Post-MSW Fellowship in Clinical Social Work
Thank you for your interest in our post-MSW fellowship in clinical social work in Counseling and Psychological Services and Social Services at University Health Services at UC Berkeley!
Our program is a postgraduate training program committed to providing comprehensive clinical experience and professional development opportunities in the field of college mental health. The program aims to meet the needs of pre-licensed postgraduate clinical social workers who have a Master of Social Work and are working to consolidate clinical skills and professional identity while accruing post-graduate hours on the path to licensure.
The fellowship is comprised of a 1st and a 2nd-year program. At the time of application and acceptance, fellows are accepted into the 1st year program with a 1 year employment contract. The expectation is that 1st year fellows will progress to the 2nd year, will be eligible to do so if they meet satisfactory performance standards during their 1st year, and will be offered another 1 year employment contract for the 2nd year.
Eliminating health disparities and ensuring that all students have equal access to high quality and culturally competent health care and services is vital to the mission of University Health Services. We are committed to recruiting fellowship candidates from diverse backgrounds in support of having a counseling staff that reflects the diversity of our students.
The fellowship is grounded in the core principles of ethical and social justice-oriented clinical social work practice in a mental health setting utilizing an integrative model of therapeutic and community-based interventions at the individual, small group and campus levels. Fellows receive clinical training and supervision in brief individual and group psychotherapy, crisis assessment and intervention as well as campus education and outreach. Fostering the development of knowledge, awareness, and skills for work with diverse populations is central to the fellowship. Guidance, education, encouragement, and mentorship are provided to support fellows in examining and exploring their knowledge of and attitudes toward cultural, racial, sexual, gender, religious, ability and age differences.
Post-MSW fellows receive training in two separate counseling departments in the University Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services(CAPS) and Social Services(SoS). CAPS provides brief individual and group psychotherapy, crisis intervention, and education and outreach to the campus with the mission to support the emotional, psychological, educational, social and cultural development of students. CAPS works with students who seek support for a broad range of bio-psycho-social concerns including serious mental illness. SOS provides topic-specific brief individual and group counseling and mental health services for students who are seeking support to address alcohol and other drug use, chronic medical conditions or a new diagnosis, eating disorders and body image concerns, pregnancy resources and referrals, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual violence counseling. Fellows receive intensive individual and group supervision in both units.
Post-MSW fellows join a learning community of doctoral psychology interns and postdoctoral psychology fellows with whom they participate in seminars and trainings, creating a mutually beneficial multidisciplinary environment. Staff members in both CAPS and SoS are committed to providing excellent training and we value the knowledge, experience, and skills that fellows bring to University Health Services.
The responsibilities of first-year fellows include:
- intake assessments and psychotherapeutic treatment planning
- crisis assessment and intervention
- individual brief psychotherapy
- co-facilitation of skills-based, process, or support groups
- outreach and educational workshops to the campus community
First-year fellows spend approximately 50% of their time per week doing direct psychotherapeutic work, split between CAPS and SoS, including a 2-hour urgent drop-in counseling shift. All fellows receive 2 hours of individual supervision per week, 1 hour in CAPS and 1 hour in SoS; position B receives 2 hours in Social Services. In addition, fellows participate in the following:
- group consultation with doctoral interns
- clinical seminar with doctoral interns
- multicultural seminar with doctoral interns
- social work professional development seminar
- CAPS and SoS all-staff multidisciplinary case conference
- SoS topic-specific case-conference
- staff meetings in CAPS and SoS
- scheduled time to prepare for the California Law & Ethics Exam
- scheduled time to begin to take post-graduate courses required for licensure in California
Second-year fellows continue to split their time between CAPS and SoS, increase their clinical hours, receive 2 hours of individual supervision per week, and will have the opportunity to spend 2 hours per week working on a special project/apprenticeship for which they receive additional supervision focused on the project. Special projects/apprenticeship offerings are subject to change given the needs of the center and availability of supervisors. In previous years, choices have included, Clinical Administration Program, Hospitalization Program, Outreach Program, and Training Program.
In addition to clinical work and the special project/apprenticeship, second-year fellows participate in the following:
- group consultation with post-doctoral fellows
- social work professional development seminar
- weekly all-staff multidisciplinary case conference
- staff meetings
We hope after reviewing our materials you will find that our program is a good match with your professional development needs and goals.
