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BU MSW (clinical) Online

Discussion in 'Mental Health and Social Welfare' started by Whitney22, Sep 29, 2011.

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  1. Whitney22

    Whitney22

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    Hello,

    Has anyone attended or heard anything about the Online MSW program at Boston University? I am scheduled for a follow up phone call from an admissions officer this week, however I would like to gain some insight from some of the SDN members.

    Thanks!
  2. Neuropsych2be

    Neuropsych2be

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    I know of someone who is attending that program and says it is very very rigorous and very good. Since it is BU, you will have a degree from a top drawer school. Your degree and transcripts will typically not indicate that its was done online. The only complaint I heard about is the cost.
  3. slinger

    slinger

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    The only thing I would question is the type and amount of clinical material/experience you can actually soak up with an online format. I do understand that people can read a book from anywhere, but much of the actual practice part of clinical social work takes place in classrooms and field practicum, it really is an experiential process. I mean, there is a reason the school is ranked so high, so don't get me wrong. Just make sure it would be a right decision for you.
  4. socwrkr

    socwrkr

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    I also wonder about attending exorbitantly priced online programs such as BU or USC when you could get equally good education at a more affordable price in state schools. Social workers don't start out making a ton of money. A lot of the clinical experience you learn later on the job or at institutes, because even if the social work program calls itself "clinical," the clinical training typically does not compare to master in clinical psychology or MFT programs. If the focus is primarily clinical, then I would question if it's a social work program.
  5. slinger

    slinger

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    I am going to disagree with part of this post. This is off topic of the OP's question, so I don't want to stray, but then again, I don't want misinformation either. If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that if a social work program's focus is clinical, the social work characterization of the program is lost? How did you come by your facts that you get more clinical training in a M.A. Clinical Psychology program rather than a good clinical MSW program? That makes no sense.

    Just my own experience, when I was obtaining my MSW, I interned at a VA hospital next to PhD Psych students as well as M.A. Psych students doing their practicum piece. I can whole-heartedly tell you that I was getting much more "clinical" experience then the M.A. students at that level. Now the PhD students were a different story, and I felt that they were getting a heavy dose of clinical experience.


    Finally, in terms of an MFT program being more clinical than an MSW program, I don't really know what to tell you about that besides that it's not true. What are your qualifications to speak to this, and where is it that you obtain your data from?
  6. momto4girls

    momto4girls

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    This is something I'm wondering about right now - I had a phone call with BU today, and for me it is more than twice the price of going to an in-state school. From speaking with working LCSWs I know and asking here, the school is less important than I initially imagined it would be (i.e., going to a lower-ranked school does not mean you won't get a job, get an interview, etc.). Where I live in particular (zoned rural), going to the local school seems to be something of an advantage b/c they work closely with the field placement agencies, everyone knows everyone, etc. You actually might have a better chance of finding employment where you want b/c of the local networking (so long as you're a good student, etc). Not that a degree from a great school would hold you back, I just don't know if dollar for dollar it is worth the added financial stress ... at least for me. :confused:
  7. Neuropsych2be

    Neuropsych2be

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    The school you go to has less to do with your success than job experience and motivation. At least this is true in most fields. The question you have to ask is whether the extra prestige is worth the dollars you will shell out. I myself have been to state schools, private liberal arts schools and ultra prestigious school. Academic snobbery is real and can open doors for you in places like academe or Wall Street. The advantage of an elite education is not the degree per se or the quality of the education (which can be fairly mediocre even at Ivy League schools) but the contacts and networking that you do at such places. But for the field like education, many areas of business, or social work academic pedigree is of lesser importance. I'd go to the state school if you want an MSW.
  8. Heather75019

    Heather75019

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    Just curious, what was the price? I have looked around at the local universities and there isn't a MSW program so online might be the way to go for myself. :/ I loved USC until I saw the total price was $80k and about passed out!
  9. momto4girls

    momto4girls

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    I know - USC is expensive. I talked to someone there and it would actually add up to about $90K when all is said and done. BU is about $40K for the tuition - not sure if that is the total cost, but it would be around there.
  10. slinger

    slinger

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    I spent about $16,000 on my MSW. I work for the DoD as a therapist, and my annual salary is around $75,000. Not bragging or anything. Just proving a point, that you do not need to go to a fancy program to get a good job. Also, I think a clinically focused program (not online), from a smaller and cheaper school is better simply because there is less students. Of course you need quality of instruction, you can really pick apart case presentations and get the most out of your internship based seminar classes.
  11. Heather75019

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    That's fantastic. I am looking into TWU and the Counseling and Development program that is CACREP accredited but as far as any MSW programs in Dallas, there isn't any so online would be the only way I could do MSW. You would think being such a big metroplex there would be more options. :/ I am leaning towards TWU and getting my LPC though.
  12. slinger

    slinger

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    What about the University of Texas - Arlington? Arlington School of Social Work. It is an MSSW, top ranked as well. I believe they have some distance learning portion of it you can do as well. Best of luck.
  13. momto4girls

    momto4girls

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    The more people I speak to, this is the gist of what I hear. Thank you for sharing.
  14. Nemo777

