Department of Social Work
I am so pleased to present our latest news to all of you, our wonderful community, for whom we owe enduring gratitude for your tremendous support of our development. Now in our seventh year, we continue to grow as a program. As we all learned in Human Behavior and the Social Environment courses, in any developmental trajectory one may find growth spurts, periods of much needed rest, the potential for unexpected problems, some awkward and difficult phases, and sustained times of substantive gain. As a program, it seems we have had all of these occur this past year! I invite you now to read and reflect on the many accomplishments of our faculty, students, and staff, while keeping in mind that in between these banner lines are many hours of hard work, sacrifice, challenge and difficulty. We thank you all for your support and patience as we continue to grow and develop, hopefully to emerge as a fully formed, mature program one day soon. Best, Julie
Five MSW students have been hard at work during their summer break giving back to their community. With a gift from the California Endowment, our students have been able to provide dinner, child care, and support to parents from the Alisal community in a series of 6 evening workshops at the Alisal Family Resource Center. The Spanish speaking series, advertised as “Su Voz Hace La Fuerza,” brings community partners from the fields of health, behavioral health, addiction, and community safety for informative presentations followed by supportive, facilitated discussions. The goals of the project are to bring families together, help them to know and trust formal helpers in the community, enhance and strengthen their family relationships, and have fun together. Participating MSW students include Rocio Pinzon, Rosie Valdez, Guillermo Rodriguez, Mayra Barocio, and Maria Rivera. We thank community supporter, Mr. Jesse Herrera for his participation as well.
The Social Work Department recently learned that we are the recipient of a 1.6 million dollar grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The purpose of the project that this grant funds, known as SWIPE In!, is to recruit, retain and educate a diverse pool of MSW level clinical social work students from disadvantaged and other underrepresented minority groups with financial need, in order to increase the number of well-trained and qualified primary / behavioral health care specialists entering the workforce in the medically under served communities in the Central CA coast region. Beginning this fall, the federal award will support 20 MSW students each year for the next four years with scholarships of $20,000 each. We couldn’t be more pleased to have this support for our students, while at the same time provide our region with excellently trained primary / behavioral health care MSW specialists.
Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 21, 2016 marked the fourth time a cohort of MSW students marched across Freeman Staduim and graduated from CSUMB. Thirty-six students were graduated on this special occasion, capped by the phenomenal address of Mr. Ben Jealous, former President of the NAACP, and former local resident and son of Fred and Anne Jealous. Congratulations, graduates – and welcome to the ranks of our now 107 MSW alumni!
Dr. Amy Bullas recently received a 5-year Federal Office of Special Education Programs, Personnel Preparation grant entitled - Preparing School Social Workers to Effectively Support English Language Learners and Migrant Students through Mentorship and Technology .
This grant will help meet the growing, unmet demand for fully credentialed school social workers, who are specifically trained to work with English language learners (ELLs) and Migrant students, attending high poverty schools. Through the development of an interdisciplinary School Social Work program, students earning a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Social Work, will be trained and prepared to support the diverse needs of children with disabilities in schools. The project will bring research-based, real-time applicable curriculum to school social work credential candidates along with on-site mentoring and support. The program will offer, 30 scholarships for tuition and computer technology, mentorship by bilingual, fully-credentialed school social work professionals, and a hybrid online pathway for students to earn a combined MSW and Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Social Work. This program is being developed in partnership with CSUMB’s Department of Teacher Education.
On April 17th and 18th, 45 CSUMB MSW students from all three cohorts and Dr. Brian Simmons joined several hundred other MSW students, faculty, and other social workers from around California for the annual NASW Lobby Days event in Sacramento. On Sunday, the NASW-CA staff did a wonderful job briefing the attendees on the particulars of three bills that they had chosen for us to promote (one on restorative justice, one on raising the SSP amount in SSI-SSP grants, and one on eliminating a Cal-Works regulation that denied an increase in benefits to women already on aid who subsequently become pregnant). On Monday, attendees hit the capital, attending pre-arranged meetings with legislative staff members and in some cases, with the legislators themselves. Participants reported a wide variety of feelings going into the session, but there was a unanimous sense afterwards of having been glad for the experience and appreciating in a new way the breadth of social work practice. Many people expressed the desire to go back again next year. Students in Dr. Simmons’s social policy class who were unable to make the Sacramento trip all met with legislative staff members in their local district offices. Using materials from the NASW-CA Lobby Days website for reference, they also lobbied for the same three bills.
For the second year in a row, the Social Work department received a grant from the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Healthcare Workforce Development Division to develop the professional social work pipeline in Monterey County. This year the program will engage CSUMB Collaborative Health and Human Service undergraduates along with Hartnell Community College students in a year-long program of behavioral health career-related workshops, visits to behavioral health care settings, and experiential activities. Our own emerging MSW social work professionals will guide this work, delivered primarily through small group exploration and interaction. We are pleased to once again offer this spectacular opportunity to share and grow our wonderful profession.
