Dordt University graduate students who are advanced standing in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program are eligible to participate in the MSW: Chicago, a partnership between Dordt and Chicago Semester.
The MSW: Chicago is a one-year program. Students who participate in the program enroll in online classes for the summer semester. Then, for the fall semester, students will live in Chicago, Illinois, where they will take three online courses, participate in field placement, and receive housing. They will take three classes and continue their field placement during the spring semester and, at the end of the semester, will graduate.
“The MSW: Chicago opportunity through Dordt provides MSW students with a supported urban experience for their year-long MSW field placement,” says Dr. Erin Olson, MSW program director. “It’s an amazing opportunity for our MSW students to live, study, and work in Chicago, and students will have the guidance of both the Dordt MSW faculty as well as the Chicago Semester.”
“Chicago is such a dynamic hub for social change, and we want to offer this place—this city—as a classroom to as many students as possible, especially those who share our vision of working toward a just, generous, and hospitable world,” says Kendra Wright, social work program director at Chicago Semester.
MSW students will have the opportunity to practice their social work skills in urban hospitals, public schools, and other diverse settings through their field placement.
The Chicago Semester seeks to provide urban experiential education from a Christian perspective that equips students for integrated personal, professional, and public lives. The MSW: Chicago is the program’s first partnership with a master’s level program. MSW students participating in the program will have the opportunity to interact with Chicago Semester undergraduates.
“First and foremost, it is a joy to collaborate with a program that shares our values of courage and hope: courage to challenge the injustices we see and perpetuate; and to recognize, advocate for, and work toward the redemptive hope we have in Christ,” says Wright. “I am excited that our current BSW students could have an online MSW program option with an additional Chicago Semester experience through Dordt. And Dordt’s excellent program can gain more visibility from other Christian institutions.”
To learn more about MSW: Chicago, please visit https://www.dordt.edu/msw-chicago.
In addition to foundational and advanced courses, Dordt’s MSW program offers a Christ-centered social work education with courses that are 100% online. The program includes three tracks: clinical, community practice and administration, and generalist. The clinical specialization prepares students for a clinical mental health setting and is a great fit for students interested in working in direct practice with individuals, families, or groups in a counseling or mental health setting. The community practice and administration specialization will prepare students to work in public or non-profit organizations, communities, and faith-based agencies at the administrative or community level. The generalist specialization is a great fit for students who are open to a career path in direct or indirect practice.
“When students graduate, they will have a wide range of career paths available to them including clinical counseling, medical or hospital social work, school social work, administration, community development, and advocacy,” says Olson. “They will also be eligible for licensure, which could ultimately allow them to enter clinical mental health private practice.”
As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Dordt, located in Sioux Center, Iowa, is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, Forbes.com, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review. To learn more, visit dordt.edu.