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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work


About the program

PROGRESS (Providing Real Opportunities for Gero-Rich Experience in Social Work Services) is a program for second-year and advanced-standing MSW students interested in geriatric social work. Originally funded in part by a John A. Hartford Foundation grant, PROGRESS continues the mission of helping to ensure the well-being of older adults and their family members.

Students selected to be in the PROGRESS program receive a scholarship.

Field education

PROGRESS includes an innovative rotational field internship model that allows you to experience agencies serving older adults. At your "hub" internship site, you'll be supervised by a primary MSW field instructor employed at that site. During the course of the academic year, you will select from a variety of other aging services agencies in order to complete your rotations.

As a part of your field education, you will also have opportunities to participate in quarterly integrative seminars and intensive workshops designed to enhance your gerontological social work knowledge and skills. You may also be asked to complete additional leadership assignments for PROGRESS.

Career opportunities

According to many sources, including the Hartford Foundation's Geriatric Social Work Initiative, social work with older adults and their caregivers is a rapidly growing specialty, and there will continue to be numerous opportunities for employment if you have specialized training in work with the aging population. In fact, geriatric social work ranks as one of the top 20 careers in terms of growth potential!

Clinical practice settings vary widely, from hospitals and hospices to outpatient clinics, psychiatric settings, social service agencies, housing programs and programs focused on wellness. And there are numerous community practice opportunities as well, in program development, advocacy and social policy.

Eligibility requirements

Students in the Agency Services and Policy concentration, including those participating in any of GSSW's academic certificate programs, are eligible to apply to the PROGRESS program.

Additionally, a PROGRESS applicant must:

  • be a full-time MSW student or a part-time MSW student who plans to do all of your concentration field internship hours during the regular academic year (fall, winter and spring quarters)
  • be an Agency Services and Policy concentration student entering the second year of the two-year MSW program or an advanced standing student
  • demonstrate academic and field internship merit; primary considerations will be your academic record to date, career goals and field instructor recommendations regarding qualities important for social work
  • have the intention to pursue a career in gerontological social work

Application procedures

PROGRESS applications are generally accepted in January for the following academic year.

To apply for the program, you must submit the following:

  • PROGRESS Program Application Form . Only electronically submitted applications will be accepted. Type your responses directly on the application form. Please be mindful of the 3000- and 1000-character limits on your responses. Save the completed application form on your computer as a Word document. If you use a Mac, make sure to convert the document properly so it can be opened on a PC.
  • a current résumé
  • Field Instructor Nomination Form completed by your foundation field instructor (or, for advanced-standing applicants, from your BSW field instructor or a recent supervisor in a human services work setting)
  • your undergraduate transcripts or foundation-year GPAs

You may also submit recommendations from recent paid or volunteer work you have done in the human services field, but these are not required for consideration of your application.

We will contact you to set up a personal interview.

Submit your application form as an email attachment to [email protected].

Learn more

For more information about the PROGRESS program, please contact Clinical Assistant Professor Brian Gonzales, PROGRESS Program Coordinator.