Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: Getting your MSW - 2nd Edition (2013)

Getting Your MSW: How to Survive and Thrive in a Social Work Program - 2nd Edition (2013), by Karen Sowers (University of Tennesse-Knoxville) and Bruce Thyer (Florida State University), is a comprehensive survival guidebook published by Lyceum Books for prospective and current students interested in graduate social work (MSW) programs. This guidebook helps orient new students to the social work profession, the MSW admissions process, the organization and structure of social work education, state licensure requirements, and a listing of professional social work organizations in the United States. This edition has four new features:
  • Extended table of contents for quick and easy reference
  • Employment resources for today's economic climate (including job search strategies)
  • Information on the use and relevance of technology in social work education
  • Content on MSW  programs and field work opportunities
Like the previous edition, this book provides a clear and concise overview of MSW social work programs. It continues to be a recommended reference for social workers in the early stages of their career. I enjoyed the chapter about the MSW curriculum and field education, which goes into detail on the Council on Social Work and a basic overview of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). Students will thrive much better in graduate school if they have a solid understanding of the MSW curriculum.

Unfortunately, the guidebook is biased towards clinical social work. It does not provide adequate resources for social work students who want to pursue careers in macro practice (organizations, communities, and public policy). There is an appendix section on how to earn the LCSW in Florida. While this process is helpful for students in Florida, other students would be wise to look up license requirements in their state of employment (such as Social Work License Map). Your state board of social work would also provide application materials and instructions for licensure. Overall, this is a wonderful reference to keep for graduate school. Students may have to look to other books for macro social work-specific employment information and professional organizations. I was very disappointed that the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) was not mentioned in the appendix of professional social work organizations.

1 comment:

Toby said...

This is awesome!