Information for Students and Employers
The Intensive Weekend program is specifically designed for students employed in the social and human services. The structure of the program enables students to build on acquired knowledge and skills and to apply on the job what they learn in the classroom and in field, enhancing their contribution to the organization as they complete their MSW education.
Workplace disruption is minimal: students devote 4-5 weekdays each month to class and/or field, depending on the program, in addition to weekend time. For example, Mays Landing and Bordentown students attend class one Friday every two months; and Parsippany and Jersey City students attend class on the weekend only, once each month - but have 3, 2-hour online class sessions, generally on Saturdays. Advanced standing students are assigned to one of these formats, depending on the location of their classes. All students must be able to participate in field the equivalent of at least one day each week.
At a minimum, employing agencies are expected to provide partial job reassignment, OR flexible scheduling or release time so that students are able to complete field education requirements, either at their place of employment or at an alternate agency. They are expected to provide release time or flexible scheduling, including the use of the students' personal time, if necessary, to permit students to attend class. Full attendance of all classes is required for credit.
Some agencies are able to provide tuition or other financial assistance in support their employees' educational goals. Financial support of the employing agency is not a condition of acceptance to the program, but support for the student’s candidacy and opportunities for field education are integral to the student’s success.
The School of Social Work requires that the student's supervisor and an agency executive or program director review and sign off on the student's Application Supplement and Field Plan. Discussion with the student to ensure a mutual understanding of the plan is strongly advised. Agencies may require post completion commitments from their employees commensurate with the extent of support provided while the student is in school. Such work agreements and any other personnel matters as they may relate to the employee’s participation in the program are at the discretion of the employer, pursuant to the policies of individual agencies.
Benefits for employing agencies:
The Intensive Weekend program contributes to staff development and retention. Because students remain in the employ of the agency while in school, they continue to contribute to the work of the agency as they enhance their knowledge base and practice skills. In particular, we encourage student involvement in field education projects that contribute to the overall needs and goals of the agency. Sometimes, these projects address a gap in service or area that the agency may wish to further develop. Overall, the agency, employees, and clients benefit from increased professionalization and the continuity of skilled social service staff.
Benefits for students:
The Intensive Weekend program permits the student to complete requirements for the MSW while remaining employed full time, without losing the salary and benefits of full time employment. The program is completed in approximately 3 years, as opposed to four years in part time study (2 years for advanced standing). The rhythm of classes and ability to concentrate on one subject matter at a time is conducive to managing academics and professional life. The course schedule and active learning format makes classroom learning more easily available for immediate on the job application.
Costs and Financial Assistance:
Program costs consist of tuition, off-campus and IT fees, and an initial program fee which covers the preparatory program, including the required non-credit course, Writing for Social Workers. Students are responsible to obtain books and supplies.