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    UTA is a good school but it is pricey too. I am attending a MSSW program in the evening a 24 month program with 2 four hour lectures on consecutive nights and 5 week classes and it's insane!:eek: The program is awesome the pace not so much. The programs is geared toward full-time working adults. :rolleyes:

    Anyhoo, the cost is $28,000. I want to attend BU because the pace is slower but I'm not sure yet. I am a veteran so I am eligible to have 50% of my tutition paid (didn't finish my enlistement). So I'm grateful for that. We shall see. I talk with BU on Monday. They have 7 week classes online instead of 5 week classes with long lectures. BU can't be more rigorous than what I'm doing now.
  15. Heather75019

    Heather75019

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    I saw that you are in Texas. I live in Dallas. Do you know if BU's requirements and classes meet the state requirements here?
  16. Heather75019

    Heather75019

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    I saw that you are in Texas. I live in Dallas. Do you know if BU's requirements and classes meet the state requirements here? Just curious if the school you are currently attending is around Dallas? I can not find one MSSW/MSW at any local campus!
  17. Nemo777

    Nemo777

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    Hi Heather,

    I live near Dallas as well. The program I attend is actually located in Ft. Worth about 30 miles West of Dallas. They have a day program only. I don't think they are accepting applications of the evening cohort for another couple of years.

    All of the schools have to meet CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) requirements. Both programs are accredited by CSWE. I am not sure about what state requirements you are specifically inquiring about but I plan on leaving Texas as fast as I can after I graduate lol.
  18. wigflip

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    I worked with a someone who got his/her MSW at USC--graduated 10 years before I knew her, when tuition was likely a fraction of what it is now. S/he was still paying off her loans a decade later.

    That said, if BU is $28,000 for the whole program, that's not SO bad. Two years of in-state graduate tuition in the UC system costs about than that these days, and appears to still be on the rise...
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  19. wigflip

    wigflip

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    Yes. And some schools actively socialize their students to believe that their program is unique in its greatness and superiority. I've seen some real smugness about MSW pedigree that I think is way disproportionate to quality of clinical training. Wouldn't be an issue if some of those nitwits weren't in the position to hire their own (and only their own) alumni...
  20. Nemo777

    Nemo777

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    BU is $39,000. The state school I attend (University of Texas at Arlington) is $28,000. BU is 2 1/2 years to finish and my school is 2 years to finish.
  21. momto4girls

    momto4girls

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    It's more like $40,000 - I think that $28K was a reference to another program someone is attending...
  22. Vasa Lisa

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    Heather,

    I graduated from a CACREP program - 60 semester hours. I am currently working toward my LPC. As others have said on this board - when you are in a clinical rotation - you work with lots of other MH professionals. In MY experience - some fellow trainees are great! and well trained! and some are really lost and don't have the skills necessary to do the work. And it really depends on the person - not necessarily their training.

    In my practicum setting - I had more clinical counseling skills than the Psy.D. practicum students by far - my program was very clinical - CMHC - Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

    In my internship setting - there were MSW students doing their internships who didn't have nearly the training, experience, and confidence that I had doing therapy and they left me in the dust when it came to case management and getting clients connected to community resources.

    My internship clinical supervisor was an LCSW from a "top drawer" school - and she told me that my counseling training was much more than she had ever received in school.

    And yet - my experience with working with MSW/LCSW professionals - is that they have skills that I don't have - and for the most part I am not interested in learning (or I would have become a social worker!)

    I don't say this to disrespect any of the SW professionals here - this is my limited experience. Counselors in my program were trained to counsel - and there was an intense focus on those clinical skills to the exclusion of other skills.

    LCSWs have a much more powerful lobby in DC than LPCs and are paid more for the most part than LPCs. This is changing... but slowly. I also think that straight out of school - an MSW student is more employable.

    And yet - even knowing this I chose the LPC route because I knew that I wanted to sit hour after hour listening to the deepest experiences of my clients. And that is what I am doing - and I love the work - and my MSW/LCSW friends love their work too! and wonder how in the world I can be content - hour after hour...

    There is room for all of us - and no matter which route you choose - you will find a way to be useful to others.

    Vasa Lisa
  23. BobbyRiggs

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    Hi. I live in MA and want to become a mental health counsellor working in private practice. I looked at the BU MSW program but can not afford it.

    I do not have the grades for a top M.A. in Psych program. What are my best options? Is the MA School of Psychology a bona fide program? Is it fully-accredited? Many thanks for advice!
  24. Vasa Lisa

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    Bobby,
    If you are interested in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - look for a CACREP accredited school. If you are interested in SW - search the boards here - there is a wealth of info - and I am sure if you don't find what you are looking for - others will chime in.

    Vasa Lisa
  25. BobbyRiggs

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    Many thanks, Vasa Lisa. I will check CACREP status for schools.


