Frequently Asked Questions about the MSW Fellowship in Aging
What makes the MSW Fellowship in Aging different from the MSW Certificate in Aging?
Whereas the MSW Certificate in Aging Program
is open to all MSW students, the Fellowship is a competitive program for a select group of MSW students. Unlike the Certificate Program, the MSW Fellowship offers a scholarship ($1,500 for the 2012-2013 academic year), as well as an enriched field placement that emphasizes students’ leadership development for our aging society.
How does the program promote students’ leadership development?
All Fellows are required to complete a field-based leadership project. The requirements for the leadership project are purposely flexible so that the project can be responsive to the needs of the organization, as well as to the students’ interests. In general, a successful leadership project demonstrates the following characteristics:
- Influences change or enhances organizational capacity for change to better meet the needs of older adults and their caregivers
- Draws on relevant and high-quality research (e.g., to define the problem, to identify “best practices")
- Has the potential to be sustainable beyond the length of the fellowship
- Involves empowering and engaging others as leaders
To learn more about the projects completed in 2010-2011, click here.
To learn more about the projects underway for 2011-2012, click here.
What is the time commitment for being a Fellow?
The program is structured so that students can complete the requirements of the fellowship largely within their regularly allotted course and field requirements. For example, the leadership project is to be completed within students’ regular field hours.
Fellows are occasionally asked to complete a minimal amount of additional work, such as writing up descriptions of their leadership projects and attending group meetings about three times throughout the academic year. Fellows are also strongly encouraged to attend at least one aging-focused enrichment workshop or conference (offered by the School or another organization) throughout the academic year. With approval from their field instructors, fellows can use their field hours to complete these responsibilities.
Are there eligibility requirements for applying for the Fellowship?
Applications for the Fellowship typically become available in January and are due in early March. As the Fellowship is a field-based program, only students who will be entering their advanced year of field (i.e., Field III) for the following academic year are eligible to apply. For example, for the 2013-2014 Fellowship, only students who will be entering Field III during the summer or fall of 2013 are eligible to apply.
Is the Fellowship just for students in the clinical social work concentration? Or is it just for students in the nonprofit and public management concentration?
The Fellowship is an opportune experience for students in both concentrations. Leaders for the field of aging need skills in both clinical social work and nonprofit and public management. Fellows from both concentrations have very successfully completed the program in the past.
I have no idea where I will be placed next year for field. Can I still apply for the Fellowship?
Certainly. The Field Education Office is informed immediately after Fellows have been selected. The staff will work with Fellows to find a suitable placement for the fellowship if one has not been found already by that time.
I have a very specific idea of where I would like to be placed next year. In fact, I already have been placed. Can I still apply for the Fellowship?
As long as the placement relates to aging, there is potential to make this placement work for the purposes of the Fellowship.
I am not an MSW student yet, although I plan to begin in the fall of 2013. Can I apply?
Thank you for your interest; however, to be eligible for the 2013-2014 Fellowship, you must be entering your advanced year of field (i.e., Field III) in the summer or fall of 2013.
I will be a newly admitted Advanced Standing student in the summer of 2013. Can I apply?
Yes - Assuming that you will be entering Field III that summer, and that the application deadline has not already passed, you are strongly encouraged to apply.
How do I get selected for the Fellowship?
The application process occurs in the spring semester. Applicants must submit an online application and an electronic copy of their resume. This information is then used to select applicants for on-campus interviews. After the interviews, the Fellowship Selection Committee-which includes social work faculty and community partners-makes its final selections by the end of April.
This all sounds great. How do I apply for the this year’s MSW Fellowship in Aging?
Applications for the 2013-2014 Fellowship Program are now available at http://www.instant.ly/s/PGpTS. All currently enrolled MSW students will receive an email announcement, and newly admitted Advanced Standing students will receive information as part of their acceptance packets.
Who should I contact with additional questions?
Please email Professor Kristin Scherrer, Faculty Coordinator for the Rutgers School of Social Work’s Programs on Aging, at firstname.lastname@example.org.