Questions to Ask about Graduate Schools

This section is meant to give you a starting point in assessing how a graduate school of social work may or may not meet your career needs and goals. We hope that these questions will help you make an informed decision about your education.

Does the program have the focus I seek?
At MSASS, we believe that social work practitioners are strategists of change, working in partnership with others to enhance the caring capacity of communities. We are committed to preparing advanced practitioners able to understand the dynamics of problematic social situations and to identify the strengths and resources in individuals, families, and communities that offer the best hope of solutions. Our School is dedicated to developing leadership in empowerment and in the ongoing struggle against discrimination and oppression. MSASS supports innovation and excellence in the service of building healthy communities.

Does the school have the enrollment option that meets my needs?
At the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School, we make master’s study convenient for everyone. You can choose from:

  • Full-Time: a two-year program that takes four semesters to complete. Students enroll for fall and spring semester for two years. Students are scheduled for classes and field on a full time basis. There is no summer program to accelerate this process.
  • Part-Time:up to a four-year program that allows students a flexible weekday schedule.
  • Intensive: a nine-semester (three-year) weekend program for people working full-time in a social work capacity.
  • Advanced Standing : a 12 or 18 month program for students already holding a bachelor degree in social work. Additional options are available to you through ourĀ  certificate programs.

Does the program provide me with ongoing professional development and opportunities?
MSASS students and alumni enjoy many career-building benefits. Through Career Services , current students and alumni can take advantage of free career counseling, workshops, field and career fair, speaker series, mock interviews, and on-line job links. The Alumni office provides MSASS graduates with networking opportunities and workshops on issues pertinent to the social work field.

What type of financial assistance is available from the school?
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School wants everyone who qualifies for admission to find it possible to attend our school. We offer scholarships based on academic merit, grants based on merit and need, low interest loans, and college work study (need-based) earned through field placement. In 2011-2012, nearly 98 percent of MSASS students received tuition assistance, including:

  • Merit- based scholarships
  • Need-based scholarships and grants
  • Stipends for students enrolled in the full-time program.
  • External assistance (e.g., employer tuition reimbursement, outside scholarships)
  • Federal and Private student loans

MSASS tuition support is either merit-based or need/merit-based. Merit-based scholarships are awarded on a first-come first-served basis. There is no separate scholarship application. Students automatically apply for these when they submit a complete application for admissions. Decisions regarding scholarships are made starting in February and continue until all scholarships are awarded and accepted by admitted students. Consequently, it is in a student’s best interest to apply for admissions as soon as possible in order to benefit from the larger pool of available funds.

Does the school offer a balanced program of micro (clinical) and macro fields of concentration?
At the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School, you can choose the Community and Social Development Concentration or the Direct Practice concentration with specializations in Aging, Health, Adult Mental Health, Children and Adolescent Mental Health, Children, Youth and Families, and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. Macro practice concentrations include Community Development Along with these concentrations you can select a focus or emphasis area such as School Social Work.

Does the school provide me with a wide breadth of field work opportunities?
MSASS places a high priority on the integration of theory with practice. Consequently, the school is affiliated with more than 350 agencies in the Greater Cleveland area, creating a vast network of field education as well as employment opportunities.

How does the school compare nationally with other schools of social work?
Ranked among the top graduate schools of social work in the country, MSASS prides itself on the positive impact its faculty, staff, students, and alumni have in communities locally, nationally, and internationally. The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School is ranked one of the Top 10 schools for social work, according to U.S. News and World Report , and the number one graduate social work school in Ohio. Through education, research, and service, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School improves professional practice and shapes public policy on issues ranging from services to people with mental illness, to national welfare reform, to international adoption issues.

Is the school I’m exploring accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)?
MSASS is accredited by CSWE. The school has gone through a rigorous assessment to ensure that it meets or exceeds all CSWE standards and its graduates are prepared to practice social work at a professional level.


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