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SSA Resources and Services

Facilities

Library

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/ssa/

The SSA library located on the School’s first floor is one of SSA’s outstanding educational resources. The library’s collection covers all aspects of social services and social work, as well as related material from other disciplines. It contains approximately 40,000 volumes, including books, journals, and reference works. Reserve readings for SSA classes are located here.

The Library provides online access to thousands of ejournals and ebooks, as well as hundreds of databases. Computer workstations are available in the Library, which provide access to all of our online resources as well as various software products to assist you with your individual research.

The staff of the SSA library are available to help researchers locate appropriate materials in the SSA library and elsewhere in the University Library System. The SSA Librarian can also provide research consultations and assistance with citation management tools upon request.

Computer Laboratory

SSA provides a computer laboratory that is equipped with 22 PC-compatible machines connected to two high-volume network printers. This lab has been established for the exclusive use of SSA students and staff, SSA computer-based courses, and other instruction. SSA has 36 laptop computers for in-class instruction use. Each computer offers the latest software provided by the University for coursework and any applications required by classes at SSA. In addition, the lab computers have highspeed connections to the Internet for browsing and email services. Students also have access to the Wireless Internet that is available throughout the SSA building for use with their personal laptops. SSA employs its own in-house IT staff for technical support.

Students use the labs to work on their own assignments and research; they also use the labs for statistical analysis for quantitative research courses. All students make use of the lab at one time or another during their time at SSA, for either required coursework or individual research. Each student, therefore, is also provided with a limited amount of password-protected storage to use while attending SSA. In addition, students are able to print coursework and other pages for free, up to a set amount each year. Students are charged a small fee for printing that exceeds the specified number of pages.

The lab is available during all hours that the SSA building is open. Additional computing University resources are also available throughout the campus, including the Crerar Library Cyber-Cafe and Regenstein Library computing lab.

Services

Advising

All enrolled graduate students at SSA receive general academic advising through the office of the Dean of Students. When students enter SSA, they are assigned a faculty advisor with whom they are encouraged to discuss their academic program and career plans. First-year advisor assignments are generally made with the student’s Core faculty; post-Core assignments are made in association with the student’s chosen concentration. Throughout their attendance at SSA, students are encouraged to engage any faculty member for advice or information regarding their interests or concerns. The Dean of Students web page provides additional information regarding accommodations, financial concerns, special programs, or special needs.

Career Services

(http://www.ssa.uchicago.edu/career-services)

The Office of Career Services provides career and professional development programs for master’s and doctoral students, including skills-building workshops, individual career counseling, job-search strategies, an alumni contact database, and posting of jobs in the Chicago area.

Quarterly workshops provide students with the skills needed to develop efficient job-search strategies, to convey transferable skills, to write effective resumes and cover letters, and to learn sound interviewing techniques.

To help provide networking opportunities, Career Services offers a database of more than 1,000 recent SSA graduates who have volunteered to be resources by offering advice and guidance to job-seekers. Several of these alumni also serve on quarterly career panels sponsored by Career Services to discuss their transitions from SSA and their current career paths, as well as to offer advice to graduating students. Alumni and students also participate in a shadow program during the summer to provide one-on-one direct workplace experiences.

In order to better inform SSA students about potential career paths, the Office of Career Services sponsors an Employer Information Session series throughout the academic year. Employers representing the broad spectrum of post-graduate opportunities will join students at SSA for informal information sessions detailing the nature of the work performed by their organizations, how they may best fit SSA graduates, and what the organizations are seeking in successful candidate applications, as well as application information and contacts. Some of these employers will also conduct onsite interviews at SSA and subsequently hire graduating students.

Throughout the academic year, Career Services will also alert students to several summer, year-long, and post-master’s internship and fellowship opportunities. In addition, we will host several information sessions with representatives of these organizations along with SSA alumni who have been past recipients of these internships and fellowships.

During Spring break, students can participate in SSA’s Washington Week. This program brings together SSA alumni in the Washington DC area with currently enrolled students. Often meeting at alumni work sites, students learn about careers in the public and non-profit sectors, as well as about careers in research, advocacy, lobbying, and program management.

Professional Development Program

The Professional Development Program (PDP) at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration is distinguished by its quality instruction and substantive exploration of clinical and management practice issues. Grounded in the dynamic interplay of theory, research, and practice, the intention of PDP workshops, review courses, and advanced clinical practice programs is to inform participants and also to challenge them to integrate new learning into their daily practice. SSA faculty, as well as distinguished guest scholars and practitioners, teach PDP offerings.

The program is designed primarily for licensed social workers and other human service professionals. Students at SSA are welcome to attend workshops and are provided a 50 percent discount. PDP events should be considered a supplementary offering to students’ academic experiences and as a resource throughout their professional careers.

Continuing education credit is available to meet state licensing requirements and to give recognition of personal initiative and growth. For information about upcoming programs, instructors, and tuition, please visit our website: http://ssa.uchicago.edu/professional-development.

