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SSW Statement on Fall 2020 Semester
July 6, 2020

E-mail sent to SSW students on Monday, July 7, 2020

Dear Students:  

We are reaching out from Rutgers School of Social Work regarding the recent University announcement about course delivery. As you are now aware, the majority of the University courses will be offered in a remote format this fall. The School of Social Work will also be delivering all of our BASW and MSW courses in a remote format as well, with the important exception of field education. Like many of you, we are deeply disappointed not to be back in the classroom with you in the fall, but we do need to follow the University’s lead and prioritize public health. We are nonetheless confident that we will be able to deliver a strong learning experience in remote formats. Below please find additional details about your courses. We ask that you review these carefully. In addition, please watch the announcement from our Dean Cathryn Potter concerning Fall 2020 at the RU SSW.

Synchronous Remote (SR) classes: All classes formerly designated as on the ground in the traditional NB, Camden, and Newark programs will instead be offered in a synchronous remote format via a video conference platform (most likely Zoom). These classes will begin at their designated time on the schedule and run for 90 minutes. In addition to the 90 minutes of synchronous session, the class will require an additional 50 minutes of asynchronous work. Asynchronous activities (typically completed on your own time/schedule during the week) can include activities such as discussion boards, videos, group work following class (your professor may designate this time for group work, so please check the syllabus/CANVAS shell) or other small assignments. Please note that there will generally be only one due date for these supplemental asynchronous activities during the week. The one exception to the 90-minute format is the MSW field education lab/seminar, which will meet synchronously for the entire 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Fully Online Asynchronous Classes: Classes previously designated as online classes will remain in this format. These classes are fully asynchronous. They offer weekly modules with recorded lectures, faculty-led discussion boards, as well as other weekly assignments. The courses are designed to facilitate faculty and student interaction and engagement. They may have more than one due date during the course of a week.

Additional Sections: Please note that additional sections of some closed classes are in the process of being added to the schedule and additional sections of fully online classes may be added based on student demand and feedback. These changes will be visible to students by early August (per the larger University communication). The Office of Student Affairs (MSW) or Dr. DuWayne Battle (BASW) will let you know when they are added and open for registration. In addition, please note that MSW students may register for synchronous remote (SR) classes across campuses. In other words, a Camden MSW student may register for a synchronous remote (SR) section in Newark or New Brunswick and the reverse is true as well.  Your advisor will work with you closely on scheduling changes and we will ensure that students have ‘seats’ in all needed/required courses.

Student Forums: We will be holding student forums on the shift to remote learning to answer any questions. A forum for incoming MSW students will be held via Zoom this coming Thursday, July 9th from 12 to 1 pm. A forum for continuing MSW students be held via Zoom this coming Thursday, July 9th from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. A forum for all BASW students be held via Zoom this coming Thursday, July 9th from 12 to 1:00 pm. If you are unable to attend, don’t worry. We will be scheduling additional meetings with advisor groups throughout the summer.

Remote Learning Forum for BASW Students
Time: Jul 9, 2020 12:00 PM 

Remote Learning Forum for Incoming MSW Students
Time: Jul 9, 2020 12:00 PM 

Remote Learning Forum for Continuing MSW students
Time: Jul 9, 2020 01:30 PM Eastern Time 

Field Education: We expect a return to field education placements for Fall 2020. This follows the planning of other clinical or internship-based programs at Rutgers. Most students have either already secured a field placement or are in the process of interviewing with agencies. We will continue to place students throughout the remainder of the summer, as is our norm.  While we expect that most agencies will be operating in person, there are some that may continue to operate on a remote basis (or operate in a limited capacity) and they may accept interns on a remote basis. While we cannot guarantee remote placements, we are happy to work with students who are interested in these opportunities. Of course, these plans are subject to change in the context of a larger COVID-19 related public health emergency.

Orientation for Incoming MSW Students: We are planning for a remote orientation on Tuesday, August 25th. Please hold the date. Additional details are forthcoming.

As always, we strongly encourage students with questions and/or concerns about classes to contact their academic advisors and those with concerns about field education to reach out to their field staff/faculty. Please note that our faculty and administrators have been working this summer to prepare for this remote alternative should it be necessary. As social workers and educators, we recognize the loss inherent in not being with one another. Nonetheless, we are committed to delivering a high-quality, supportive and successful learning experience. We are living through unprecedented times and a national crisis. Social workers are needed now more than ever. We are honored that you are committed to completing your educational journey with us.


Cathryn C. Potter, PhD
Dean and Distinguished Professor  

Laura Curran, MSW, PhD
Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs 

Arlene M. Hunter
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs

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