CSSW Updates on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

This page provides the latest communications on COVID-19 that have been issued to the Columbia School of Social Work community.

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Fall 2020 Evaluation and Preliminary Information Regarding Spring 2021

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted October 26, 2020 at 6:54 p.m.

I hope your fall semester is going well despite the many challenges we face. Leaders at the School and the University are engaged in deep conversation about our plans for spring. As we deliberate, we keep the following key principles top-of-mind…


Fall 2020 at CSSW

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted July 9, 2020 at 4:18 p.m.

At a moment when our nation faces the continued spread of COVID-19 and other profound societal challenges, we at the Columbia School of Social Work, the oldest social work school in the country, find ourselves more energized than ever before. These crises have shown how important trained social workers are to our society, and have motivated us to find novel ways to deliver the same rigorous educational programming for which our School has always been known. …


The hope of longer days

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted May 3, 2020 at 7:47 p.m.

The days are getting longer and brighter in New York City. And the weather definitely took a turn for the better this weekend. These changes coincide with the end of spring semester classes for everyone at CSSW. I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for your remarkable flexibility and agility. I have been so deeply impressed by the accomplishments that you have achieved during a most challenging term. …


The strength in social ties

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted April 26, 2020 at 9:56 p.m.

As we enter our sixth week of the stay-at-home order in NY and many other places, it’s time to reflect on where we are and what comes next. There are in excess of 150,000 confirmed COVID cases in New York City, and over 16,000 confirmed and probable COVID-related deaths. The number of cases across the US approaches one million. The good news is that the number of new cases in NYC appears to be declining. Everyone is asking – when do we return to normal? …


Nearing the peak?

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted April 19, 2020 at 9:18 p.m.

As always, I hope this note finds you and yours in good health. Many of us have been closely monitoring the data in New York City, the nation’s epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data provided by the NYC Department of Health, which focuses on people who are experiencing more severe illness (due to the limited availability of testing), the city has seen nearly 130,000 COVID cases thus far, with roughly 35,000 hospitalizations. The number of deaths is over 13,000, combining confirmed and probable COVID cases. Despite these staggering numbers…


As “I” Becomes “We”

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted April 11, 2020 at 9:28 p.m.

I hope you are remaining healthy and safe throughout the current crisis. There’s no doubt this has been a very tough week, with COVID taking a truly horrific toll on the CSSW community. Moving forward, we must do all we can to celebrate the life and legacy of MSW student Susan Chuang, and honor the outstanding example she set for us as a social worker who lived her values and truly “walked the talk” of social justice. She set a standard we can all look up to.


Sad News for Our Community

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted April 7, 2020 at 10:25 a.m.

NOTE: We have created a page in tribute to Susan on the School’s website, where all are encouraged to share memories and words of support for Susan’s family and our community. Please scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and add your comment.

Today is the day we feared, and wished would never come. I write with heartbreaking news. A beloved member of our own CSSW community, MSW student Susan Chuang, has passed away due to complications from infection with COVID-19. Susan was a member of both the Online Campus and Residential Campus communities, and she left her mark on both. …


As we prepare for the weeks ahead…

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:09 p.m.

I hope most sincerely that this note finds you and yours well. The situation in NYC, across the country, and around the world has continued to worsen, in accordance with the worrisome predictions we’d been given. As I shared with some of you via online engagements earlier this week…


CSSW FAQ Page for COVID-19

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted March 25, 2020 at 8:47 p.m.

I’m writing to share further updates with respect to CSSW educational programs and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning. First, please let me thank you once again for your incredible response to the rapidly evolving changes in our environment….


CSSW Field Education Contingency Plan

Author: Department of Field Education & Office of Advising | Posted March 22, 2020 at 2:46 p.m.

We hope this email finds you and your family safe and well. Attached for your perusal is CSSW’s Field Education Contingency Plan for remote assignments. Thank you community partners for responding to our survey….


Days of Remote Possibility

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted March 20, 2020 at 6:54 p.m.

Over the past two weeks, life at Columbia University has been transformed. I hope this note finds you well and safe. I am writing to highlight even more changes that are impacting life here at Columbia’s School of Social Work for students, staff, and faculty….


CSSW Field Practicum Status Update

Author: Kathryne Leak, Associate Dean, Field Education | Posted March 16, 2020 at 3:14 p.m.

I hope this note finds all of you safe and well. I am writing with further updates on the field placement activities at CSSW. As you know, we had implemented a mandatory suspension of all in-person field placement activities through Monday, March 23rd. Based on the latest discussions at the University and recommendations from public health authorities, CSSW is now implementing a suspension of all in-person field activities through Friday, May 8, the end of the spring term….


Update on COVID-19

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:19 p.m.

