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discover the excellence of

social work

at t h e u n i v e r s i t y o f i l l i n o i s


passion TO HELP YOU B E A

l eader IN SOCIAL WOR K .

Why join us? •

We have earned a national reputation for providing excellent education

Our award-winning and student-focused faculty guides you through the program, helping you build the skills you need

Our unique internship structure allows you great input into your experience and prepares you for success in the field

Our vibrant student organizations and active alumni association are valuable resources for you throughout your years here and throughout your career

transforming innovating educating advocating strengthening vulnerable families

“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.” Anonymous At Illinois, we thrive on innovation. It’s in our DNA. We don’t reluctantly address change; we embrace it, and we continually come up with new ways, better ways, to meet social needs. In social work, those schools and people who do not embrace innovation will be left behind. You can find more staid schools out there – schools who operate by the book, a book that was written for an era that is rapidly fading. You can take the safe road. Students who join us at Illinois, however, don’t want to travel down the safe road. They don’t want to follow. They want to lead, explore, blaze new trails. They want to learn from the past and forge a brighter future. If you want to change your life, and position yourself to change the lives of others, join us in our work here. We have highly innovative programs, a faculty that has been ranked #1 in the nation in scholarly productivity in social work journals, and opportunities to learn and collaborate on a global basis. It all starts with how you see change. If you see the upcoming change in your life as an opportunity, then the University of Illinois might be your best opportunity yet. Regards,


Carlos Evans, MSW ‘12

transforming students | strengthening vulnerable families The School of Social Work offers three degree programs:

Bachelor of Social Work Master of Social Work PhD in Social Work Our mission is threefold:

Research Teaching Public engagement We deliver our curricula through a student-centered, strengths-based educational model that fosters student development. Wherever you are in your educational pursuit, we can help you earn your social work degree so you can begin, or continue, your social work career.

The Illinois Placement Plan is the cornerstone of your education here. It’s our unique brand, and it’s what prepares our BSW and MSW students for success.

the illinois placement plan Award-winning faculty – check. A curriculum both broad and deep, allowing you to explore your interests and gain the insight and knowledge you need to catapult your career – check. Strong collaborative relationships with communities, agencies, and organizations throughout the state and beyond – check. Those are all essential elements to a vibrant and healthy program. Lots of universities have those elements in place.

| setting us apart But what truly sets us apart is our Illinois Placement Plan. The Illinois Placement Plan is the cornerstone of your education here. It’s our unique brand, and it’s what prepares our BSW and MSW students for success. Through the Illinois Placement Plan, you gain rich learning experiences as you are immersed in a full-time internship in an agency. This is not a field experience where you juggle class responsibilities while trying to squeeze in your internship time. That’s the common way internships are approached, but it’s not the Illinois way. Preparing You for Success Here, we place a high premium on the internship experience. We don’t want the waters muddied with other responsibilities. We want you to fully engage in the type of work you will be doing once you graduate from Illinois. That’s why you will spend a minimum of 30 hours per week in your internship and participate in a seminar class under the tutelage of our faculty who are specifically devoted to field education. That level of involvement, that depth of experience, will provide you the confidence, skills, and perspective you need to succeed. Call it a dress rehearsal. Call it preparing for success. Call it the Illinois Placement Plan – the best field education you can find.

| at a glance As a BSW or MSW student, in your internship you will •

be immersed fulltime in an agency

experience a range of work duties in your 30-32 hour work week

focus solely on your internship that semester

receive support and guidance from field faculty

understand why we call this field experience the cornerstone of your education

BSW Program

Stephanie Maldonado, Al Wolfe, MSW ‘11 BSW ‘12, Truman Scholar

| pursuing excellence Want to embark on an educational journey that • is student-centered, • builds on your strengths, • emphasizes innovation and entrepreneurship, and • prepares you for success? Then enroll in our Bachelor of Social Work program. The Internship Experience We’ve told you about our Illinois Placement Plan. The agencies we work with serve a multitude of diverse populations, cultural backgrounds, and socioeconomic classes. Depending on your interest, you might be placed in any of a variety of settings, including • Health care • Child welfare • Extended care facilities • Community advocacy agencies It’s in your internship where you will take everything you’ve learned in the classroom out into the field, and where you begin to experience firsthand the depth and magnitude of the profession. Your internship experience at Illinois has YOU + SUCCESS written all over it. For starters: • You have significant input into your internship – including the type of setting and the kinds of learning opportunities you want to experience. • A full-time faculty member who is specifically devoted to field education will help you prepare for your internship. • Our field faculty will also meet with you at your site to review your progress, discuss any concerns, and provide support. • You will also participate in a seminar class that focuses on integrating your internship with social work values, ethics, and practice.

