Part-Time MSW Program Student Spotlight: Jerome Flowers

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.

Jerome Flowers and one other person holding a basketballJob title and organization:
I currently work as a Dean of Students for the Madison Metropolitan School District.  

Year in the program:
I am a 4th year student in the program, graduation is here!!!! 

Focus area:
Child, Youth, and Family is the focus area. In this focus area I get to work upstream and have the opportunity to provide prevention/ early intervention services to children, youth, and families in my school community.  

Future job interests:
I will continue working as an educator. I believe in the power of education and how it helps individuals turn their dreams into reality.  

Why did you choose the Part-Time Program?
This program makes so much sense for those like myself who need to work full-time. In addition, UW-Madison’s MSW program is one of the best in the country.  

How would you describe your experience in the Part-Time MSW Program?
My experience has been a great one. The program is full of knowledgeable, compassionate, and accommodating professors, most of whom are still actively working in the field. The course content has really challenged and stretch me personally as well as professionally. My favorite part of the program by far has been getting to know and develop friendships with my fellow classmates. Class of 2022 is truly there for one another, we are cheerleaders, babysitters, shoulders to lean on and everything in between for each other!! 

What has been your favorite course so far in the program, and why?
My favorite course(s) are the 2nd year and 4th year Field Practice Integrative Seminar. In those courses I learned so much about other agencies, organizations, and services available in the areas. In addition, I learned some much about how systems and institutions operate, and the laws, policies, protocols and procedures created by those systems that contribute/create to the outcomes that we see. I also enjoyed the fact that in those courses we have lots of opportunities to consult with our peers and professors about unique situations we were working through.  

How do you think the Part-Time MSW Program has prepared you for entering the field of social work?
I have been in the profession for some time now. The program has however prepared me with the tools, knowledge and skills to be more confident stepping into higher leadership roles. In addition, the program has provided me a great network of colleagues who work in  all areas of field, so that I can better advocate and support the families I serve.  

What would you say to someone who is considering the program?
APPLY. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that you are investing your Saturdays for four consecutive years. The investment will be well worth it, it will expand and improve your skillset as a practitioner, and it will provide you with the necessary credentials to obtain upper management positions. The increase in salary once you finish the program is also a great added bonus.  

Seriously consider the Title IV-E scholarship, go to the informational session and thoroughly examine whether the program is right for you.  

Next, give yourself grace. I am going to say it one more time for the people in the back, GIVE YOURSELF GRACE.  

You will need to understand that you are going to have to sacrifice a lot in order to make it through. There are lots of great family events, and/or other events that happened on Saturday, you have to understand you are going to be missed at most of those. If you are a perfectionist, you are going to have to forgo this part of your identity as your full-time position and the course load of MSW program will not allow you to be perfect at both. In addition, you will have to sacrifice your pride/ego and reach out for help at your  place of employment and reach out for help with your professors as well.