March 4, 2020 at 3:12 p.m.

CSSW Practicum Learning – COVID 19

Dear Education Coordinators and Practicum Instructors:

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 is seeking a coordinated approach to support our communities in which our students serve where we take the steps necessary to protect the health of students and partner communities. We will continue to closely monitor news and information about COVID-19. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments and/or queries. Below please find the communications sent to the CSSW community, which we hope will be helpful in your planning and support:

As noted in Dean Begg’s recent message, we are committed to ensuring that all students are able to successfully complete their practicum instruction hours in a safe and efficient manner.

I want to assure you that we in Practicum Learning are working closely with School leaders and Columbia University health officials to remain apprised of this evolving health outbreak. We are also working in conjunction with our community partners to safeguard your health and well-being, which is paramount to us at the School.

Please note the following about your Practicum Learning requirement:

  1. All students should continue their current progress in their practicum practicum. We will notify you if there is a disruption in your practicum placement due to COVID-19. At that time, you will be notified by the School to not attend placement. Your practicum placement sites and advisors also will be contacted expeditiously.
  2. Working collaboratively with our community partners, a disruption may occur on the site level where you are advised directly by your supervisor/education coordinator not to attend placement. In this instance, please immediately alert the Office of Practicum Learning and your advisor. We will follow-up accordingly with the site, and also will remain in contact with you about your practicum instruction options.
  3. In the case of a disruption, CSSW and practicum placement site will assess the disruption time frame, and communicate that to you as soon as possible. During this time, impacted students will receive assignments from the placement site and/or Office of Practicum Learning to support their learning and completion of requirements.

As you continue serving your communities, please remain cautiously aware and know School leaders are working diligently to address any possible placement risks. The health of our CSSW community is a priority. Please frequently check the University’s preparedness website, which is updated regularly with the latest information. We also will update you on the School’s plans as they develop.

In Solidarity,

CSSW Practicum Learning