March 11, 2020 at 4:09 p.m.

CSSW Temporary practicum Suspension (Students)

Dear Students:

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 practicum placement activities for our students from Thursday, March 12th, through Monday, March 23rd. This change applies to all CSSW students, both residential and online. We sincerely regret the disruption this temporary suspension may cause, but feel this is the most prudent course of action at this time.

Please know we do not take this decision lightly. In light of new and unprecedented challenges, we have taken great care to evaluate all the available evidence and guidance from infectious disease experts and public health agencies. Our practicum partners and agencies have been doing the same, and some have already discontinued student placements temporarily, as you may be aware. To all of us, your safety and your education are of paramount importance, and we will work with you to ensure that your practicum hour requirements are met. In particular, if you are a student planning to graduate in May of 2020, we will work closely with you to help keep you on track for graduation. We will be in communication with you shortly regarding remote activities and assignments that will support the development of practicum competencies.

Our situation is constantly evolving, and we thank you for your understanding. We will continue to be in touch with you over the coming days and weeks as events unfold.

Be well.

Kathryne Leak, EdD, LCSW
Associate Dean, Office of Practicum Learning