Adelphi University and The New Seminary

The Adelphi University School of Social Work is home to a community that is dedicated to life-changing student success. Its new partnership with Brooklyn-based The New Seminary makes its Master of Social Work (MSW) program available to members of the Orthodox Jewish community wishing to serve their community by pursuing careers in social work.

In Fall 2022, the inaugural cohort of students from The New Seminary began their first semester of a two-year, full-time and fully online MSW degree program in partnership with the Adelphi School of Social Work. “With one semester completed, I think the program is going very, very well,” said Patricia Joyce, DSW, associate professor and Online Master of Social Work director.

The New Seminary cohort of nine women joins the Adelphi School of Social Work’s student-centered and engaged community that prepares its students to be lifelong learners for effective, ethical, antiracist and anti-oppressive practice, striving for social justice and human rights for a global and diverse society.

According to Dr. Joyce, they will receive specialized training in the fields of gerontology, behavioral health, psychiatric social work and evidence-based practice with children and families in an online graduate program that has opened up graduate social work to students who couldn’t have accessed it before.

A Fully Online Program

“When meeting online, there is a blend of different ways to deliver material,” she explained. She added that the School has worked to accommodate the scheduling needs of the Orthodox Jewish students by respecting Jewish holidays and scheduling synchronous classes on Sundays, the best day for the cohort’s students in the New York area and Israel to meet.

Dr. Joyce noted that The New Seminary students are required to take part in workshops offered during each semester and during residencies, as well as a professional development seminar that all School of Social Work students attend online together. “This seminar helps them develop a professional self, social work code of ethics, and an understanding of antiracism and diversity,” she said. “They receive support on writing in the APA style, dealing with time management, résumé guidance and more.”

Dr. Joyce has been impressed with the way the cohort—many of whom are married or engaged and who have young children—have been able to meet graduate-level academic expectations. “They come to class prepared, get their assignments done and are engaged in class. These students are passionate and want to earn their degrees to make changes in their community,” she explained.

The Heart of Social Work Education

Dr. Joyce described fieldwork as being “at the heart of social work education. It’s where the rubber hits the road.” While taking classes, The New Seminary students are concurrently placed in field education internships, where they gain invaluable firsthand experience.

Sora Bulka, dean of The New Seminary, said that “the field placements are great. The students are absolutely thrilled [with the program]. They appreciate the classes, the professors and feel that they are really learning. They take pride in the fact they are in a professional program that will prepare them to do their work and fill the needs of their community.”

A Long History With Adelphi

The New Seminary has partnered with the Adelphi University College of Nursing and Public Health for more than 15 years to offer an undergraduate nursing program to its students.

Dean Bulka added, “We have a long history with Adelphi being culturally sensitive and aware of the needs of our community. We expected nothing less from this excellent partnership, and we aren’t disappointed.”

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