Reveal leaders, promote agency, and discover (your) purpose in urban communities!

MSW candidates in the Urban Leadership Certificate Program (ULP) at the School of Social Work are evolving into the next generation of clinician leaders. In the ULP we believe in addition to being helpers, social workers are active and engaged agents of change within and across multiple systems and settings (e.g., family, organizations, community, and political). We also know urban environments are complex social spaces that are highly populated, socially and culturally diverse, constrained by class extremes, and rich in opportunity. With this understanding, we prepare students in our Urban Leadership Certificate Program (ULP) to develop the skills and confidence to work as leaders, advocates, and activists in the communities they serve.

We work together with a group of urban agency partners who are committed to developing social workers for leadership roles in urban communities. Our students are prepared to take on leadership roles in dynamic, complex, and diverse, multi-cultural environments. They also gain a broad repertoire of leadership skills for promoting the capacities of their clients, and advancing organizations, communities and the profession.

The Urban Leadership Program attracts a diverse group of students — including human service workers, ministers, Department of Children and Families employees and educators. Many students are seasoned professionals. All share a commitment to advancing social justice and addressing the needs of clients, organizations, communities, and the profession.

Program Requirements
Urban Leadership students earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, plus a certificate in urban leadership in clinical social work. ULP students take two leadership courses concurrently with the field internships. These leadership courses allow students to explore their own leadership skills, build a theoretical understanding of leadership, and practice specific leadership skills in the classroom and community. Students work in small teams throughout their course of study in the ULP with a local community partner to explore the application of varying models of leadership to real life leadership opportunities and dilemmas. In this process, students learn about the nature of leadership in the context of social work and urban communities. In addition, the curriculum includes four required mini courses: community politics, oral presentation skills, grant writing, and one elective. Full-time students can complete the program in two academic years. Summer classes provide a flexible, extended study option.
Faculty
    Gary Bailey
    • Gary Bailey
    • Professor of Practice, Director of Urban Leadership Program
    • Phone: 617-521-3977
    • Office: P404J
Full-time Program

M.S.W./Urban Leadership Program helps clinical social work students develop the skills and confidence to be effective leaders in the organizations and communities they serve. Our innovative Urban Leadership Program integrates community leadership and clinical social work skills — including public speaking, fundraising, program development, social policy, and an understanding of how to work with diverse constituencies.

Coursework, internships, and leadership projects emphasize diversity and multicultural issues in urban communities and allow students to engage their own passions and interests in addressing services to under-served urban populations. leadership development.

See the full program plan.

Part-time Extended Program

M.S.W./Urban Leadership Program helps clinical social work students develop the skills and confidence to be effective leaders in the organizations and communities they serve. Our innovative Urban Leadership Program integrates community leadership and clinical social work skills — including public speaking, fundraising, program development, social policy, and an understanding of how to work with diverse constituencies.

Coursework, internships, and leadership projects emphasize diversity and multicultural issues in urban communities and allow students to engage their own passions and interests in addressing services to under-served urban populations. leadership development.

See the part-time program plan.

Careers

We are committed to providing a personalized, coordinated, and integrated learning experience. Faculty advisors supervise each student's course load and work with students to help them select field education placements that meet their goals.

Graduates of our program have established themselves as strong agents of change who are grounded in direct clinical practice and committed to social and transformative justice in their work with others. Areas in which graduates are currently working include child welfare, community mental health, corrections, disaster response, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, housing, juvenile justice, medicine, public health, public policy and school social work.

