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Student Experiences in the PEL Program

Student Experiences in the PEL Program Heading link

Erika Diaz

My experience in the Post-MSW PEL program has been both a challenge and truly rewarding experience. All of the professors who taught the courses were very flexible and available to answer any questions, and patient enough to explain the assignments. Additionally, the information shared during asynchronous lectures were helpful to listen to prior to reading the course assignments and completing the homework assignments. After taking the practice content exam, I became even more grateful for her class because it was the only reason I knew some of the answers. All of the courses in the program taught me a lot and prepared me for becoming a school social worker.

Erika Diaz  |  Current PEL student
Paris Hardamon

Taking asynchronous online classes has been a major benefit to me. The courses are well laid out. Professor Owens has been so flexible and responsive to my individual needs and Ms. Jenkins has been refreshingly supportive with my field practicum requests. Thanks Jane Addams College of Social Work for being understanding, flexible and supportive during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Paris Hardamon  |  Class of '21
Cal Keeney

The Post-MSW PEL program has been a great way for me to learn more about the unique role of a School Social Worker and feel equipped to work with students in a number of school settings. I have enjoyed gaining more in-depth knowledge about writing IEP goals, engaging students in social work services and supporting them in an academic setting. The professors have been flexible and supportive in ensuring we are grasping the material and managing the workload effectively. Ms. Jenkins is a wonderful resource and checks in regularly to see how things are going and make sure I feel comfortable in my placement. I am thankful for this program and excited to hold the PEL and know my hard work paid off!

Cal Keeney, LCSW  |  Current PEL student
Meloney Cook

I have really enjoyed my experience in the Post MSW-PEL program. I was enrolled during the double-pandemic and political uproar. I found it comforting that my professors were so supportive and understanding during this time. They understood that everyone was under extreme stress, so they were very intentional about being accessible to answering questions and provide clarity. They always encouraged self-care, which is essential if you want to be successful in this program and profession. There is a ton of reading but it has prepared me for a position in school social work. I am so happy that I chose UIC to complete the Post MSW-PEL program. I have grown personally and professionally as a result.

Meloney Cook  |  Class of '21

I really enjoyed this online experience, even if it was hard at first. I appreciate the instructors for being receptive and answering emails for clarification. I think the content in both classes was super interesting and beneficial to utilize throughout my field experience. All in all, I am super happy I chose UIC to go back to for this program. I have no doubt that I have learned vital information to help me in my career.

Alyssa Kaplan  |  Class of '20

I really enjoyed the Needs Assessment assignment. I feel some of my reading and assignments have started to come together and I am experiencing it first hand at my placement.

Melinda Just  |  Class of '20

I have a foot-high pile of articles, books, and materials that I’ve collected throughout the semester to go through and start building my own personal school social work toolkit that I can use and work from. Now that I have all of the basics down, I’m looking forward to diving into some topics/ideas deeper. I’m so glad that I went to your Post-MSW PEL info session last January! It was an intense semester, but so worth it!

PEL Student  |  Class of '20

Who knew that social workers also play the role of teachers?! This is part of the reason I love school social work. Our role is so diverse!  I know that in this field, expertise comes from experience and I am excited to continue learning and growing as I work towards becoming a school social worker!

Tara Seiden  |  Class of '20

I definitely have had a lot on my plate and have had to work to balance all of my responsibilities and really work to perfect my time management skills. Despite my frustrations and stress, I have loved to be challenged again. I have loved being out of my element in this program and pushed to try new things, expand my knowledge and skillset. I feel that I have grown both professionally and personally and have been able to accomplish much more than I imagined I could in one semester. This is what I felt I was lacking in my last job before I started this program. I feel even more so now than I did at the start of the semester that this program and going into school social work was the right decision for me.

PEL Student  |  Class of '20

I am feeling much more comfortable than at the beginning of the year, and am excited for this comfort to grow. I am thankful that I have another semester to learn and practice.

Samantha Ellis  |  Class of '20

I have had many moments with students where just being someone to listen and talk with them has seemed to make a big impact on their day. This is how I know I am glad that I pursued the PEL program.

PEL Student  |  Class of '20

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