    Anybody else? Anybody else know of any, cheaper, but reputable MSW programs in MA? On another note, is MA School of Psychology well regarded? Thanks.
  26. Whitney22

    Whitney22

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    Thanks everyone for the perspective, I suppose the BU program was enticing because I would be able to stay home, as oppose to uproot my daughter and I and move to a campus/different city. Also, I would also be able to keep my current employment which pays fairly well. However, I would agree the amount of debt is inexcusable, I do not want to tackle those sort of loans.

    Once again thanks everyone for the feedback it really helped me put it all in perspective.
  27. kbrady

    kbrady

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    Hi,
    I am enrolled in in the online MSW program at BU and I wanted to put my two cents into this discussion. The BU program costs about half of what the USC online MSW costs ($40,000 vs. $80,000). The BU program is proving to be very rigorous... far more challenging than I could have imagined and I am very pleased with this. You are required to have a field placement and field supervision that is just as extensive as it would be if you were physically attending school. In addition to the field work, you are required to have almost daily contact with your classmates and instructors/professors and there is a lot of reading and writing with in depth assignments due each week. I am finding that I have more contact and more of a relationship with the professors than I would in a classroom situation. I have several degrees at this point in my life, I have a degree from Boston College, Hunter College and many, many classes from local city and state colleges. In comparison, I would say that the quality of instruction in the BU program is superior to a classroom situation in a state school. It seems to me that BU is intent on not degrading the reputation of their SSW program through this new venture.

    In addition to all of this, there are many benefits to doing an online program depending on where you are in your life. As a mother with a job and a mortgage in the Bay Area, I couldn't afford to stop working and go back to school. Yes, I am taking out student loans to pay the tuition but if I went to UC Berkeley I would have to stop working so even if the tuition were free it would cost me more than the BU program.
    Time is another factor. With children, I don't have time to go to school every night. With an online program, I can be in school at 2 am if that is what works for me.
    I read a lot of deprecating comments about online degrees in these forums and I can see the point if we are talking about a degree from an online diploma mill. On the other hand, times have changed. Online technology and distance learning are quickly becoming legitimate learning environments and though I was initially skeptical, I have been won over. I am doing more work than I ever did in a classroom environment. As far as job prospects and the bias of others, getting an online degree from BU will look just like any other degree from BU... it doesn't say on your transcript that your work was done online!
    All in all, I am more than pleased with this program.
  28. momto4girls

    momto4girls

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    That's great to hear! And I agree about the negative comments regarding online degrees - I don't think that online equates easy or no work, and it can be irritating to hear blanket statements. It depends on the degree-granting institution and the program. I am in the process of earning a 2nd BS online from the state university system. And these classes are far more challenging than my previous undergrad classes at UCLA. My MSW program (starting in the fall) will actually be a hybrid program. I had looked into BU but the cost was prohibitive.
    Thank you for sharing!
  29. Nemo777

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    Thanks so much for the overview! I applied to attend this program in the Summer so I am waiting to hear from them!:xf:

    Can you give a brief overview of what the classes entail? How long are the weekly writing assignents and are their any tests/quizzes? Also, how do you like the 7 week classes? Sorry for the questions, but I am dying to know!
  30. Billy409

    Billy409

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    I have applied for the Summer 2012 cohort, and I too would like to hear more about the program. Thank you for your earlier post. I would imagine that BU would have nothing except high expectations of their online students. I have taken online classes and have found them to be both rigorus and time consuming which often seemed like more time spent at my computer and reading than I would have spent in a traditional classroom setting.
  31. celiesauce

    celiesauce

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    One thing I am surprised hasn't been mentioned in this conversation are income-based repayment options and loan forgiveness. Obama has recently lowered the time period for repayment from 25 to 20 years, and using IBR, your monthly payments for your loans would be representative of what you can handle based on your income. They can go as low as $100 per month depending upon your income and how much you owe. After 20 years, any additional interest that is still owed is forgiven. This is in response to the trillion dollar student loan crisis, whereby Obama and administrators decided that they would rather see some repayment than none at all, and the economic chaos resulting from loan default and hiring collections is not worth it for the government. They have decided to work with students in this difficult economy rather than against them. Additionally, there is loan forgiveness for certain professions that require a large amount of human service for little financial reward: this includes educators, social workers, and other human services employees. Loan forgiveness occurs after 10 years, and you have to apply for it, but can forgive a large percentage of your debt. A friend of mine who has been a social worker for ten years just qualified, and 40,000 dollars of her loans were forgiven. This is to ensure that the USA will always have good people pursue necessary positions in teaching and social services without being turned off by low income for those professions or worrying about exorbitant loans.
  32. neutralpalatte

    neutralpalatte

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    I think the reason most people opt for distance learning programs with a higher price tag vs in-person programs from a state school with a low price tag is because they have other obligations during the day. Whether that is running a successful business ($$$) or taking care of children while the other parent is at work. Sometimes, though the price tag may be higher, it is still a payoff (even financially) for someone who is already bringing in a large income or who has important obligations like dropping off / picking up their children.

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