Alumni Career Examples

  • Ombudsman for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
  • Oncology Social Worker, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Social Worker, Unaccompanied Minors Program, Lutheran Social Services
  • School Social Worker, Brookline Public Schools
  • METCO Coordinator, Cohasset Public Schools
  • Social Worker/Volunteer Coordinator, Health Leeds, Baltimore, MD
  • Program Associate, Children's Aid Society of New York, Family Rewards Program
  • Mental Health Consultant, Children's Hospital Boston
  • Director, LGBT Services, MIT Office of Student Life
  • Emergency Room Social Worker, Children's Hospital Boston
  • Founder/CEO, Osiris Group Mental Health Provider, Boston
  • Constituency services coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services
  • Management and policy analyst, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
  • Social Worker, Visiting Nurse Service of New York City, Mobile Community Support Team
  • Director of Volunteer Services, Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care, Newton, MA
  • CEO and President, LBD Counseling & Consulting Clinic, Randolph, MA
  • Social Worker, St. Francis House Homeless Shelter
  • Domestic Violence Advocate, Brigham and Women's Hospital Passageways Program, Boston, MA
Courses

SW407: Community Politics: Urban Leadership Program students only.

This course orients students to the structure and function of government at the federal level. Topics include an introduction to key concepts of government and the relationship of federal, state, and local levels. Current news and events will help illustrate how work gets done. 0 credits. If the needs of the Urban Leadership students are fulfilled, this class may be open to interested MSW students.

SW408: Oral Presentation Skills: Urban Leadership Program students only.

Social Workers often need skills in public speaking to effectively perform their roles. In case presentations, board meetings, legislative hearings, and team meetings, social workers must communicate their ideas in a clear and succinct manner. This course addresses the basics of public speaking, types of speeches, and helps prepare students for presentations that are either prepared or spontaneous. 0 credits.

SW451: Leadership Skills for Social Work Practice (required for Urban Leadership students) Urban Leadership Students only.

The course will expose students to a working definition of leadership and the various contexts in which leadership skills are exercised. Beginning with a vision of leadership, students will have the opportunity to examine their own leadership skills, learn to understand leadership in an urban organizational context, explore leadership practices in multicultural environments and reflect on their own multiple identities and their influence on leadership. In addition, the similarities between social work skills and leadership skills will be discussed. This course meets the requirement for a social action course. Must be concurrent with SW446B.

SW452: Leadership in Action for Social Work Practice (required for Urban Leadership students) Urban Leadership Students only.

This course will deepen students understanding of systemic interdependency and highlight the importance of strengths as a mechanism for transformation and change. Students will examine processes associated with varying contexts for social work leadership organizations as well as at the community and local grassroots level. Students will also critically examine emerging scholarship relevant to social justice leadership framework such as principled leadership and transformational leadership. Collaborative organization and community assessment and capacity development will provide students with opportunities to explore key course concepts in the field directly. Prerequisite: SW451. Must be concurrent with SW447B.

SW530: Introduction to Grant Writing: Urban Leadership Program students only.

This course exposes students to the principles and skills necessary for effective grant writing. Course topics include identifying the priorities of funders, developing ideas for a winning proposal, and writing succinctly and clearly. Each student prepares a grant proposal for the final course assignment. 0 credits. Required for all Year 2 Urban Leadership Program students concurrent with field placement.

SW531: Key Concepts for Fundraising and Development: Urban Leadership Program students only.

Raising unrestricted dollars for agency budgets is a crucial skill in today's practice world. Focusing on the practitioner as fundraiser, students will learn about social entrepreneurship and the key factors for making fundraising decision. 0 credits.

SW532: Demystifying Agency Budgets: Urban Leadership Program students only.

Direct practitioners are often confused by agency budgets. In this mini course you will learn to read and understand a standard agency budget. Emphasis will be on key indicators that guide reviewing budgets such as revenues, expenses, cash flow, restricted and unrestricted dollars. 0 credits.

SW534: Introduction to Supervision: Urban Leadership Program students only.

This mini course will focus on the fundamentals of supervision including assessment of supervisees, contracting, assignments, and supervision techniques and strategies. 0 credits.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in attending Simmons. We pledge to help you achieve a successful career, a meaningful life, and a powerful return on your educational investment. Our program is distinguished in many ways: an innovator in social work education; nationally acclaimed faculty; alumni who are leaders in their fields; and an ideal Boston location in the Fenway and Longwood Medical Area.

Apply