School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.

Dear School of Social Work students,

Happy FDOC (first day of class)! We are thrilled to welcome you all back – whether in-person on campus or virtually – and are excited for all of the things the new academic year has in store. Below are a few updates related to the 2021-22 academic year.

Last week, our academic and student success teams welcomed 83 new B.S.W., 274 new M.S.W. and 4 new Ph.D. students – bringing us to a total of just over 1,100 students in our VCU SSW Ram-ily! This is exciting for our communities as we know you will be exceptional social workers who will make a difference in the state of Virginia, nationally and globally.

Welcoming new faculty and staff

  • Gary Cuddeback, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for research
  • Allison McLarin, M.S.W. online student success advisor
  • Johnnie O’Neal, Ph.D., instructor

Things to remember

Our amazing academic and student affairs team has been preparing all summer for the launch of fall semester and we’ve paid a lot of attention to thinking through how to help you all remain safe and connected while we continue to navigate the changes and challenges of COVID-19. Here is a list of resources and key dates. We also want to highlight a few guidelines and methods of staying connected with the School, below.

Don’t forget your mask: VCU has outlined safety guidelines that include mandatory vaccination, masking and resources for finding COVID-19 supplies. Masks are required indoors on campus regardless of vaccination status.

Be prepared with Entry Pass: Before entering some buildings or rooms on campus, you might be required to show your Entry Pass. Your instructor may also require you to show your Entry Pass when entering class, so have that green check ready! Entry Pass can be accessed through VCU mobile.

Attendance Policy: VCU is no longer following the temporary student absence policy from last academic year. Be aware of the attendance policy as outlined in the Bulletin. Make sure you know and follow your instructors attendance policy as outlined in the syllabus.  

Connecting with us

Front Office: The dean’s suite and front reception desk on the 3rd floor of the Academic Learning Commons (ALC) will be open for a significant part of each day, but if you happen to stop by when the front office is closed, you can access the QR-code on the outer door for a faculty and staff directory that will help you to locate office locations, phone numbers and email addresses. 

Advisors: Our Office of Student Success (OSS) advisors are here for you. You can schedule a meeting with them on campus or online and you can always drop by on weekdays during business hours. If you drop by and your assigned advisor is not available, any member of the team can meet with you. Be proactive! Let us know when you need support. Don’t wait. We are here to help. 

Faculty Office Hours: Take advantage of regularly scheduled office hours with your instructors.  Refer to your course syllabus for the dates and times of office hours as well as whether they are being held in person or online.  

Resource Wire: The Resource Wire serves as our primary vehicle for student information and is sent via email every Tuesday. Therefore, it is essential that you check your VCU email address so that you stay in the know. Make a habit of reading the Resource Wire each week, because there you will find important information and updates on course registration, events, job opportunities, scholarships, field education and all things SSW.  

Student Community Hour: Associate Dean Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D., is available every Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET to meet with students. You can join face to face on campus (ALC 3102H, in the SSW dean’s suite) or virtually through Zoom (email for details). Stop by. Say hello. Ask questions. Share your voice.  

Research is very clear that staying connected and building community are important to student success. Connection matters whether you are learning in-person, virtually or a combination of the two. As the semester progresses watch the Resource Wire for additional ways to connect.  You will see opportunities to get involved with research and administrative assistant opportunities, student groups and events to enrich your academic experience. Get involved!

In closing, we are looking forward to partnering with you on your educational journey this year and to celebrating all the amazing things you will accomplish. Wishing you an amazing fall semester!

In community,

Beth Angell signature

Beth Angell, Ph.D.
Dean and professor

Rebecca Gomez signature

Rebecca J. Gomez, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs

Categories Education, Faculty and staff, From the dean, Students
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