Transitioning from Classroom to Practice

Spring Quarter of your concentration year brings some interesting challenges, what will I do after graduation?!?! However, for some students like myself, you will get hired by your internship placement before graduation. That challenge: How do you balance trying to finish your coursework while making great first impressions and learning your new job? I tried to strategically plan this by taking extra courses in previous courses so that I can be one course lighter this quarter. Also, I am able to role my field hours into my work hours so I don’t need to be working 64 hours a week! Let me tell you that I do feel very overwhelmed by this idea, but I feel confident in my ability to time manage and that my supervisor understands that I do need to be in class 6 hours a week and we schedule my hours around that. It will be a rough 8 weeks, but the peace of mind of be employed is worth dealing with a little bit more than I would like on my plate.

With transitioning from the classroom to practicing in the field I am eager to utilize all that I have learned in the classroom and through field experiences. I am also ready to learn how I can best effect clients and families.


Track / Certificate / Program Information Sessions 2011 part 2 (VIDEO)

The following track / certificate / program information sessions are intended for students as they plan their concentration for the academic year 2011-2012.  Requirements and specific offerings change from year to year, so always check your student handbook for accurate information.
Continue reading “Track / Certificate / Program Information Sessions 2011 part 2 (VIDEO)”

Child Welfare Stipend

For those who are interested in Child Welfare there is a stipend opportunity to help pay for your education. There is an application and interview process that varies depending on your experience in child welfare as well as if you are a 1st, 2nd, or advanced standing student.The stipend is federal dollars awarded to students who wish to pursue a career and further the child welfare field. There is a commitment to being a stipend recipient; you have to agree to work one year in any Colorado public child welfare agency for at least one year after graduation. In return for this commitment you can receive $14,000 if you agree to work in an urban area, or $17,000 if you agree to work in a rural area towards your GSSW tuition and fees.

For more information visit the Butler Institute’s Website.

Track / Certificate / Program Information Sessions 2011 part 1 (VIDEO)

The following track / certificate / program information sessions are intended for students as they plan their concentration for the academic year 2011-2012.  Requirements and specific offerings change from year to year, so always check your student handbook for accurate information. Look for sessions on High-Risk Youth Track, Denver Family Institute cooperative program, Social Work with Latinos/as Certificate, Animal Assisted Social Work Certificate, and Interpersonal Trauma Studies Certificate to be recorded and posted over the next two weeks.
Continue reading “Track / Certificate / Program Information Sessions 2011 part 1 (VIDEO)”

Being part of a team

As the year goes on and I spend more time and get more responsibilities at my internship I begin to feel more connected to it. The other staff that work in my unit know who I am and look at me as part of their unit. I go to meetings and outings with them as if I were staff too. We talk with each other and I get advice and consultation about how to handle more difficult cases. I feel that I am not labeled as an intern anymore at my field placement. I have the same responsibilities and duties that the other staff in the unit have. This feeling of being a part of a team makes me more excited to be at my internship. It also makes me want to gain employment with this agency after graduation!

Crisis Intervention Presentation

As a first-year student at GSSW, I am enrolled in a foundation seminar course that is intended to bridge our field experience with classroom learning.  This week, we had a guest presenter speak to us about crisis intervention and his experience with different types of intervention strategies.  He spoke about threat assessments, suicide assessments, and abuse (domestic violence, child abuse/neglect, elder abuse, etc.).  He not only provided us with a packet of information and resources regarding these topics, but he also shared first hand experiences dealing with crisis situations.  As somebody who works with high-risk youth, this lecture was very pertinent to my field work and my future plans as a social worker.  I definitely think I am now better prepared to deal with crises in the field (or at least know where to go when I have questions)!

Field Training to Practice

Internship is a vital role in GSSW. You spend more hours in your field placement than in the classroom. Currently, I spend 24-30 hours a week at my placement, and 9 hours in the classroom. With that being said, I good amount of learning and application occurs in your field placement.

I spent the entire Fall Quarter attending the state mandated training for my field placement. I learned how the organization operates and how to preform my job with best practice skills. This made my Fall Quarter seem very boring to many of my counterparts at GSSW, but has made a world of difference for my this quarter. As this quarter is underway I am beginning to be the primary caseworker on cases and new referrals. Because of my extensive training from my field placement I am able to take a more independent role in which I am able to preform the job duties as if I were staff and practice the skills I learned in training.

Since I am still an intern I have to follow DU’s strict supervision requirements; one hour a week with an MSW professional. So as I am practicing my learned skills and classroom knowledge I receive feedback and support from my supervisor to facilitate my growth as a student and a professional. This weaving of skills has helped me to become comfortable in my skill set and confident in my ability to be a successful Social Worker.

Bringing the Classroom to (real)life!

As I begin another quarter in my second year I am able to take more courses that are geared towards my internship and my areas of interest. There are skills that are taught in my classes that I will be able to immediately incorporate into my field work. Since I am in the Child Welfare track one of the skills courses that I am taking is Intake and Family Based Services. This course’s objectives includes interviewing children, writing an intake assessment and beginning treatment services for a family. All of these skills are very valuable in child protection services. Concurrently with taking this course I am beginning to work with my own cases and family that I need to provide services to. The skills that I learn in the classroom will be skills that I will practice and become proficient at 24 hours a week. The classroom will teach me best practice with a family while I get to utilize best practice with families.