Spring 2021 Information

Dear Students,

As we begin the Spring semester remotely, we are committed to maintaining the highest standard of excellence regarding our MSW and BSW programs. We ask that if you are in need of any supports to attend to your on-line learning experience, please let us know. Please contact Rob Lorey in Student Services at rlorey@hunter.cuny.edu, if you have questions and or are in need of assistance.

Kind regards,

Mary M. Cavanaugh,
Dean

 

Student Supports

As we have previously mentioned, Hunter has instituted a long-term laptop loan program.   If you are a student in need of a laptop, please request one here.  Mobile hotspot loans may also be available, as well as other options for Internet and Wifi, please click here for more details. In-home broadband access is also available for free to CUNY students. Please visit the CUNY Continuity For Students website for more information.

In addition, we encourage students to apply for a grant from the Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Fund if they have unexpected expenses related to the current crisis.  Students can apply here. 

The College continues to operate a food pantry from its 68th Street campus.  Current hours for the Spring 2021 semester can be found by visiting the Food Pantry website .

As a reminder, here is our SSSW Community Resources page here for information on community resources for food insecurity, health insurance, debt/financial support and more.

The Library faculty and staff are readily available to assist you with library activities.  The Library is OPEN Online:

Or, reach out to a librarian directly here for questions and individualized support

 


 

The Writing Program provides a distance tutoring option that uses Adobe Connect to create a seamless learning experience. To take advantage of tele-tutoring, please follow these steps:

  • Make an appointment using one of our online scheduling calendars.
  • Email your draft as a Word document a minimum of three hours prior to the appointment (using the email address on the scheduling page). At this point, the tutor will send you a link for an Adobe Connect session.
  • At the scheduled time, call the number that the tutor provides you.

Please contact the Writing Program (ch552@hunter.cuny.edu) if you have any questions.

 


 

Free software downloads: Go here to learn about what technology you have access to download as a Hunter college student

 


 

Academic Advisors are available for virtual support not only for registration but for additional support if you are overwhelmed, would like to discuss study strategies, work on academic goals or general questions to support your academic goals towards completion of your MSW degree. We are happy to support!  Please contact, Pam DeCuir,pdecuir@hunter.cuny.edu, and Bonnie Zweig, bonnie.zweig@hunter.cuny.edu.

 


 

Mental Health & Wellness Support*

Free Counseling: During this stressful time, we want to remind you of support resources available.  For those students in need of additional support we encourage you to reach out to the Counseling and Wellness Services at Hunter College at (212) 772-4931 or by e-mail at personalcounseling@hunter.cuny.edu.

Free stress management: Here’s an app library that you can look through to support with various stressors: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/app-library/

Free meditations: Go here for free meditations for New Yorkers: https://www.headspace.com/ny

*If you are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to Advisement for resources and support.

 


 

Scholarships

If you are continuing at Silberman in the Fall 2021 semester, there are various scholarships available to students to be dispersed for the Fall 2021 semester. Below are links for scholarships, some of which are available to graduate and DACA students:

 

 


 

Support for DACA students

For DACA and undocumented students, please note the below community resources and supports:

Action NYC:  https://www1.nyc.gov/site/immigrants/help/legal-services/actionnyc.page

CUNY Citizenship Now:  http://www1.cuny.edu/sites/citizenship-now/

Immigration Law Unit-Legal Aid Society: http://www.lawhelpny.org/organization/legal-aid-society-immigration-law-unit-1/immigrationimmigrants/deferred-action-for-childhood-arrivals-daca

Unlocal.org:  http://www.unlocal.org/main-page/

Additional updates will be posted to the following websites: Hunter College and Silberman School of Social Work.

Please know that we are deeply committed to your success, and we are here to support you through these challenging times. Please stay safe and well.


 

 

 

 

Field Education

Dear Students, Field Advisors, and Community Partners,

What follows is a clarification around field practicum hours for spring semester, the simulated field experience and the placement planning process for next academic year 2021-22.

 

I. Field Practicum Hours

Like other schools of social work in New York City, for students in the traditional Two-Year and 16 Month tracks, Silberman has had a minimum requirement of 1200 cumulative field hours.  The Council on Social Work Education, our accrediting body, requires a minimum of 900 hours.  Silberman and other New York City graduate social work schools have historically required 1200 hours as this translates to students spending 3 days per week in their placements, allowing for consistency of support for clients, a greater opportunity to participate in agency life, and deeper learning overall.

As we mentioned in a previous communications, because of holidays and a delayed start to field following the beginning of classroom instruction, the first semester of field has always been shorter than the second semester.  A change to a minimum of 225 hours for Fall 2020 still entailed attending field 3 days or 21 hours a week for 11 weeks.  Thus, the reduction in hours addressed the possibility of an interruption or early conclusion to your field assignment due to a potential second wave of COVID-19. It also provided some leeway for ensuring the reduced minimum requirement for the fall semester in the event of sickness or other disruptions was met.

As the second wave of COVID-19 began to emerge in late fall and the possibility of an interruption or early conclusion to students’ field assignments became a possibility for spring we felt compelled to apply for the reduction in hours for spring 2021 as well.  This was a precautionary measure to provide some leeway to ensure you would still meet the reduced minimum requirement for the spring semester in the event of sickness or other disruptions.  The hours for field have not changed.  Students continue to be in field practicums as planned–three (3) days per week for 21 hours.  The last day of field instruction for the Spring 2021 semester is May 14, 2021.

