Part-Time Program Student Spotlight: Jackie Kaminski

The Part-Time MSW Program allows students who are not able to pursue full-time study to work towards a master’s degree on a structured, time-extended basis with classes delivered in a hybrid manner. Some courses are designed as blended courses with a mix of online learning and in-person sessions, while others are taught as online courses. In-person sessions take place every other Saturday on our Madison campus.

Photo of Jackie Kaminski
Jackie Kaminski

Career goal:
My desire is to work at a county agency as an Ongoing Case Manager before or soon after graduating in May.

Year in the program:

Focus area:
Public Child Welfare

Future job interest:
CPS Ongoing

Why did you choose the Part-Time Program?
I initially applied to the Full-Time Program, but am so thankful the Part-Time program was an option. Looking back, I now realize being a full-time student would have taken a toll on my family. In 2018, when I entered the program, my son was in 2nd grade and my husband often had to travel for work. The part-time program was a perfect fit to meet the needs of my family.

How would you describe your experience in the Part-Time MSW Program?
This experience has been an absolute blessing. I had spent 15 years in a different career and knew I wanted a change. I began volunteering as a CASA-Court Appointed Special Advocate and quickly realized my heart was being pulled toward the Child Welfare arena. This program allowed me to pursue my MSW while still having time for my family.

What has been your favorite course so far in the program and why?
SW 920 Child Youth and Family Policies and Services with Liz Premo. This class gave me confidence in my research abilities along with a deeper understanding of the process involved in making policy change. I hope to someday get involved in advocating for policy change in Child Welfare.

How do you think the Part-Time MSW Program has prepared you for entering the field of social work?
Being a Title IV-E trainee in the Part-Time MSW program I feel I am extremely prepared to work in the field of social work. My field placements have been both excellent learning experiences. I am confident wherever I end up I have the skills, knowledge and tools to be an asset and help the families I will be serving.

What would you say to someone who is considering the program?
I actually recommend this program to individuals every time I get the opportunity. It may be someone I meet at the gas station, my server at a local restaurant, or a young adult I begin talking to at the gym. This Part-Time MSW program was a gift to me and I want other to know it is available.

What UW support services have you used during your time in the program (ie: Writing Center, etc) and how did they help you?
My main supports through the last four years have been my classmates. Without their patience, love and support I am not sure I would have gotten through. My mom passed away four days before my first class and I was an emotional wreck. They allowed me to grieve and constantly remind me that mom is still with me cheering me on to the end.

What’s one effective (or ineffective) strategy you’ve used while attending classes during Covid?
While Covid has been very difficult for so many people it was actually nice to be home with my family on Saturday and still attend class. I am also enjoying being back every other Saturday and seeing everyone since this is my last year. I love everyone in this program so much and am going to miss them when we all graduate and go our separate ways.