Continuing to the MSW Program
If you are selected as a BSW Scholars Student, you will be contractually obligated to work full-time for CPS upon graduation from the BSW program. You CANNOT delay your work commitment until after completing the MSW program. If you have a goal of obtaining an MSW degree and you would like to work in child welfare, there are several options for you to consider:
1) You can receive the BSW Scholarship, complete the BSW Program and complete your one to two year work commitment at CPS. After your work commitment is fulfilled, you could quit your job at CPS and apply for the MSW program. You would still be eligible to apply for the MSW Advanced Standing Program, since you would have graduated from the BSW program within the five year timeline. If you were still interested in working in public child welfare, you could also apply for the MSW Advanced Standing or Standard Program Stipend Program. If you were selected into one of these programs your tuition and mandatory fees would be paid, you would receive a monthly stipend, and you would be obligated to complete another 18 month to two year work commitment at CPS. If you did this, there would be no guarantee that you could return to your previous unit or CPS function (i.e, on-going, investigative, or specialty unit). You would be treated as a new employee when returning to the CPS, though your previous work history could allow you to enter as a CPS Specialist III rather than a CPS Specialist II. Keep in mind that you would have to quit CPS in good standing in order for them to consider offering you the stipend program or rehiring you after the completion of your MSW Program. The MSW Stipend Programs require you to be in school full-time and stipends cannot be given to current DES employees, so you would not be able to keep your job at CPS while being in these programs. More information about the MSW Stipend Programs can be found under the MSW Child Welfare Training Project link.
2) You can receive the BSW Scholarship, complete the BSW Program and complete your one to two year work commitment at CPS. After your work commitment is fulfilled, you could apply for the DES Part-Time MSW Program. You must be a CPS Specialist III or above to be eligible for this program, so you would need to have been successfully promoted to a III. Please note that there is no guarantee that this program will continue to be available when your BSW work commitment is complete. Furthermore, this program has limited enrollment and is competitive within CPS. There is no guarantee that you would be chosen for this program. Applicants for this program are screened and chosen by CPS administrators. If you were chosen for this program, you could pursue your MSW degree on a part-time basis while having an understanding from your CPS supervisor that you would need some flexibility in your work schedule for your schooling. Your tuition, mandatory fees, and book charges would be paid and you would be obligated to a one year work commitment after you complete the MSW Par-Time program. You would remain as a full-time CPS employee with all the associated benefits. This would require you to work your 40 hour job while also being in school part-time. This schedule could be very intense, so if you have personal obligations, you may want to consider whether this option is the best for you.
3) You can receive the BSW Scholarship, and begin your work commitment at CPS. You could attend the MSW Standard Program as a part-time student and complete this program on your own without being involved in any of the ASU Title IV-E programs. If you enrolled in the MSW Part-time program without being in the DES Part-Time program, you would need to work with your supervisor in ensuring that you had flexibility in your work schedule in order to pursue the MSW program. Keep in mind that in the MSW Standard program, you would need to complete two field placements that require 16 hours a week of attendance. You would need two nights/weekends placements. These are in short supply and high demand in the MSW program. Furthermore, if you have personal/familial obligations, you would need the time to be able to complete these field placements nights/weekends while still working full-time at CPS.
4) You could by-pass the BSW Scholarship and complete the BSW program on your own without financial assistance. You could then apply for the MSW Advanced Standing or Standard Stipend Program. These programs would pay for your in-state tuition and mandatory fees and provide a monthly stipend. If you were accepted into either of these programs, you would be obligated to work full-time at CPS for 18 to 24 months upon graduation. More information about the MSW Stipend Programs can be found under the MSW Child Welfare Training Project link.
Note: It is NOT advised that students try to work full-time at CPS while also enrolled part-time in the MSW program in the first year of their employment at CPS. During this time, you will be in training. The training sessions will obligate you to in-person attendance all day. You may struggle with being present at these training sessions and then being on-time for evening classes at the Downtown campus. Furthermore, the first year as a CPS employee can be very intense. There is much to learn and negotiate. Your coping skills will be stretched, as is, and to add Part-time schooling on top of that could be overwhelming. Also, while in the first year and possibly beyond at CPS, your supervisor may be unable or unwilling to offer you job flexibility to complete your field placements or other classes.