To work in Wisconsin schools, social workers must receive additional education compared to their counterparts in Minnesota, which has created challenges for school districts located on the state border. “This is really about what kids need and removing the barriers to getting kids help,” said Amy Starzecki, Superior School District administrator. Social workers who work in Minnesota schools must have a degree in the field and be licensed to practice in the state, according to the Minnesota Professional Educator and Licensing Standards Board. Wisconsin law goes a step further by requiring a master’s degree from a school social worker preparatory program. Only three schools in the state—UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay—offer the program. Source: Superior Schools advocate for social worker licensing changes | Superior Telegram
A bipartisan group of state representatives hopes to learn more about the barriers that make child adoption challenging in Wisconsin. The committee’s first public hearing was held Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at UW-Green Bay. UW-Green Bay faculty provided feedback.
“Children need their parents. The question is how do we protect a child who may think developmentally that’s my mom even if mom is doing something abusive? They’re not necessarily going to protect themselves, and that becomes our job,” said Joan Groessl, Chair of UW-Green Bay’s Social Work program. See more via Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption holds first public hearing at UW-Green Bay, WBAY.
Members of campus mourn the passing of student and alumna Victoria Burger (24) who died in a car accident recently. She was a spring 2016 Psychology graduate and current student of the UW-Green Bay Masters of Social Work program. See her obituary here.
At a budget hearing at UW-Green Bay over the weekend, local advocates pressed state Democrats to preserve or expand funding for dementia services and education in the state budget. The Green Bay Press-Gazette covered the hearing. “UWGB Professor of Social Work Doreen Higgins told the legislators Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to boost UW-System funding by $135 million will not erase concerns about the struggles the system faces after absorbing $800 million in cuts since 2011. ‘This is about maintaining a high-quality education for students at UW-Green Bay and universities across the state,’ Higgins said. ‘We need to find ways to make this viable for our students, staff and communities.'”
An addendum to a previous post… UW-Green Bay Social Work Professional Programs recently received approval from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to provide a school social work licensure program for Master of Social Work (MSW) students and practitioners. With the guidance and assistance from Steve Kimball and Amy Bartelme from Education, the MSW Program pursued this initiative to address a growing need for licensed school social workers in regional K-12 schools. UW-Green Bay’s MSW Program provides an advanced generalist concentration with the option for students to focus their education in an individualized area of emphasis. Working closely with advisors, graduate students may design their own emphasis or select a pre-designed emphasis such as child welfare, clinical social work, or, now, school social work. Anticipating the addition of this area of emphasis, Gail Trimberger, MSW graduate chair, and Margaret Kubek, lecturer and MSW field coordinator (and previous school social worker) have consulted with more than two dozen students and area social workers who are interested in obtaining their school social worker licenses. Students can begin working toward their school social work area of emphasis as early as summer 2017.
UW-Green Bay Social Work Professional Programs recently received approval from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to provide a school social work licensure program for Master of Social Work (MSW) students and practitioners. Gail Trimberger, MSW graduate chair, and Margaret Kubek, lecturer and MSW field coordinator (and previous school social worker), pursued this initiative to address a growing need for licensed school social workers in regional K-12 schools. UW-Green Bay’s MSW Program provides an advanced generalist concentration with the option for students to focus their education in an individualized area of emphasis. Working closely with advisors, graduate students may design their own emphasis or select a pre-designed emphasis such as child welfare, clinical social work, or, now, school social work. Anticipating the addition of this area of emphasis, Trimberger and Kubek have consulted with more than two dozen students and area social workers who are interested in obtaining their school social worker licenses.
UW-Green Bay had a successful collaboration with UW-Oshkosh since launching a Masters of Social Work (MSW) in 2003. Not even optimistic program leaders could have predicted the explosion in applicants when UW-Green Bay decided to go at it alone in 2015.
Enrollment doubled and the University could only admit half of the cohort that applied. The MSW Program is now one of the University’s largest graduate programs with 89 students — half expect to graduate with their advanced degree in May, 2017.
MSW students graduate with a clarity of vision and mission as well as pragmatic and strategic skillsets to make immediate, concrete contributions to the communities in which they choose to work, say program leaders. They come with insights and tools to help people, communities and economies thrive in a multi-cultural, evolving world. MSW grads bring on-the-ground experience to engage and facilitate positive personal and societal change by empowering individuals, groups, and communities to reach their optimal potential.
