The WMU School of Social Work is working diligently to assist our students, faculty, instructors, and staff adapt to the current university changes in response to COVID-19. For all university-wide decisions and updates, please continue to check wmich.edu/covid19.
Need some ideas on how to keep up your mental health during this time? Check out these resources:
Being Mindful of Your Mental Health During Covid-19 Outbreak (Healthline.com)
Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Family Cope with Covid-19 (National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Network)
134 Activities to Add to Your Self-Care Plan (GoodTherapy.org)
The school understands that this situation adds significant stressors to many of our daily lives. If you need extra support of any kind during this time, please click the button below. You will be directed to send an email to Jennifer Klauth, our student services representative, who will connect you with appropriate resources. If the button doesn't work for you, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
School of Social Work Events
All school of social work events with an anticipated attendance of 50 people or more taking place between now and May have been canceled. This includes: Dr. Gary Mathew's retirement celebration, Kalamazoo Hooding & Pinning Celebration scheduled for April 23rd, and the WMU School of Social Work 50th Anniversary Celebration scheduled for May 2. We are working diligently to find ways to virtually celebrate these significant events in the lives of our school family and will update this page with any new information as it develops.
All courses have gone online from now until April 3, as required by the university. Please contact your instructors for more information about how to access your course during this time.
Advisers remain available to you. Please email your adviser with questions or needs, and they will schedule a phone, teleconference or in-person meeting as requested. Please note that regular office hours/advising hours are currently suspended, so you will need to make an appointment with your adviser to ensure getting to meet with them.
Students in Field Placements
Our Interim Field Director Paul Mailloux and Field Coordinators, Vicki Poleni and Marian Tripplett are working with all our field placements to ensure that students can complete their required hours. They have established the following three options for students:
- If your organization is still open and accepting students: continue to attend field placement as planned, unless your field organization closes to students or you are uncomfortable or ill and cannot attend.
- If you are unable to attend as planned: Notify your field instructor and faculty liaison if you will not be attending. Work with your field instructor to develop an adapted learning contract to complete your hours remotely. If you need ideas, please follow link below for NASW's suggested remote activities that align with each competency. Continue to meet for weekly supervision, sign-off on hours, and learning contract evaluation with field instructor remotely.
- If your field instructor is not able to meet with you: (either remotely or in person) for field instruction, Contact your faculty liaison. They will temporarily fill the role of your field instructor to provide supervision, sign off on hours, and complete your learning contract evaluation.
The WMU School of Social Work has developed plans to address temporary disruption to students’ social work field placements due to local considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As emerging professionals, students are empowered to make an informed decision and consider options regarding attendance in field related to health and safety. We support the informed decisions that you make.
The following plans and protocols should be followed regarding field education:
● Students should contact the field instructor at the field organization to determine if there are mandatory agency closures and should follow the directives of the field site.
● Students should be in communication with their Western Michigan University School of Social Work field faculty liaison as well regarding agency closures or mandates.
● If the field site is open, students should plan to attend field as scheduled while closely monitoring their own health and safety.
Contingency Plan for Closures
If students choose or are advised/required to stay home by their field organization, the university, and/or the local, state or federal government, the field education team has developed the option for students to be able to continue acquiring field hours through remote or virtual activities.
To request the option for remote field activities, students must submit a remote field activities plan by emailing the field instructor and field faculty.
The remote field activities plan must include:
● The selected activities and competencies addressed.
● The anticipated completion date and the amount of time for activity completion.
● Students should keep a log of all completed activities to provide to the field instructor and field faculty.
● The request for the remote field activities plan must be approved by both the field faculty and the field instructor.
The plan must be approved before beginning remote field activities. All remote field activities and products will be provided to the field instructor and field faculty so they can be used for end of term evaluation purposes, and must then be included in the Learning Contract. See below for suggestions on each competency.
Field visits will be conducted in person, or by teleconference if requested.
This policy is designed to address short-term field placement disruptions of a maximum of 30 calendar days. If the field placement disruption continues beyond 30 calendar days, Western Michigan University's School of Social Work will determine the most appropriate response to support students in determining how to address field education requirements.
Due to precautions surrounding the COVID-19, WMU is not currently hosting any in-person group info sessions. If you are interested in setting up a phone call or teleconference, click the button below and we will connect with you to schedule a one-on-one informational session at your convenience.
Faculty and Instructors
1) COMMUNICATE WITH STUDENTS
First - communicate by email to your students to let them know you will be transitioning to an online format and you may need some time to prepare to make this happen. Let them know you are working on it and you will keep them posted by email. If students have problems/concerns with distance learning, please forward them to me so that I can reach out to them and their academic advisers to assist.
2) GET TRAINING/RESOURCES
Go to the Instructional Continuity site at the link below for detailed instructions. There are live webinars 45 minutes long, scheduled on the hour today and tomorrow (just click the link at the top to join). The trainings are focused on using Webex (video conferencing) and E-learning (how to set up your content).
Below are some resources to help you adapt your instruction to be online. The phone number for instructional support is (269) 387-6958. I am also including a faculty developed link to a tutorial to record voice over PowerPoint.
3) ADAPT YOUR TEACHING
For the next two weeks, and conceivably beyond that, we will need to revise our assignments to be delivered over E-learning. On E-learning, you may post videos (e.g. Youtube, TEDtalks, or self-recorded), discussion posts, short answer quizzes, and/or written assignments to be turned in to Drop box on Elearning. You may also use the regularly scheduled class time to communicate via live video conferencing (Webex, Zoom, Skype). We have shared Zoom account that you may use - contact me for details. You may want to prerecord yourself (audio or video) and post the links to your Elearning site.
WMU is suggesting that faculty allow some additional flexibility with due dates, as you will be changing your course content, mid-semester.
As we all know, our students may require additional support in times like these. Please regularly check your email for requests from your assigned students, and make arrangements to meet with them on the phone, through teleconference, or in-person as the student is comfortable.
SUMMER II SOCIAL WORK ELECTIVES
Looking for an amazing Summer II elective? We have many great opportunities in the School of Social Work