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Student Profiles: Jordan on Policy Practice

Maria Jordan, MSW student with a concentration in Policy Practice, found the UConn SSW MSW program provides each of it’s candidates with “the roots and wings” to become informed, invested, practicing members within the social work profession.

Focused Area of Study: Social Work Practice with Older Adults
Bachelor’s Degree: Fordham University, Bachelor of Arts in Business

Anyone unsure of or considering a potential commitment to the practice of social work will gain a true sense of the UConn MSW program via its Non-Degree program. In taking six such classes over a two-year period, I was certain by this juncture, that applying to the full-time, matriculated program was the natural next step for me in the educational process to obtain my MSW. Over the course of this two-year evolution, I was introduced to the magnitude of social injustice and human oppression within our local communities, states, country and the world. My life and its focus have been forever changed.

Analysis of Social Welfare Policy was one of the first classes taken as a non-degree student and it exposed me to innumerable holes in our country’s threadbare safety net. Over the course of this semester, I felt a strong desire to become an agent of change to help right these wrongs and understand the systems of oppression that have gripped society. The raw facts and harsh statistics combined with the compassion, convictions and humanity of the professor for the need to advocate and lend a voice to vulnerable populations, resonated with me. After much personal reflection and soul searching on how to affect positive changes to a very unleveled playing field, I found the passion and focus of my “third career in thirty years.” Yes, I was going to apply to the UConn MSW program. My concentration would be in Policy Practice based upon the most effective use of the comprehensive skills within “my personal tool belt” (past, present & future).

The UConn MSW program is interactive between dedicated professors and future social workers, on both the micro and macro level, who by the end of every semester are each committed to empowerment through education and the sharing of one united voice. This program is much more than just an institutional body of learning – it is more of an extended family that has similar value systems while embracing causes and issues in the pursuit of social justice. The School of Social Work is a mindset of heart and soul weaved into the learning process – a way of life that is guided by an enthusiastic and committed professional staff who work collaboratively with invested and dedicated educators that engage both students and key stakeholders in making our communities and state more about “we the people” – all people.

Being involved in the UConn Graduate Student Organization (GSO) this year has provided me with a lens by which to advocate on behalf of my fellow peers to expand the evolutionary process and educational parameters for future MSW candidates. As a Policy Practice candidate, advocacy, testifying and lobbying at the Legislative Office Building are all necessary skills to be honed, concurrent with the research and development of policy proposals, along with participation in policy implementations that affect needed change.

The UConn MSW program provides each of its candidates with “the roots and wings” to become informed, invested, practicing members within the social work profession; embracing its content, engaging in its context and ultimately empowering vulnerable populations – as the purveyors and voice for social justice.