Our Part-Time Program offers classes on Saturdays in Madison or Eau Claire and features practical experience field placements and faculty who are professional social workers. This profile of Part-Time Program Advisor Latoya Kirton is one in a a series of Part-Time Program students, faculty, and staff.
Degree, License, and Certifications:
What is rewarding about the work you do?
I love the energy and enthusiasm of students in our program! Being able to connect with future social workers and hear about the amazing work they have already been doing and plan to do in the future is really rewarding for me.
What are the challenges you experience in your position?
Given that students in our program often work full-time and some travel from great distances to be here, it often gets challenging figuring out how to connect with students outside of just email.
What do you think is the best aspect of the Part-Time Program?
I think the best part of the Part-Time MSW Program is that the instructors are all working in their respective areas in the community! Having an instructor who is actively practicing in similar or related areas to the courses they teach is invaluable and goes a long way in helping to make a lot of the concepts and ideas taught in the classroom more concrete for students.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Listen to music. I love all genres of music.
In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing the social work profession today?
I think a major challenge facing the social work profession is the lack of comprehensive mental health services. While this is not a new challenge but rather an ongoing one, I think thanks to social media and the 24-hour news cycle we are now seeing in real time the often devastating impact this gap in services can and does have on people’s lives. From police shootings of persons with mental illness, to mass school shootings, to the rise of suicide in young people.
Any words of advice to pass on to aspiring social workers?
I think the best thing to happen to me as a new social worker was to find a mentor. I was fortunate to connect with my field instructor and ever since then she has served as a mentor for me as I started out work as a social worker. This was super helpful because she was someone I could process tough situations with or ethical dilemmas or connect me with career opportunities I never even considered.