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The Tradition of Excellence Continues at Wurzweiler School of Social Work

Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University is a nationally and internationally recognized School of Social Work. Located in Washington Heights and in Midtown Manhattan, the School is accessible to all five boroughs as well as Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester and even Connecticut. When it opened in 1957, Wurzweiler was the first School of Social Work under Jewish auspice. It is grounded in the values and ethics of the social work profession, values of diversity, inclusion, human rights and social and economic justice, and “Tikun Olum” which means “repairing the world” in Hebrew. The faculty and student body reflect the diversity of New York City, and the School is engaged in a Wurzweiler Community Partnership to recruit more BA level workers from Washington Heights to the MSW program thus professionalizing many community-based agencies in the area. Wurzweiler is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education through to 2017.

For almost 60 years, the School’s mission has adhered to a distinct set of values—excellence of teaching and learning, cultural competence, professional ethics and values, scholarship, social justice, and the importance of service to individuals, groups, and communities. Wurzweiler has educated MSW and PHD social workers who have gone on to outstanding careers as clinicians, supervisors, managers, administrators, researchers, educators, and legislators. MSW students choose from concentrations in advanced clinical practice with individuals & families, clinical group work, and community organization practice. Wurzweiler students can choose to obtain one of five certifications: Certificate in Jewish Communal Service (CJCS), Certificate in the Practice of Gerontology (CPG), Certificate in Child Welfare Practice (CCWP), Certificate in Social Work Practice with the Military (CSWPM), and the newest Certificate in Jewish Philanthropy (CJP). The certificates allow graduates to market themselves as having a modicum of expertise in a career direction of their choosing. The new Certificate in Jewish Philanthropy is unique among other fund-raising training programs. Its graduates will be well-positioned to assume critical development positions in Jewish organizations. It is a training program focused solely on addressing the acute shortage of qualified fund raisers in the Jewish community. It integrates classroom instruction on the art and science of fund raising with internships and professional coaching. It also explores the Jewish philanthropic tradition through textual study of primary sources on core Jewish values.

Wurzweiler’s Doctoral Program is one of the largest doctoral programs in social work in the country. Initiated in 1968, over 200 graduates have received doctoral degrees, and many of them, like Dean Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, have earned the Doctor of Social Welfare (DSW) degree. Since 2000, Wurzweiler has been approved by the New York State Department of Education to offer the PHD in Social Welfare. The core of all educational programs at Wurzweiler lies in its mission to prepare students to undertake competency-based practice in the profession of social work at the direct practice, middle and upper management levels and in teaching and research. The PHD Program prepares scholarly practitioners who represent this core concept. Unlike many other PHD programs, Wurzweiler’s program is grounded in practice. PHD students are expected to have an MSW degree, and to be employed in a social work position during their studies. This reflects the need for doctoral students to maintain their involvement in social work practice and to link the academic knowledge learned in the classroom to their practice. Wurzweiler is also planning to offer a fully on-line PHD program in the not too distant future.

Wurzweiler claim to fame is that it is what it says it is. There is a strong commitment to maintaining small class sizes with classes capped at 20 students and practice classes hold no more than 15 students. The individualized attention students receiver inside and outside the classroom is unique to social work programs in New York City. Wurzweiler has flexible study options with classes held daytimes, evenings and Sundays: on-line course offerings; and a midtown evening option at 33rd Street and Lexington Avenue. There are full-time, part-time, BSW Advanced Standing, 16-month Accelerated and a Summer Block Program options as well as a joint MSW/PhD program. Wurzweiler has dual degree programs offering an MSW/JD with YU’s Benjamin Cardozo Law School and an MSW/Divinity Degree in conjunction with Yale Divinity School.

The Wurzweiler office of field education maintains relationships with over 100 social service agencies in the tri-state area and globally. Field placement agencies are selected for their diversity, quality of service to the community, learning opportunities, expertise of supervisors, and eagerness to collaborate. Wurzweiler has partnerships with the American Jewish World Service, the Peace Corps and City Year that broaden outreach to the global community. Field education is the heart of social work education and the signature pedagogy. That is why field work and classroom work go hand in hand in the education of a social worker. Social work is not just academics, but it involves concurrent hands on experiences with individuals, families, groups and communities.

The faculty at Wurzweiler produces world renowned research published in major peer-reviewed field-related publications. They have expertise in a wide range of areas including working with military families, elderly, child welfare, Jewish communal service and Latino communities; clinical practice, group work and community practice; hearing impaired infants, women with Lupus, and end of life decisions; and faculty excel in cutting edge research methodologies, field education, and cultural competence in social work education and practice. Eight faculty are Fulbright Specialists and traveled to England, Israel, and South Africa to teach and consult. One faculty member is currently the editor-in-chief of Families in Society, the premier professional journal in social work. Other faculty serves on editorial boards, community boards and commissions.

Wurzweiler’s MSW and PHD graduates are leaders in social service agencies around the world, and in professional organizations like the National Association of Social Workers, Council on Social Work Education, Society for Social Work and Research and the International Association of Schools of Social Work. Wurzweiler’s Dean currently serves as Chair of the Commission on Accreditation for CSWE. Wurzweiler alumni are the best advertisement for the School, because more applicants are referred by alumni than by any other form of recruitment including Wurzweiler’s website, open houses, and newspaper ads. Wurzweiler takes great pride in the contributions of alumni to improve the lives of vulnerable populations throughout the world. Alumni lead major Jewish agencies and federations around the U.S., Canada and Israel. They are leaders in health care, mental health/behavioral health care, addictions, disabilities, education, veterans’ affairs, elder care, child welfare, forensics, and Jewish communal service. Alumni represent Wurzweiler in whatever arena of practice they are in.

Wurzweiler is recognized around the country and the world, in both secular and public forums, as a leading producer of scholarship and of graduates who are skilled social work practitioners, well-trained in ethical precepts. Several categories are repeated throughout the curriculum, namely, knowledge of social work values and ethics; bio-psycho-social-spiritual theories; social diversity and cultural competence; policy analysis and critique; organizational structures; and professional practice as a life-long learning experience.

Join the Wurzweiler community and become the finest social worker the world has known.

For more information about our programs go to call 212-960-0810. Wurzweiler continues to accept applications for the Fall, 2013 semester.

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