Please let me begin by expressing my profound thanks for your patience, strength, and support under circumstances that no one could have anticipated or even imagined. As you know, University and School leaders have been working continuously to support our mission and protect our safety. Our situation has changed again based on new data and developments, as described in President Bollinger’s email below….


Addressing anti-Asian racism; future community dialogues

Author: Karma Lowe, Assistant Dean, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:01 p.m.

I want to join Dean Begg in saying “thank you” to those who were able to join our virtual Community Dialogue on Wednesday. As Dean Begg shared yesterday, we will be hosting more of these discussions throughout the semester. In addition to expressing how the COVID-19 virus is impacting you directly and indirectly, your anger, frustration, fear and anxiety also was quite palpable. I sincerely appreciated seeing the outpouring of empathy and support from our community – particularly for our Asian-identified students, faculty and staff….


Field Education Suspension Clarification

Author: Kathryne Leak, Associate Dean, Field Education | Posted March 12, 2020 at 7:12 p.m.

Thank you for voicing your concerns and providing feedback. There are topical areas that require clarification regarding the field education suspension email forwarded yesterday 3/11/20. It is important that we define terminology and share the next best steps to date. Please review the information below:…


Latest Updates and Additional Resources from CSSW

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted March 12, 2020 at 6:41 p.m.

I am writing to assure you that senior administrators at the School of Social Work continue to work around the clock to consider the impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 on our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the impact on the communities we serve.


CSSW Temporary Field Suspension (Students)

Author: Kathryne Leak, Associate Dean, Field Education | Posted March 11, 2020 at 4:09 p.m.

As you know from prior communications, CSSW has canceled all in-person classes and moved all classes to the online format as of today, Wednesday, March 11th, through Friday, March 27th. In addition, we want to let you know that CSSW is temporarily suspending field placement activities for our students from Thursday, March 12th, through Monday, March 23rd.


CSSW Temporary Field Suspension (Education Coordinators & Field Instructors)

Author: Kathryne Leak, Associate Dean, Field Education | Posted March 11, 2020 at 4:03 p.m.

I am reaching out regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and latest developments here at the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW). As you know from prior communications, CSSW has canceled all in-person classes and moved all classes to the online format as of today, Wednesday, March 11th, through Friday, March 27th. In addition, we want to let you know that CSSW is temporarily suspending field placement activities for our students from Thursday, March 12th, through Monday, March 23rd….


Additional Updates and Resources regarding the Coronavirus

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted March 10, 2020 at 6:40 p.m.

I am writing again regarding the coronavirus. Your safety is very much top-of-mind among University and School leaders. It is critically important that we remain informed and act on the basis of the best available data and recommendations from local, state, and federal public health agencies. As I noted in a previous message, we are fortunate to be here at Columbia with a substantial number of world-class experts on infectious disease…


Time Sensitive Update on COVID-19

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:11 p.m.

By now you will have seen the message from President Bollinger (appended below) regarding the suspension of classes on Monday and Tuesday. All classes at the School of Social Work on Monday and Tuesday of this week are canceled. We will be in touch shortly with information about the shift to online courses for Wednesday through the end of the week…..


Further Updates for the CSSW Community

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:29 p.m.

I write today with further updates on the coronavirus and its potential impact on School operations. Please allow me to start by saying how grateful I am for our community. Despite the stress and uncertainty that we face, I see people coming together in solidarity to support one another. Your flexibility and goodwill are deeply appreciated…..


CSSW Field Education—COVID-19

Author: Kathryne Leak, Associate Dean, Field Education | Posted March 4, 2020 at 3:12 p.m.

Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW) would like to share our communications about the COVID-19 with our partners and learn more about your contingency plans. Our partnership, our communications and collective work are vital during this time of a local, national and global disease outbreak. You are active agents in this regard, and we will work collaboratively as we experience the shifts and changes with addressing the virus….


CSSW Field Education & COVID-19

Author: Kathyrne Leak, Associate Dean, Field Education | Posted March 4, 2020 at 2:50 p.m.

As noted in Dean Begg’s recent message, we are committed to ensuring that all students are able to successfully complete their field instruction hours in a safe and timely manner. We know that some of you, depending on your placement, may be very concerned about your proximity to and possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus….


School updates on the coronavirus outbreak

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted March 3, 2020 at 10:16 p.m.

I am writing regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Please know that School and University leaders are monitoring conditions very closely, and that the well-being of our CSSW students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost importance to us….


Recent events on campus and beyond

Author: Melissa Begg, Dean and Professor | Posted February 4, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.

With news headlines consumed by the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus, there have been reports of xenophobic reactions against Chinese, Chinese-American, and other Asian communities at Columbia University and beyond….