The program is comprised of coursework, rotational field seminars, standardized patient training, and a field internship.

Coursework

In addition to the traditional MSW courses, accepted students must satisfactory complete two required courses within their academic program:

SWRK 783 Advanced Mental Health Practice with Veterans, an advanced clinical mental health practice course on PTSD, Suicide Assessment, and Depression and other mental health problems veterans frequently face. This course is only offered in the Fall semester.

SWRK 777 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based treatment for mental health problems (e.g. depression) that is approved and used by the Veterans Administration. The course is offered in the Fall or Spring semester.

Both of these specialty courses will provide enhanced training for MSW students seeking a career path in veteran affairs

Rotational Field Seminars

The purpose of a Rotational Field Seminar model is to offer enhanced value-added learning opportunities for MSW students in order to pursue specialized mental health skills, practice and competence to work with veterans, families, and military personnel. The Rotational Field Seminars provide students with professional development experiences that offer them the opportunity to learn from and with each other. Seminars serve to integrate field and didactic learning, to introduce students to other areas of military social work, to promote networking and learning from local experts in the VAMC, and to create a broader veterans service network.

Standardized Clinical Patient Training

The Standardized Clinical Patient Training Program offers MSW students the opportunity to test their clinical and communication skills among hospital-based patients (who are veterans) with the following enhanced learning experiences:

  • Controlled environment where students develop their approach to veteran care.
  • Clinical practice of assessment, diagnostic, and interpersonal skills.
  • Reliable and valid quality assurance to assess learners on their progress.
  • Digital video of clinical sessions are accessible to students online.

Field Placement

Selected students will work with the Field Office to secure internships in settings where they will be able to develop the skills/competency to work with the veteran community. Students will be assigned placements based on the student’s interests and an interview process with the Field Director and Director of the CVNSP. The CVNSP and Field Office work with a variety of settings which may be VAMC or community-based agencies that service veterans and their families. Students must complete the internship hours and requirements for the MSW program to be eligible to graduate.

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