Gail Trimberger, MSW, Ph.D, LCSW and UW-Green Bay Associate Professor/MSW program coordinator sees a far-reaching role for social work skills.
“The social work skill set involves broad and deep capabilities in field research and practice, assessment, evidence-based program evaluation and development and interdisciplinary experience,” she said.
“Many people are familiar with the more traditional examples of social work, with individuals and families in need of support and advocacy for those whose voices are not heard, ” she says. “But the social work skill set offers significant practical and strategic value to all aspects of society, including leadership in business and public policy.”
Program organizers believe that UW-Green Bay’s MSW program is unique in a number of ways:
- The MSW Program is very student-centered with low student/faculty ratios. It is also surrounded by rural Wisconsin communities — many times mirroring the environments in which MSW graduates will live and work.
- UW-Green Bay offers evening courses for working students and facilitates field placements in areas that best serve the community and the students.
- The MSW Program offers an advanced generalist concentration which provides a strong social work foundation for all students. Unique to the UW-Green Bay program, students are encouraged to identify an Individualized Area of Emphasis (IAE) if they wish to study a particular population or area of practice in depth, e.g., clinical, medical, child welfare, older adults, etc. Faculty and advisors work closely with students to help them identify and develop their IAE.
- The MSW Program attracts students from a variety of backgrounds. This diversity in the classroom enriches the dialogue and, as a result, enriches the educational experience for all the students. Social work students are taught to see the world from an interdisciplinary systems perspective, not only from an individual perspective. This multi-level view is unique to our profession and, as such, can contribute greatly to discussions related to the health and well-being of individuals and society.
“As the needs of our communities increase, so does the need for skilled social workers,” said Trimberger. “MSW students possess the knowledge and skills to engage and facilitate positive personal and societal change by empowering individuals, groups, and communities to reach their optimal potential. Social workers are committed to advocating for individuals and groups who have been historically underrepresented, ensuring social policy and social services are inclusive and provide equal access to all. Our graduates can help navigate complex social service systems as well as promote social justice for the vulnerable and oppressed.”
Here is some fantastic news…UW-Green Bay’s Master of Social Work (MSW) Program launched in June of 2015 with higher than anticipated enrollments. Currently in its second year, it boasts 89 students across six different cohorts, making it the University’s largest graduate program. As part of their MSW program requirements, students in last May’s graduating class displayed their final projects during the first annual Social Work Symposium and Celebration held in May. See the photos here. The MSW Program is currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 admissions cycle (http://www.uwgb.edu/socwork/msw/admissions.asp) and expects to increase enrollment an additional 10 percent over the next two years.
The UWGB Social Work Professional Programs held a first annual Social Work Symposium and Celebration in Rose Hall on Thursday, May 5. The Symposium showcased the major projects of the graduating MSW students as well as honors in the major projects, research and advocacy class efforts, and activities from students organizations: Campus Cupboard, Campus Kitchen and Social Work Club. The event was attended by students, family and friends, community partners and campus partners. Following the Symposium, the graduating BSW and MSW students were recognized during a special pinning ceremony.
UW-Green Bay, operating for the first time as its own freestanding program, celebrated the “new” Master of Social Work Program on April 29 with a welcome/orientation session in the University Union for students of the program.
The students were greeted by Dean Sue Mattison of the College of Professional Studies and welcomed by members of the Social Work faculty. It is expected UW-Green Bay will enroll approximately 85 students in various cohorts in the 2015-16 academic year.
The program and degree aren’t entirely new, of course. For a dozen years previous, UW-Green Bay partnered on a collaborative MSW with UW-Oshkosh offering courses and serving students at both locations, with each institution authorized to grant the collaborative degree. New this year, and thanks to the success of the joint venture, the UW System has authorized each school to operate independently.
The fall 2015 enrollment here will include both first-semester enrollees in the new UW-Green Bay master’s and continuing students who started in the collaborative program.
Associate Professor Doreen Higgins, MSW chair and coordinator, acknowledged the “extraordinary efforts” of the faculty in the Social Work Professional Programs, the institutional support from university leadership, and the work of Dean Mattison in developing the new freestanding program. Higgins said the strong turnout for Wednesday’s reception reflects “MSW students who are excited to begin their graduate school journey.”