We know that students want enhanced opportunities to build their knowledge, skills, and competencies, and that our community partners want to offer as much learning as possible.  We also know that the agencies, the communities and the individuals we learn from and serve rely on your commitment to the service and relationships of care that you have fostered through the work. Therefore, we are reminding students that the 225 hours is a minimum, and to strive to achieve, to the extent possible, as much learning and training as possible. Of course, we recognize that there may be extraordinary circumstances that require a clear plan–arranged in collaboration with your field instructor and field advisor– to allow for any changes in the field practicum assignment.

 

II. Innovative Simulated Field Experience

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and in this pandemic it became clear that we had to develop ways to provide students with effective practical learning in the absences of our usual partnerships with agencies.

We have developed an innovative non-agency-based field placement option. Like traditional field practicums, this simulated field experience offers approximately twenty hours of weekly learning, trainings and exercises that mirror the rigors of agency-based field training in a controlled environment. The course has provided a true horizontal learning experience – through a combination of didactic and experiential learning. In the first semester students engaged in real-life practice opportunities that allowed them to enact foundational skills and theory learned concurrently in their coursework.

Here is a brief summary of the areas of development students engaged in this past fall:

    • Weekly individual peer counseling sessions focusing on psychosocial stressors/issues using a person centered, strengths based approach via Zoom.
    • Developed fundamental engagement skills such as use of empathy, active and reflective listening.
    • Focused on assessment/interviewing techniques such as the use of open-ended questions, and probing questions with an emphasis.
    • Explored use of self, disclosure, and setting boundaries.
    • Developed client centered goals that promoted growth and ways of coping in partnership with client– based on problem identification, and needs assessment.
    • Wrote weekly process recordings
    • Observed weekly peer counseling sessions with an emphasis on identifying techniques used and highlighted client engagement.
    • Completed weekly Alt Field assignments on a range of social work skills such as role-plays, crisis texting services, writing case notes, applying social work ethics, identifying implicit biases, and self-care.

Trainings included:

HIPAA Confidentiality; Telehealth Basics for SW Educators & Behavioral Health Clinicians Responding to COVID-19; NTCSN trainings (*Students self-selected 8 NTCSN trainings); attended webinars on Clinical Training in the time of COVID & Social Change; and, Treating Mental Health in the Black community.

As with all field experiences, we gathered feedback from students, instructors, and field advisors that led to us implementing various changes to the curriculum for the spring.  The spring semester of the simulation experience, now underway includes the following topics, exercises and projects:

    • Assignment of students to groups based on an agency setting (i.e. school, hospital, etc.)
    • Presentations and role-plays from and with experts in the field and from agencies
    • Risk assessment and management in practice
    • Community assessment
    • Individual Assessment including writing the Psychosocial assessment
    • Writing Case notes and process recordings
    • Strengths based approaches: Motivational interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral basics and problem solving techniques and interventions.
    • Role Plays and enactments of cases based in the intervention methods
    • Capstone project

 

III. Field Placement Planning for 2021-22

We are currently involved in the placement planning of aspiring second year students and we are working to identify, develop and match students to agency opportunities.  If you are interested in providing field placement opportunities for students, please go to our webpage https://sssw.hunter.cuny.edu/field-education/agency-request-for-msw-students/ to submit the request for students.

As stated in our Field Manual, students should not arrange their own placements, since this can create confusion and impact our efforts to offer equity and parity in placement access to all students. If you, as a student know of agencies you would like us to explore as possible placements, please reach out to your Assistant Director of Field to let them know about this potential opportunity.  Such suggestions will be carefully evaluated by the Field Education Department, but please do not reach out to the agencies yourselves.

This has been a difficult year for many, if not most of us.  Social work education has never been more important, or more impacted by external factors.  We are working as hard as we can to communicate with all of you, and be flexible and innovative in our approach to your practicum learning.  We hope you find this information helpful, and we look forward to our continued collaboration in training the next generation of social work professionals.

 


 

Faculty Supports

The College and University share a deep concern for the well-being of its employees.  To help employees and their families balance the demand of their work and personal lives, free, confidential assistance on a variety of topics is offered through the CUNY Work/Life Program found here.

Blackboard Resources

Please visit the Remote Teaching section of our Faculty Resources website for more information on Blackboard, videoconferencing tools, workshops and trainings, as well as Office Hours.

As always, please contact the Helpdesk (helpdesk@hunter.cuny.edu) if you have questions.

Hunter College Center for Online Learning

Please visit the Center for Online Learning webpage on the Hunter College website for resources, support, and workshops for online course design.

Hunter College ACERT

ACERT, works closely with the Center for Online Learning and Office of Assessment to offer a wide-variety of events, programming, and faculty support. Their programming will include hands-on workshops as well as seminars and events focused on dialogue, community, and resource sharing. Please see the links below to events and resources already scheduled and created, and be sure to check for updates and new listings on the ACERT home page and ACERT calendar.

Scan QR code to go to
Spring 2021 Information Webpage