School of Social Work responds to COVID-19

Image of laptop, cellphone and notebook.

by Laurie Anderson | March 21, 2020

Along with the rest of the University of Georgia, in March the School of Social Work temporarily closed its facilities and put classes on hold to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The closure began at 5 p.m. on March 13, in order to give faculty time to transition to online learning and research. At that time faculty and staff also left their offices to work from home or off campus.

Since then, students, faculty and staff have kept in touch via email, telephone, social media, and video conferencing.

“This has been quite a week,” Dean Anna Scheyett told students later via a video shared on Facebook.

While classes are suspended until March 30, field education resumes on Monday, March 23. Both will be done remotely.

“We are providing alternative field learning activities that can be completed off-site,” Zoe Johnson, director of field education, told students in an email. Students have been provided with dozens of examples of qualifying experiences, including resource-mapping for clients, developing survey instruments, conducting literature reviews and creating evidence-based, online trainings for agencies.

Although all special events have been cancelled—including the School’s annual awards luncheon and convocation—the administration is looking at alternative ways to recognize students who are expected to graduate as scheduled.

“For field and for classes, as long as you do the work you will get full credit for these courses, and the semester is going to end at the regular time that it was scheduled to end,” Dean Scheyett told students.

In the meantime, students are urged to check email several times a day for messages from instructors and the university.

The School also has created a web page, Coronavirus Updates & Resources, with School-specific announcements and information to help students, faculty and staff.

“All of this is a lot to take in,” Dean Scheyett said in the video. “Email me, call me, email the Field Office. We want to provide you support.”

“But most of all, take a deep breath. We will get through this together.”

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