U-Pass

The School of Social Service Administration gives all full-time master's and doctoral students a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) U-Pass. The U-Pass program allows cardholders unlimited rides on CTA trains and buses during the academic year. Students will be assessed a $100/quarter fee for U-Pass privileges. Due to CTA guidelines, part-time students are currently ineligible for the U-Pass program.

Organizations

Student Associations

The student associations of SSA provide students with the opportunity to express their views on a variety of issues of importance to the School and the profession of social work, while also providing the student body with a system of mutual support. SSA student associations take an active role in the discussion of academic, professional, and political issues in the School. Student associations also sponsor various social activities that enrich the graduate school experience. All registered master’s students are members of the SSA Student Government Association, and all registered doctoral students are members of the SSA Doctoral Student Association. Listed below are all the student associations that have been active within the School. All student organizations active for the 2017-2018 academic year are denoted with an asterisk. Visit www.ssa.uchicago.edu/clubs-organizations for up-to-date descriptions of the student associations. 

Advocates’ Forum*
Black Student Association
Colleges Aligned Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE)
Community and Economic Development Organization (CEDO)
Contemporary Indigeneity
Disability Student Association
Doctoral Student Association (DSA)*
The Elephant (Diversity Organization)*
Faith and Spirituality in Social Work
Feminist Student Association (FSA)
Group Learning Opportunities and Balance for Evening Students (GLOBES)
International Social Welfare Student Association (ISW)
Justice in the Field
Justice Works*
Latino Student Association*
Older Adult Film Series
OUTreach: LGBTQ and Allied Social Workers
Pan Asian Student Association (PASA)*
Praxis
The Social Werq Q's*
Social Work Innovation and Entrepreneurship Organization
SSA BridgeWe International Student Group
SSA Peer Mentoring Program*
SSA Without Borders*
SSA Yoga*
Student Advocate for Veterans Association (SAVA)
Student Alliance for Mental Health and Wellness
Student Alumni Representatives
Student Government Association at SSA (SSA/SGA)*
Student Grant Writers Association
Trauma, Resilience, and Advocacy Collaborative (TRAC)*

The Alumni Association

Established in 1929, SSA's Alumni Association strengthens and maintains links between the School and its more than 8,000 graduates. The Alumni Association furthers the interest of alumni, provides a bridge between alumni and the School, and promotes the School’s goals and objectives through volunteer service and generous financial support. The Alumni Association offers a full range of programs and activities that engage its members with the School, and that contribute to individual and institutional advancement. 

2017-2018 SSA Alumni Board of Directors

Alison Weston, AM ’08, President
Ashley Jackson, AM ’11, Vice President
Loretta Maestranzi, AM ’14, Secretary
Alison Baulos, AB ’03, AM ’11, MBA ’11
Louise Doss-Martin, AB ’59, AM ’63
Esther Franco-Payne, AM ’99
Peter Gaumond, AM ’93
Jeff Glick, AM ’75
Patricia Giffin Hanberry, AM ’75
Christopher Louis Hennick-Jaffe, AM '12
Marshall Jacobson, AM ’65
Joanne Medak, AM ’74
Elizabeth Mullen, AM ’13
Joy Rossi, AM ’11
Ingrid Roxana Mejia, AM ’08
Thomas O’Conner, AM ’73
Caitlin Worm, AM '12

Publications

Advocates’ Forum

The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration Advocates’ Forum is one of only a few student-run social work journals in the country. It provides SSA students with an opportunity to express their scholarly interests through carefully written and researched articles on innovative topics in the field of social service. Advocates’ Forum welcomes articles in all areas of social work, including clinical practice, administration, and current social welfare policy. The journal represents the tradition of academic excellence.

The goal of this publication is to inform social workers in all areas of practice of the administrative and clinical interests of master’s students. The journal also supports SSA students in communicating effectively and participating in the valuable exchange among students and professionals in the field. The faculty advisor for the 2017-2018 academic year is Associate Professor Susan Lambert.

SSA Magazine and newsletter

SSA Magazine features articles of interest to professionals in the social work and social welfare policy fields. The magazine primarily focuses on the research of SSA faculty and the accomplishments of SSA alumni. It is published twice a year and is mailed to alumni, donors, foundations, friends of the School, students, faculty, and staff. During the academic year, a monthly newsletter, "meSSAges", complements the magazine and includes such information as events and media placements. It is emailed to the SSA community and various external audiences.

Social Service Review

Founded in 1927, Social Service Review (SSR) is committed to examining social welfare policy and practice and to evaluate its effects. Providing multidisciplinary analyses of current policies and past practices in the United States and elsewhere, SSR publishes critical research from social welfare scholars and practitioners, as well as from experts in other fields. Articles include a wide array of such topics as child welfare, health care, social welfare policy, homelessness, the organization of services and communities, clinical practice, and juvenile delinquency. In addition to thought-provoking essays, SSR provides book reviews to keep readers informed of current critical research.