Application Requirements and Procedures
1. Applicants must have completed a Master of Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), by July 25, 2021. Applicants who graduated from MSW programs outside of the United States must go through the CSWE International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service process, which evaluates and recognizes academic credentials in social work received outside of the United States that are comparable to accredited master's degrees in social work in the United States, prior to submitting an application. Please go to the CSWE website for more information about the process
After recent extensive consultation with the Berkeley International Office (BIO), unless an applicant is from Mexico or Canada, we've learned that our program does not currently meet the criteria needed to allow us to sponsor visas for international applicants. We are disappointed in this news and hope it may change in the future.
2. Two academic years or more of supervised clinical experience, typically received during field placements/clinical internships—though work experience will be considered—is required. At least one year of clinical experience with a mental health focus is required. Applicants must possess a strong demonstrated interest in providing mental health services to diverse populations and must have had training in various modalities of psychotherapeutic interventions.
3. All applicants must have graduated with an MSW by July 25, 2021.
To apply for the fellowship please ensure that we receive all of your application materials by the application deadline of January 8, 2021. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Your application must include:
1. A cover letter that indicates your specific interest in gaining experience in the areas of focus in BOTH Counseling and Psychological Services and Social Services and that highlights your experience and interest in providing mental health services - including psychotherapy. Please share your approach to providing culturally responsive services to individuals and groups with diverse and intersecting identities, including ways in which you consider your own identities in the context of your role as a clinical social worker
2. A resume
3. An official transcript from your MSW program that must be emailed or mailed directly from your academic institution.
4. Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which must be from clinical supervisors. Each letter must be emailed or mailed directly from the writer, or you may mail it in a sealed envelope that has been signed on the back by the writer.
5. If you advance in the selection process, we will request the contact information for two verbal references who have provided clinical supervision to you, including a current supervisor.
A selection committee will review all complete applications during the month of January 2021. After the initial review, selected applicants will be contacted for telephone interviews that will occur in February 2021. After interviews are complete, requests for verbal references will be made. We will hope to complete the selection process by the end of March.
The fellowship will begin July 26, 2021, with an anticipated stipend for the first year of $36,000 and benefits including vacation, sick leave, professional development time, medical insurance and other university benefits (library privileges, access to university recreational facilities for a fee) are provided for 12 months. 1st-year fellows work 5 days/week (40 hours/week), 8 hours/day with a 1-hour lunch break. According to University of California policies, this fellowship is considered a sensitive position and requires a background check as a condition of employment. The anticipated stipend for the 2nd year is $55,000 with the same benefits as the 1st year, for an additional 12 months.
Fellows are required to register as Associate Clinical Social Workers (ASW) with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) after they have graduated and before the fellowship begins. They must be registered with the BBS as an ASW by the start date of the program, July 26, 2021. The BBS is an entity of the California Department of Consumer Affairs and is responsible for consumer protection in California, through licensing and regulation.
Is it appropriate to contact you by email or phone with questions?
Yes, if you have questions please email Robin Walley - email@example.com. She would be happy to respond to your questions through email or find a time to talk with you by phone. Also, please take a look here for some Common Questions and Answers from Current and Former Post-MSW Fellows.
How diverse is UC Berkeley’s student body?
UC Berkeley’s community has rich cultural, ethnic, social, and socioeconomic diversity in which every state and over 100 foreign countries are represented. Over half the undergraduates are people of color; 5,000 are re-entry students; 2,200 are foreign students; 3,200 are immigrants and refugees; and 68% receive financial aid. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students are also represented at UC Berkeley and there are several active LGBTQ organizations on-campus. In addition, UC Berkeley offers some of the most comprehensive services and assistance in higher education for students with disabilities.
Will you accept a 4th letter of recommendation?
We request only sending 3 letters from individuals you believe can best speak to your skills and areas for growth. This will ensure we read your best letters of support. Please ensure that at least 2 of your letters come from clinical supervisors.
What are you looking for in a post-MSW fellow?