Great Hands-on Experience Through an internship, you can gain great hands-on experience, including: • Assessing client and community needs • Obtaining social histories • Empowering clients, communities, and systems of all sizes • Contacting and using community resources • Offering individual, group, and family counseling under the supervision of a clinician • Conducting interviews with individuals, families, and stakeholders • Implementing intervention plans • Evaluating the effectiveness of interventions • Keeping concise and accurate records • Collaborating with colleagues • Managing client caseloads • Conducting crisis interventions • Advocacy Career Trajectories Social work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the US, and offers rewarding national and international career opportunities. As a BSW graduate, you are prepared to enter various career trajectories, including: • Generalist social work practice • Advanced standing in graduate social work education • Career opportunities and graduate education in other areas such as communications, corrections, education, government, health care, human resources, law, nonprofit organizations, religious studies, and public service

Eddie Galvez, BSW ‘12 Graduate and MSW Candidate, a transfer student from Parkland Community College and a first-generation graduate in his family, interned at the UP Center of Champaign County. “The classes that I took during my BSW gave me valuable feedback and knowledge when facilitating a social/support group, organizing community events/activities, and establishing new connections with other local organizations as an intern. I really felt it was a wonderful hands-on experience that inspired me to pursue the MSW Program here as well.

For more information about our BSW program, including admission and application procedures, visit us online at

“Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club of Champaign is a great internship placement and has tremendously contributed to my professional development as a social worker. “ “As an Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change (ALSC) intern, I provide programmatic/social development within an organizational setting. At the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club, I am able to contribute my skills in an impactful way. Feeling and experiencing the youths’ needs give me the opportunity to apply macro interventions at its finest. The direct contact I have with youth provides insight in creating policy, programs, and curriculum that cater to the individual. “ “I am most grateful for the professors at the School of Social Work. It is by their wealth of knowledge and professional experiences that I am able to materialize the notion of education as skill-based practice.” Shanelle Marie Bryant, MSW ‘12, Graduate, Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change

MSW Program

Brynn Howard, MSW ‘11, Graduate, Healthcare, is the Neonatal Intensive Care social worker at Carle Foundation Hospital. “Each day brings new challenges and learning opportunities...” “Graduating from the U of I School of Social Work has prepared me in many ways to be the effective social worker I am today: It has given me a strong, knowledge-based foundation that helps me choose the interventions I have with my clients each day. The constant support of professors and staff, even post graduation, has given me the courage and drive to be the social worker I know I was meant to be.” “The best tool that the U of I has given me is my will to succeed. Graduate school, just like the working world, is not easy at times. However, when you have that will to succeed, you can and will make a difference in the lives of the clients that you work with.”

| elite program Our Master of Social Work program is ranked 16th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. We use the latest research to inform best practice and arm you with the skills you need to be a successful leader in the field of social work – be it as a practitioner, advocate, policymaker, or community organizer. Variety of Options Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, we offer three types of programs: • Advanced Standing Program – Allows you to enroll directly in advanced and concentrated coursework if you meet certain criteria, including receiving a Bachelor of Social Work within the past 7 years. • MSW Campus Program – Offers full- or part-time coursework on the Urbana- Champaign campus. • MSW Outreach Program – Enables you to work full-time while pursuing your graduate degree through online and evening classes in select communities throughout the state, and eventually through a one-semester commitment (typically one day a week) on campus and an internship in your home community. Program Concentrations Our average class size is 25 students – a great student/teacher ratio for learning clinical skills from our distinguished faculty and community practitioners. As you work toward your MSW degree, you’ll achieve competency in one of five concentrations (the bullets indicate what you will be prepared to do): Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change • Emphasize social change within social service agencies and through public advocacy and social entrepreneurship • Assume a leadership position in public nonprofit community agencies in the US and internationally Children,Youth, and Family Services • Identify and address the critical needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families • Pursue a career in direct practice, research, or policy-related positions with agencies serving children and families (e.g., public and private child welfare agencies, juvenile and family courts, private foundations, and policy and research-related institutions in direct practice, research, or policy-related positions with agencies serving children and families (e.g., public and private child welfare agencies, juvenile and family courts, private foundations, and policy and research-related institutions)

Health care • Collaborate with other health professionals in providing patient care and mobilizing family, friends, and other supportive networks on the patient’s behalf • Work in hospitals and clinics as well as in federal, state, and local public health centers • Work with physicians in private or group medical practices, on home health care teams, or with nursing, home health, and planning agencies Mental Health • Deal with internal, interpersonal, and environmental problems that affect mental health and social functioning • Plan, administer, and evaluate mental health services School Social Work • Work in school settings on planned system change, consultation, and interdisciplinary teaming • Address the most pressing needs of public school children and their families The Internship Experience A premier field education is the cornerstone of our experience at Illinois. We have designed our intensive block placements to maximize the rich learning opportunities for our MSW students. A few notes about our field education: • If you do not have an undergraduate degree in Social Work, you will complete a two-semester internship, working 4 days/30-32 hours per week. • If you are in our Advanced Standing Program, you will complete a one-semester internship, typically a 14-week extended summer internship. • We have numerous placement sites across Illinois and can consider out-of-state placements. • You will also take part in an online seminar course that integrates your internship experience with social work values, ethics, and practice. • You will work with a full-time faculty member whose time is devoted to working with students during their internship. This faculty member will help you both before and during your internship.

