StandingVirtual Academic Center Best of both worlds Interactive web-based learning environment Same quality education as the on-site program Hands-on traditional field education
    4. 4. Advanced StandingMSW@USC Students Represent Our NationStudents enrolled as of January 2013
    6. 6. Advanced StandingFace-to-Face Classes
    7. 7. Advanced StandingThe Virtual Academic Center
    8. 8. Advanced StandingFamiliar Social Networking Tools
    9. 9. Advanced StandingOnline Coursework
    10. 10. Advanced StandingSpectrum of Social Work Practice featuring Professor Esther GilliesPolicy and Practice in Social Service Organizations
    11. 11. Advanced Standing Receive instant alerts forupcoming live sessionsand assignments View self-paced coursecontent Communicate withclassmates andprofessorsMSW@USC Mobile App
    12. 12. Advanced StandingADMISSIONS
    13. 13. Advanced StandingAdmissions Requirements 3.25 cumulative GPA 3.5 GPA in social workcoursework BSW from an accreditedschool in the last five years Two letters ofrecommendation from fieldinstructor and professor Passing grades for six-unitbridge courses prior toconcentration year
    14. 14. Advanced Standing Online Graduate Admission Application Supplemental Form: Social Work Résumé Statement of Purpose Two Letters of Recommendations (third optional) Official Transcript(s)Online Graduate Requirements
    15. 15. Advanced StandingCURRICULUM
    16. 16. Advanced StandingEarning Your MSWThe MSW@USC advanced standing program requires thecompletion of 35 units.Advanced StandingFull TimeSemesters Program Length12 months3Advanced StandingPart Time1 year and 9 months5
    17. 17. Advanced StandingBridge Courses• Complete three, two-creditcourses.• Must earn a B or better to beadmitted.• If courses are not completedwith a B or better, you maystill enroll in the traditionalMSW program.
    18. 18. Advanced StandingBridge CoursesAssessment in Social Work Practice• Reviews writing a bio-psychosocial assessment.Neuropsychological Development• Introduction of the mind-body connection.The Role of Evidence-Based Practice in Social Work• How to compile a research paper and study proposal.
    19. 19. Advanced StandingConcentrations Community Organization,Planning & Administration (COPA) Families and Children Health Mental Health Social Work and Business in aGlobal SocietyConcentrationsSub-Concentration Military Social Work &Veterans Services
    20. 20. Advanced StandingConcentration Year 20 hrs/week 550 hrs50 percent of time dedicated to direct practice.Field Education
    21. 21. Advanced StandingField EducationUSC Finds Placements in Your CommunityConcentration Year Goals• Focus on area of study• Student interviews/selects option(s)• Agency recommendations welcomed
    22. 22. Advanced StandingFINANCIAL AID
    23. 23. Advanced StandingHow to Apply for Financial AidMay 2013 Cohort1) 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”
    24. 24. Advanced StandingUSC 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 $50,448- $53,760The most current per-unit costs can be found online at
    25. 25. Advanced StandingFederal 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
    26. 26. Advanced StandingSatisfactory Academic Progress• Meet a minimum grade point average• Earn a minimum number of units per semester• Complete the degree objective within a maximum number ofsemesters and maximum number of attempted unitsReturn of Title IV Aid:If a student ceases enrollment prior to the planned completion date aportion of Title IV aid may be returned.
    28. 28. Advanced StandingScholarships School of Social Work Scholarships Dean’s Leadership Scholarship Virtual Academic Center Scholarship City Year Scholarships USC Scholarships Outside
    29. 29. Advanced Standing 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
    30. 30. Advanced StandingSCHOLARSHIPQUESTIONS?Contact
    31. 31. Advanced StandingImportant DatesClass Start Date Application DeadlineSeptember 3, 2013 July 1, 2013Virtual Academic Center
    32. 32. Advanced StandingCareer 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
    33. 33. Advanced StandingGet Started TodayVirtual Academic CenterPhone: 1.855.821.4USC (4872)Email: sswvac@usc.eduWebsite: msw.usc.eduUniversity of Southern California School of Social Work
    34. 34. Advanced StandingQUESTIONS &ANSWERS