Part-Time Program Instructor Spotlight: Amanda Neckar

Amanda Neckar

Our Part-Time Program offers classes on Saturdays in Madison or Eau Claire, features practical experience field placements, and faculty who are professional social workers. This profile of Part-Time Program Instructor Amanda Neckar is one in a series of Instructor Spotlights.

Degree, License, and Certifications: 

BS in Psychology from Viterbo University
MSW from UW-Madison Part-Time MSW Program
LCSW State of Wisconsin

Describe your current position in the field?

I currently teach SW 800/801, Field and Integrative Seminar: Social Work Practice in Mental Health. I also work as a Psychotherapist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, WI.

What are the challenges you experience in your position?

The challenges I experience within my role as an instructor often involve supporting students as they manage the work/life/school balance. In the part-time program, many of our students are employed full-time and are trying to balance their employment and field roles as well as maintaining their familial responsibilities. This can be a challenging year!

What is rewarding about the work you do?

I really enjoy watching the personal and professional growth of students as they continue through their last year of the program. My favorite time of the semester is the last month of class, this is usually when the students begin to realize they’re going to achieve their goal. It really is an honor to be along on their journey!

What do you think is the best aspect of the Part-Time Program? 

As a graduate of the Part-Time Program, I think the best aspect of the Program is that it provides the opportunity to pursue a MSW while being employed. I wouldn’t have been able to return to school had this program not been available.

This program also brings together students with diverse life and employment experiences, which enriches the classroom experience for our students and instructors. I also appreciate that the instructors in the program also have diverse employment experiences. I think this helps students to recognize the various roles and opportunities they can have with their MSW.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family. I enjoy traveling and spending time in warm climates. I also enjoy spending time outside, baking, shopping, and reading.

In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing the social work profession today?

I think one of the biggest challenges facing social work today is the need to balance personal self-care with the increasing workload for social workers in various settings. As the demand for social work services continues to increase, we need to educate our colleagues on the risks of compassion fatigue and support practice changes to protect social workers from burnout.

Any words of advice to pass on to aspiring social workers?

Being a social worker is challenging at times and extremely rewarding. Take notice of the small victories, they are what will get you through.