Foundational Skills The following are just a few of the foundational skills that you will develop during your internship: • Assessing client and community needs • Obtaining social histories • Empowering clients, communities, and systems of all sizes • Contacting and using community resources • Offering individual, group, and family counseling • Conducting interviews with individuals, families, and stakeholders • Implementing intervention plans • Evaluating the effectiveness of interventions • Keeping concise and accurate records • Collaborating with colleagues • Managing client caseloads • Conducting crisis interventions • Advocacy Advanced Skills These are some of the advanced skills that you will acquire in your field education: • Identifying and handling ethical dilemmas • Developing advanced interviewing and relationship skills • Employing a person-in-environment perspective in assessments • Using literature and research to empirically validate and guide practice • Functioning as an autonomous practitioner • Planning for social policy and community organization • Promoting social and economic justice • Mobilizing coalitions for implementing social change

Ed Richter, MSW ‘11, completed two tours in Afghanistan—one in 2004-05, and again in 2009-10. It was his time in the military that solidified his desire to enter the field of social work. Richter completed his internship at the VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, IL. He served in the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Clinic for the first half of his internship and then moved to the PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Clinic for the remainder of the time.

To learn more about the MSW program and to complete an application, visit

“I am completing my internship with the UP Center of Champaign County, an organization which is committed to furthering the well-being of the LGBT community through social and support programming, as well as community outreach and education. My duties include developing a policies and procedures manual for the agency; working on grant writing projects, program evaluations, and inventories to measure effectiveness; guest speaking engagements; and I’ve had an integral role in planning the 2012 Champaign-Urbana Pride Festival. “Additionally, I’ve created “BLEND UP,” a discussion group that I facilitate to meet the needs of LGBT-identified people of color in the Champaign-Urbana community. The Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change concentration prepared me by honing my skills in planning, research, and writing, and emphasizing the importance of good leadership. “Overall, my favorite thing about the MSW program is how approachable and encouraging our professors are. They want to see students succeed and are eager to point good students in the direction of great opportunities.” Lance Keene, MSW Candidate, Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change

PhD Program An Individualized and Interdisciplinary Approach In our doctoral program, we stress an interdisciplinary approach to education that includes cutting-edge instruction on • diverse research methods, • teaching philosophy and practices, and • developing substantive expertise in the subject area you select We prepare you to conduct research and analyze policies on issues of importance to society, and ready you for university-level teaching. You may choose from a variety of disciplinary and course options, gaining knowledge and research expertise in social work and another discipline. Typically, PhD students receive assistantships, working with faculty on research. Joint MSW/PhD Program The joint MSW/PhD program will enable you to pursue both degrees within the same program. This joint program creates opportunities for students without their MSW to obtain this important professional education. Here are a few particulars: • If you have a master’s degree in a related field, you can obtain an MSW on your way to earning your PhD in Social Work. • Students in the joint program complete their MSW courses and internship before moving on to fulfill the requirements for their PhD. • You can count three of your PhD courses toward your MSW. • You can complete both degrees in one semester less than it would take to complete the degrees separately.

top-notch faculty The faculty at the School of Social Work is comprised of a diverse group of innovative scholars who share one common trait: they are highly approachable, student-focused professors. They hold advanced degrees in social work, law, business administration, public health, psychology, and public administration. They regularly publish in a variety of premier journals. But most of all, they are committed to teaching excellence and mentoring students for academic and professional success. Both caring and effective, they conduct research about critical issues facing Illinois and the nation, such as: • The quality of life of low-income families • The safety and wellbeing of abused and neglected children • The development of interventions for treating vulnerable adolescents and young adults with substance use disorders • The assessment of parenting risk in parents with mental illness Our faculty serves the citizens of Illinois, helping to meet community needs, educating students for public service, and sharing the School’s resources with the community.

To find out more about our extraordinary faculty, visit

a great place to study. a great tradition to join. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is where world-class academics meets thriving micro-urban diversity in the arts, culture, and technology. With a combined population of 180,000, the twin cities feature a variety of theaters, restaurants, and concert arenas, as well as more than a dozen major museums and art galleries. The two cities also offer more than 80 parks and recreation facilities, and the University of Illinois is ranked as one of the most disability-friendly campuses in the nation. Urbana-Champaign is ranked as both a Top 10 Green City and a Top 10 Tech City. By the Numbers The University of Illinois is rated by U.S. News & World Report as the 13th-best public university in the nation, and the 46th-best overall. Illinois has produced numerous luminaries among its 600,000+ graduates, including: • • • • • • • • •

25 Nobel Laureates 29 Olympians 25 National Medal of Science recipients 4 Oscar winners 9 MacArthur Genius awards 20 Pulitzer Prize winners 40 Grammy Award recipients 8 Tony Award winners 69 Emmy Award recipients

contact us: Undergraduate Programs p. | (217) 244.5246 e. | Graduate Programs p. | (217) 333.2261 e. | | 1010 W. Nevada St. | Urbana, IL 61801

UIUC SSW Recruitment Guide  
UIUC SSW Recruitment Guide  

University of Illinois School of Social Work Student Recruitment Guide