A Message from the Dean: The Future of Wurzweiler School of Social Work
Every May, the faculty and administration meet for Spring Wrap-Up to review the year that is ending and to plan for the year ahead. As usual, we agree on new goals and directions for the School, the curriculum and for our students. Students are generally surveyed through Survey Monkey for their input on our discussions, and we look at course evaluations to see what trends exist among students and faculty.
In addition to all these discussions, this year the focus was on expanding on-line course offerings for the Fall, Spring and Summer sessions in the MSW and PHD programs. Our main concern is maintaining high standards of social work education while expanding our reach as a School to new populations both nationally and internationally. Alumni have expressed a need for an on-line PHD program for many years, and we are finally acting on this request. You will hear more about this as we teach ourselves and our students how to use new technologies in on-line education.
We are also hard at work preparing for reaccreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Our self-study is due October 2016 and our site visit will take place in February 2017. The most dramatic change for our School is shifting our attention to competency-based education. In other words, we have to assess the extent to which our students achieve social work competencies established by CSWE. Some of you are already familiar with this, but there will be more discussions about competencies as you move through your social work education at Wurzweiler. Soon we will be able to report to students how well we are doing as educators and how well you are doing as graduates in achieving competence in social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations.
Lastly, I want you to know that we have already begun to plan for our 60th Anniversary as a School. Our 60th logo is already on all our stationery, and a joint Board and Faculty committee will help plan a gala in Fall 2017 to celebrate the past, present and future of Wurzweiler, and to raise more scholarship money for our students. I hope all our alumni will join in this celebration.
The faculty and administration continue to envision new directions and new goals for the School. We have raised more scholarship money this year than last, and our enrollment continues to steadily rise despite all the competition in NYC where 10 Schools of Social Work reside each offering their unique brand of social work education.
While you are a student here at Wurzweiler, please take advantage of all we have to offer you. Smaller classes, faculty advising, extra-curricular learning opportunities, opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research or other scholarly activities, service learning events, becoming a student member of the National Association of Social Workers, and putting into practice the lessons learned from your teachers, classmates and the people you serve.
I am entering my third year as Dean, and my tenth year at YU, and I am confident that Wurzweiler has wonderful alumni and students who can help us realize our vision of the future.