The University of Chicago Press offers subscriptions at reduced rates for SSA students and alumni. Social Service Review is edited by Associate Professor Mark Courtney and the faculty of the School of Social Service Administration. The journal is available at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/toc/ssr/current.

Research Centers

Center for Health Administration Studies

The Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS) at SSA has been a leader for over 75 years in research and education in health policy and services. CHAS engages an interdisciplinary and international group of health policy and services researchers on topics of health policy innovation and reform, health and social service integration, health access, cost and quality, behavioral health, global health, and preventive intervention. CHAS is well-known for expertise in health policy and service effectiveness for the disadvantaged.

An intentionally interdisciplinary center located in a graduate school of social work is a unique institutional form that both exploits and enriches the values and orientation of the University of Chicago. CHAS has explored new questions, identified knowledge gaps, sought to enhance the translation of research-to-practice, and identified opportunities for collaborations within and outside the University. Programs support faculty research, research dissemination and translation, student learning, and engage researchers, scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners.

The Center also supports an innovative health policy and research training program for graduate professional students at the University of Chicago, the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP). GPHAP is unique among health administration programs in the United States. GPHAP allows students to earn either a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy or a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy with a Concentration in Global Health, while earning a degree in one of the participating graduate schools on campus: the Booth School of Business, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Law School, the Pritzker School of Medicine, and the School of Social Service Administration.

The Center is located within the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA). CHAS was established at the University of Chicago in 1962, and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

SSA partners with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, an independent entity. Chapin Hall has, since its inception in 1985 as a research and policy center, focused on a mission of improving the well-being of children and youth, families, and their communities. This mission is achieved through policy research—by developing and testing new ideas, generating and analyzing information, and examining policies, programs, and practices across a wide range of service systems and organizations. Chapin Hall's researchers meet regularly with policy-makers, agency directors, philanthropic organizations, and community groups to assure that important findings are placed directly in the hands of those who can best use them.

A number of faculty members from the School of Social Service Administration are partners with Chapin Hall and direct research under its auspices. SSA doctoral and master’s-level students form an integral part of many Chapin Hall research teams and are active participants in seminars and discussions. Please refer to the Chapin Hall website for more information about the organization’s research, publications, and conferences: http://www.chapinhall.org/.

Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP)

The Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) brings together researchers, community representatives, practitioners, and policy-makers committed to understanding and reducing youth violence in high burden communities in Chicago—communities with some of the highest rates of youth violence in the country. The core work of the Center is focused on studying the causes and consequences of youth violence and using those data to inform the development and testing of prevention interventions to support children, youth, families, and the communities in which they live.

The Center’s primary aims are: 1) to build a coalition of community, policy, and academic partners to address the issues of youth and other forms of violence within Chicago neighborhoods; 2) to evaluate the process and impact of implementing a community-level prevention system in a high-risk urban community and to identify unique challenges and adaptations necessary for implementation in urban neighborhoods; 3) to evaluate and inform current policy strategies aimed at reducing youth and other forms of violence; 4) to provide training and technical assistance to build capacity for schools and community agencies to select and implement evidence-based interventions; 5) to evaluate the most promising existing interventions within the community; and 5) to use these data to inform policy and practice.   

Crime Lab

The University of Chicago Crime Lab seeks to improve our understanding of how to reduce crime and violence by helping government agencies and non-profit organizations develop innovative approaches to reducing violence and work with them to test new innovations using randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In 2011, Crime Lab launched the Urban Education Lab to support RCTs specifically in the area of improving education outcomes, which, particularly in disadvantaged urban areas, are deeply connected to risk of violence involvement. In 2014, Crime Lab announced the launch of the University of Chicago Crime Lab New York. Leading researchers will provide New York policy-makers with rigorous, objective, scientific evidence to help reduce crime, violence, and the costs of criminal justice in a new partnership with the City of New York. The Crime Lab began in April 2008 in partnership with the City of Chicago, and its work has been made possible by generous seed funding from the Joyce Foundation, the University of Chicago Office of the Provost, and the School of Social Service Administration through the Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS).

Interdisciplinary Scholar Networks

SSA launched the Interdisciplinary Scholar Network initiative to bring together scholars across disciplinary and professional lines, and to generate innovative and more comprehensive knowledge aimed at addressing some of society’s most intractable social problems. Two networks have been established:

  • The Employment Instability, Family Well-being, and Social Policy Network (EINet): This research network enhances the capacity of the field to study employment instability at the lower end of the labor market and develops and evaluates interventions aimed at reducing employment instability and its effects on children and families.
  • The STI and HIV Intervention Network (SHINE): This network conducts research on the biological, behavioral, and structural factors that heighten vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections and HIV among ethnic minority communities in the United States. SHINE develops and evaluates interventions to alleviate existing STI/HIV disparities.

Information and Application

For further information and application materials, contact the Office of Admissions, The School of Social Service Administration, 969 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637; telephone, 773.702.1250; SSA website, http://www.ssa.uchicago.edu.