We are looking for fellows who have training and experience providing individual and group mental health services including crisis counseling with clients who have a range of bio-psycho-social problems including more severe mental health issues and diagnosis. As a staff, we value diversity both in terms of learning from each other and from the students we serve. Applicants who are able to articulate how diversity has impacted them on a personal and professional level tend to be a good fit with our program. We are also looking for individuals who enjoy working collaboratively in a multidisciplinary team setting.
Do you look at social networking sites as part of the evaluation process?
Can I receive specialized training in some clinical area?
You will receive specialized training in providing multiculturally competent brief psychotherapy, crisis assessment and intervention, and group therapy. In addition, you will receive specialized training in the specialty areas of counseling provided in Social Services. If you have specific training goals that are not specified in our materials please ask before or during the interview so we can discuss the possibilities.
Please describe opportunities for crisis counseling.
Fellows serve on a TRAC (Triage, Referral, Advice Counseling) team that is typically a two-hour shift where you will see students who are in varying levels of crisis or who state that they need to be seen urgently. During TRAC fellows also take phone calls from staff, faculty, and parents concerned about students.
Are there opportunities to do outreach?
Yes. CAPS and SoS frequently receive requests from the campus to do educational workshops, trainings, and other preventive mental health programs as well as doing proactive outreach work to the campus to reach underserved populations. We do approximately 100 outreach events/year. Fellows are expected to be involved in outreach efforts (the expectation is that fellows will be involved in approximately two programs per semester) and to develop their skills and comfort level in leading such programs. In addition, fellows are paired with senior clinicians to respond to urgent outreach requests (e.g., crisis debriefings, responses to campus emergencies), which rarely may involve evening or weekend work.
How are supervisory assignments made?
During the summer fellows are contacted by email to inquire about their goals for supervision and what they are looking for in a supervisor. The training staff meets to discuss possible matches based on the stated interests and goals of the incoming post-MSW fellows. Staff availability and areas of interest are considered as well.
How would you characterize the culture of CAPS and SoS?
We like to have fun with each other, love working with college students, and enjoy celebrating each other's accomplishments. That said, this is a fast-paced setting that is highly utilized. Thus, there can be increased stress during certain times of the year when demand for services is high. We continually look at how we can better meet the need for student access while at the same time monitoring the needs of staff.
Are staff involved in research?
A few members are involved in research and publishing. However, there is no formal program of research taking place in CAPS or SoS.
Are there opportunities to teach?
There are no formal opportunities to teach.
How many applications do you typically receive and how many applicants do you invite for phone interviews?
We typically receive between 50-60 applications for 2 post-MSW fellowship positions and invite 12 applicants for phone interviews.
Do I need to call you after the interview to "show interest" and hopefully improve my chances?
No. However, feel free to contact us if you have any questions that are not addressed on our website or that were not addressed during the interview. Email is often the easiest way to reach us.
Do you have an Open House?
Not at this time.
What do fellows do after they leave?
Some go on to work in university counseling centers, others move on to community mental health or non-profit agencies, and some go into private practice.
Are you able to sponsor a visa if I am an international applicant?
After recent extensive consultation with the Berkeley International Office (BIO), unless an applicant is from Mexico or Canada, we've learned that our program does not currently meet the criteria needed to allow us to sponsor visas for international applicants. We are disappointed in this news and hope it may change in the future
There is so much pain and things to fix in the world, but I never have to do it alone. No matter where I go, I will know there are people fighting for a Just World even if I don’t see them everyday.
It is more than okay to be me, it is powerful and transforming to be me.
I can imagine a kinder world, it can also happen.
It is okay to change my mind, maybe everyday, grow, make mistakes and then, offer compassion to myself and others.
A truly caring passionate training team is an enormous gift from the universe; what a beautiful gift you all have gifted me!
-Andrea Godinez, MA (2nd Year Post-MSW Fellow)
"My biggest takeaways from the post-MSW fellowship is the opportunity to engage a challenging yet rewarding role with a pathway towards clinical licensure. This fellowship training is warm and holding, giving me an opportunity to work with an extremely broad population of people and clinical presentations, with the full support of a large team of great people along the way. I'm gaining really valuable experience and making meaningful connections while also advancing my career goals and using the rich environment to develop my professional identity as a social worker and therapist."
-Darius Taylor, ASW (1st Year Post-MSW Fellow)