Yes, it’s true. As of July 1, the MSW program is now officially the Department of Social Work here at CSUMB. We are pleased to announce this upgrade of our status within the College of Health Sciences and Human Services. While we remain grateful for the thoughtful incubation of our program under the Department of Health, Human Services, and Public Policy (HHSPP), we are eager to try our wings. The new designation will aid in our efforts around student recruitment, resource provision, program advocacy, and staff and faculty development. We will remain close collaborators with our sister HHSPP department and thank them for their support in helping make this more independent status for our program a reality.
The MSW Student Association had a successful 2015-2016 school year. We increased student participation and hosted successful events. Notably, the association helped CSUMB send the largest amount of students to the NASW Lobby Days in Sacramento in April. Aside from that we hosted social gatherings that brought the cohorts and students together outside of the classroom for support and networking. We hosted one event at Monte’s on campus after the Field Internship Fair, and it was so well attended that the association definitely plans to continue it as an annual tradition for years to come. Finally the student association hosted their first movie night where students came together to watch a film that was followed by an engaging conversation on social justice topics led by community member Jeff Lehner. This is another event that the MSWSA plans to continue annually in an effort to provide students with the chance to have thought-provoking conversations regarding relevant issues in our community.
In addition to planning and hosting events, the officers of the student association met bi-monthly and worked to support the student body by having a student voice in program and faculty decisions. Next year we hope to reach even more students and provide more avenues of communication between the students and faculty. We are pleased to announce the president for next year will be Marina Perepelyuk and the Vice President will be Nancy Mendoza. Along with the treasurer, Maria Rivera, these students will lead us through an election for the rest of the officer positions in the first few weeks of the Fall 2016 semester. Please look out for election e-mails at the start of Fall semester! events in the few weeks before school starts.
Kendal and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our student body for their interest and participation in all of these events and accomplishments this past year. We enjoyed our time working to represent our students as best as possible and building the student association to have a larger presence in the program. We look forward to seeing where the MSWSA goes next year! --Christina Connery and Kendal Lardie, President and Vice President for the 2015/16 year
CSUMB’s Social Work Department, in conjunction with California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions, Health Workforce Initiative, and Santa Cruz County Workforce Education and Training collaborated to bring the Career Summer Institute for Behavioral Health to Cal State Monterey Bay.
This four-day event is designed to engage high school students in learning about and considering careers in Behavioral Health. Over 40 students from Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties received training in Mental Health First Aid, and were provided opportunities to explore behavioral health topics, visit agencies, and receive mentoring from behavioral health clinicians, including our own MSW students.
This May, ten MSW students traveled with Professor Julie Cooper Altman to Norway in CSUMB’s first graduate student study abroad course. In collaboration with the University of Stavanger, the purpose of the course was to experience and learn about the famed Nordic model of social welfare realized across Scandinavia. During the 12 day in-country portion of the course, the group benefited from lectures, agency visits, and numerous informal opportunities to exchange ideas with social work students and professionals. Some of the highlights included visits to a novel community-based activity center providing service and support to those with chronic mental illness, an agency that focuses on supporting and resettling refugee youth, a remarkable day care center, a Norwegian prison, and, of course, a cruise through one of Norway’s famous fjords. Nearly every student commented on the fundamental trust in Norwegian society that underlies people’s daily activities, social service provision, and their faith in a caretaking government that they believe acts in citizens’ best interests. Through this study abroad experience, students gained knowledge about how the Nordic countries define the profession of social work, view the nature of social problems and meet peoples’ needs – in some ways, radically different than our own. As a result, students increased their capacity to analyze the sociopolitical context of a welfare state, bringing back new perspectives and ideas on social service delivery, social policy, and its impact on the well-being of a society’s peoples.
Alumni LCSW Licensure
Many CSUMB MSW alumni will soon have enough of their clinical hours to be applying for their Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSWW) credential with the California Board of Behavioral Science (BBS). A number of you have already inquired as to CSUMB’s status with the BBS. Please know that our required coursework has been approved as meeting all the requirements for our alumni to register for the LCSW exam. You do not need to take additional course content to meet these requirements. This status update should be on the BBS website soon, if not already, and we thank those of you who have inquired for your patience with the BBS updating this information.
Supporters of the MSW Program-
Please consider supporting one of our deserving students in scholarship aid this year. Donations either at our 2nd Annual Community Celebration event on September 26, 2016 or online as we will have a brand new donation platform up and running in September or online. You are also always welcome to make a donation through University Development at (831) 582-3908 or the MSW Program at 831-582-5316 or email@example.com. Thank you all for your support in the many ways you give!
2nd Annual Community Celebration
Every year, we hold a Community Celebration to invite our Alumni, Students, Supporters, and Community Members to attend a lovely evening with wine and appetizers along with amazing speakers.
Please watch for our next celebration in Fall 2017!