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Social Work


This portion of our site is dedicated to topics related to Social Work. You will be able to view information regarding my graduate experience, education and resources, and numerous links involving topics of Social Work. If you looking for a particular book, check out our extensive Social Work Bookstore, organized by the different fields of the profession such clinical practice, theory, and research.

PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY

I started at PSU in Fall, 2001. The Masters in Social Work (MSW) program offers numerous classes such as Social Work  and Policy, Social Work and Data Analysis, Social Work  in Schools, Social Work and Mental Disorders, Social Work and Clinical Supervision, Social Work and Community Organization, Social Work and Healthcare, Social Work and Groups, Social Work and Children and Adolescents, etc.

 The program is divided into three different tracks: Direct Human Practice, Community-Based Practice, and Administration & Management. I decided to take the Direct Practice track because I wanted more of a clinical focus. Students are required to take 90 credits upon graduation, and there are certain class requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to be able to graduate. Students have to complete 1000 hours of internship, which should be completed at different placements each year. The first year of internship is fairly basic, whereas second-year students are able to specialize in the field where they would like to be. I spent my first year at Insights Teen Parent Program in SE Portland, which offered me plenty of learning opportunities. During the second year, I spent my internship  at Columbia River Mental Health Services in Vancouver. I was fortunate to have a wonderful supervisor who was teaching and guiding me throughout my educational experience. Unfortunately, there were many students in the program who are not happy with their internship, which may have been a result from strenuous budget cuts to local social programs, etc. My recommendations to any new students accepted into the MSW program at PSU, are to make certain that you advocate for yourself and know what you want from your supervisor as well as the agency. It will be much easier if you go into the internship having some idea of what you want to be able to do (of course within your own limitations as well as your placement), and also provide the opportunity for the agency to tell what is expected from you. I consider myself very lucky because my placements were successful matches and today I am highly satisfied with the outcomes.

Click here to get liability insurance while you are doing your internships

In regard to my overall experience at PSU, I must say that I was a little disappointed in the program. Students who graduated with an undergraduate degree in Psychology or Social Work appeared to know much of the material that was taught, specifically when it came to a few required classes, including research and data analysis. For me, this was a challenge because I felt that I was required to repeat information that I had already studied. I also think that the faculty members were not as vested in students and interested in the student learning process as they could have been, but seemed more interested in their own research. I guess I would have liked to experience a bit more unity between faculty and students. Perhaps I had a couple of unfortunate experiences, however hearing what other students have said over a 6 year span, there appears to be much room for improvement with the program. But to be fair, although most of my learning can be attributed to my experiences at my two internships, I am happy with the education that I received at PSU. Even to this day, perhaps my point of view has been influenced by my great experience at Washington State University (WSU). If that is the case, then I give the Psychology department at WSU-Vancouver EXTRA kudos.

To view my undergraduate experience at WSU, please visit our Psychology Page. For more information about social work including links and different career opportunities within the field, please visit our Social Work Directory and Why Social Work Page, respectively.

  If you have any questions or comments regarding this site or psychology in general, please e-mail me,
 I would love to hear from you. 


 

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