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School Initiates Continuing Education, Curricular Competencies, and Collaboratives
FROM THE ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
While the School of Social Work continues to offer four method concentra- tions and five practice area concentrations, we have also begun several new projects that will provide continuing education opportunities for alumni, enhance our curriculum, and foster increased part- nerships with field work instructors.
CONTINUING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES OFFERED
One new initiative focuses on building our continu- ing education programs for our alumni. e State of Michigan, like many other states, requires that all licensed social workers earn continuing education credits in order to maintain their license. e goal of our continuing education programs will be to pro- vide opportunities for alumni and current students to complete intensive advanced skill development courses.
ese courses are designed using a mini-course (15
hours) format. e courses may be offered in the evening over five weeks, or as two-day workshops. We are beginning to offer the advanced skill devel- opment courses in the winter term. Alumni who participate in the continuing education courses will earn 15 CEUs for each course.
e topics for the advanced skill mini courses will ad-
dress emerging evidence-based interventions, special topics related to management in behavioral health settings, and other topics based on alumni needs. For more information, please check the School of Social Work website (www.ssw.umich.edu).
CURRICULAR COMPETENCIES STRENGTHEN STUDENT SKILLS
Over the past year, the faculty has been develop- ing curricular competencies for the foundation and advanced curriculum areas. e competency development process involved assessing the criti- cal knowledge, values, and advanced skills that our students must acquire to continue to be leaders in the social work field.
Consistent with our School’s focus on issues of privilege, oppression, diversity, and social justice
(PODS), the competencies focus on developing skills to promote and sustain effective social work practice with diverse constituents. e competencies also foster the use of critical self-reflection grounded in social work ethics, as well as increased use of evidence-based practice interventions.
During the past few months, the faculty has been reviewing all courses to ensure that the competency development goals identified by each curriculum method and practice area concentration are met.
REAFFIRMATION PROPOSAL INITIATES COLLABORATIVES
In addition to the work on curricular competencies, the School of Social Work submitted an Alternative Reaffirmation Plan (ARP) proposal to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) as part of our reaf- firmation process that focuses on building socially just practices. e ARP proposal was accepted by CSWE and we are currently implementing this proposal.
e ARP proposal links students, field work instruc-
tors, and faculty as partners in collaborative meetings to dialogue about ways to increase socially just prac- tices and improve the link between the classroom and the field learning experiences. e first col- laborative began this fall, involving students in the geriatric fellowship program, field work instructors from the Geriatric Consortium, and faculty. ree additional collaboratives with students, field instruc- tors, and faculty in the Children and Youth, Health and Mental Health, and Community and Social Systems concentrations began in the winter term.
Another component of the ARP proposal is engag- ing students in integration seminars that focus on portfolio-based learning methods that assist students in identifying critical skills they are learning in field work and the classroom.
ese are just a few of the key initiatives that the
School of Social Work is involved with this year. We encourage you to contact us with any thoughts you have that can help us continue to build a school of social work that leads through partnership building and cutting-edge practice innovations.
Mary Ruffolo is associate dean for educational
programs and associate professor of social work.