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Social Work Consortium

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Consortium in Mexico operates the Social Work in a Latin American Context program, which takes place in Cuernavaca each spring.
The consortium was formed with the goal of providing a cross-cultural and academic study abroad opportunity for BSW students that also met requirements set forth by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  The program is rooted in:
  • Social justice and transformational learning
  • Experiential pedagogy
  • Global and intercultural social work/social welfare context immersion
  • Preparing culturally competent professionals to serve diverse populations
The program’s inaugural semester was in 2003.  The program won CSWE’s Global Commission “Partners in International Social Work Education Award” in 2006, and “Best Practices in International Education International Exchange Award” from the Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA) in 2014.
 

Courses

Students choose four of the following four-credit courses:
  • Social Work 295: Comparative Social Policy
  • Social Work 316: Work with Groups and Families: Theory and Practice
  • Social Work 317: Social Work Fieldwork
  • Social Work 294: International Social Welfare: The Mexican Context
  • Spanish language: Student can choose one of 18 different courses taught by a local language school partner
Full program syllabi are available at our Global Gateway Social Work Application page under the “academics” tab.

Management Roles

The program is managed by the consortium; faculty from each member and affiliate institution contributes to curricular design, delivery, oversight, and evaluation. CGEE co-manages the program with the consortium, and a visiting faculty member serves as instructor for three of the social work courses taught in Mexico. CGEE faculty teach “The Mexican Context course,” and most students enroll in an additional Spanish course at a local language school. CGEE has been a provider of education abroad programs in Cuernavaca since 1979 and is responsible for the coordination of logistics (both pre-departure and in-country).  CGEE staff on site, with extensive local knowledge and contacts, also work with faculty and students to select fieldwork placements, vet homestay families, and plan program-sponsored excursions.
 

Highlights

Program elements include diverse guest speakers, excursions, and community-based learning experiences.  Students may:
  • Engage in social work fieldwork placements
  • Meet with a representative of the Afro-Mexican community
  • Visit a natural health clinic to meet with a traditional healer
  • Engage with a representative from the Mexican Department of Family Services
  • Meet with teachers and students at a pre-school for low-income students
  • Travel to an assembly plant to learn about employment/labor and meet with a manager
  • Listen to a panel discussion with representatives of major political parties
  • Participate in urban and rural home stays
  • Listen to a panel on gender and sexuality
  • A two-week exchange with the National School of Social Work at the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico).  Students spend time at UNAM in Mexico City and observe students’ field placements.  UNAM students also spend a week at CGEE’s campus to participate in the program’s classes and components.
 
 

Interested in joining the Social Work Consortium?

We welcome interest in joining the consortium! To inquire about becoming a member or affiliate, please contact Margaret Anderson at the Center for Global Education and Experience at 612-330-1685 or anderso4@augsburg.edu.  By-laws and samples of full consortium and affiliate contracts are available for review.
 

Full Membership

Becoming a Consortium Member involves:
  • Any interested schools must arrange an interview with a social work professor from one of the Consortium schools who will determine whether or not they think the school’s curriculum and the program are a good fit.
  • The social work department at the interested school should consult with their study abroad office on any requirements or restrictions for program approval.
  • If approved by the Consortium, their social work department and study abroad office must sign an agreement form and return it to CGEE. The study abroad office is welcome to speak with CGEE in order to understand various policies, procedures, and program elements they may have questions about.
  • Identify a primary representative from the social work faculty who actively participates in the governance of the Consortium (teleconferencing is available).
  • Member faculty may attend semi-annual managing committee meetings (teleconference option is available) and request to be voting members.
  • Program courses must be offered through the home institution as a part of the regular course offerings. CGEE will report grades to primary representative, who will be responsible for reporting to the home school registrar.
  • All institutional and state/federal financial should be transferable since all courses should be offered and accredited by the home institution.
 
Benefits of Consortium Membership:
  • Guaranteed student spots on the program.
  • Students pay home tuition rate.  Please note that the consortium strives to balance membership between lower-tuition and higher-tuition schools in order to serve diverse student while maintaining financial solvency.
  • Ability to fully participate in the design, delivery, and evaluation of the program.
  • Faculty members from consortium schools are given preference when they apply to be a visiting member.
 

Affiliate Membership

Affiliate member are colleges and universities with CSWE-accredited BSW majors whose curriculum fits closely with the curriculum of the Social Work in a Latin American Context Consortium schools and the semester program in Mexico.  Schools are pre-approved so that they can encourage their students to apply to the program without having to complete special paperwork.
 
Becoming an Affiliate Member involves:
  • Any interested schools must arrange an interview with a social work professor from one of the consortium schools who will determine whether or not they think the school’s curriculum and the program are a good fit.
  • The social work department at the interested school should consult with their study abroad office on any requirements or restrictions for program approval.
  • If approved, their social work department and study abroad office must sign an agreement form and return it to CGEE. The study abroad office is welcome to speak with the Coordinator of Academic Programs Abroad at CGEE in order to understand various policies, procedures, and program elements they may have questions about.
  • Students will pay the standard CGEE cost for the program.
  • Affiliates may attend semi-annual managing committee meetings (teleconference option is available) and request to be voting members.  Students register for classes at Augsburg University and receive an Augsburg University transcript.
 
Benefits of Affiliate Membership:
  • Students from affiliate member schools do not need to be vetted by the visiting faculty member for the semester in which the student is applying
  • Faculty from affiliate member schools can participate in semi-annual consortium meetings
  • Faculty from affiliate member schools can be considered for a visiting faculty assignment
  • Students from affiliate member institution are considered for program spots before students from non-affiliate institutions
  • Please also note that program spots are not guaranteed to affiliate institutions, only to consortium institutions.  However, CGEE and the consortium have generally been able to accommodate students from affiliate institutions.
 

Non-Affiliate Institutions

For schools who choose not to participate as affiliate members, we still welcome their students to apply.  Applications from non-affiliate schools must undergo additional review and vetting by the visiting faculty member to ensure a solid curricular fit.  Students from non-affiliate institutions pay the standard CGEE cost for the program.