Shift aimed to increase flexibility for students
The Part-Time MSW Program will transition to a hybrid format for incoming students beginning next year. The increased flexibility allows students and workers interested in achieving an MSW degree more opportunity to do so while maintaining busy schedules at work and home. In the new format, some classes will be offered fully online while other classes will be blended – where students alternate meeting in-person and online every other week – decreasing the number of visits required on campus while still creating an important sense of community among cohorts of learners.
“A hybrid program model will reduce the number of weeks students come to campus for class by half,” says Angela Willits, Director of the Part-Time Program. “Instead of coming every Saturday, they will only come every other Saturday. Students will still have the in-person experience they desire, but with a more convenient and flexible commitment.”
Since 2009, 711 students have received an MSW in the Part-Time Program – many of whom did so while balancing job and family responsibilities. Students enter the program as generalists (meaning they do not have a recent BSW) or with advanced standing (meaning they have received a BSW recently). The generalist program takes four years to complete while students entering with advanced standing can complete it within two years. Classes have always been held on Saturdays only.
Field placements, a critical component to the MSW program, will continue to be in person and may be done in a student’s home community.
The Part-Time MSW Program was designed to offer students who are not able to pursue full-time study an MSW program from one of the top schools of social work in the country. The shift to a hybrid model continues that effort.
“Since the program’s inception in 2009, there has been a commitment to reaching adult learners who desire the MSW but face barriers, such as living at a distance from an MSW program or the need to continue working during the week, to completing an advanced degree,” Willits said. “We believe transitioning to a hybrid program model maintains the high quality, in-person learning experience and sense of community our students desire, while also reducing some of the travel and time demands, making it a great option for the folks we are committed to serving.”
The Part-Time Programs offers focus areas in aging; child, youth, and family welfare; health; and mental health. Exemption exams for generalist courses are available as is financial aid. In fact, an increasing number of students in the Part-Time Program have received full-tuition scholarships recently.
Applications for summer and fall 2021 are open now. For more information, visit https://socwork.wisc.edu/programs/parttime/.