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UT MSSW/VSW Certificate Program

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The University of Tennessee Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program (VSW-CP) trains University of Tennessee College of Social Work MSSW students in the four areas of Veterinary Social Work. Click here for more information on the UT MSSW program.

 



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If you already have a Master’s degree in Social Work,

Click Here

for information about the Postgraduate VSW Certificate

University of Tennessee Master of Science in Social Work Veterinary Social Work Certificate students are expected to gain competency is all four areas of veterinary social work.  Although you may only be interested in animal assisted therapy, to practice social work with animals ethically, it is expected that you are exposed to and competent in dealing with all areas of veterinary social work. To help you accomplish this, the following competencies have been developed for the VSW-CP.

VSW-CP Program Competencies

  • Describe and discover research on human animal interactions that is salient to ethical social work practice.
  • Develop and demonstrate self-awareness and self management regarding animal welfare issues.
  • Intervene on behalf of human beings in the context of human‐animal interactions through micro and macro levels of practice, paying particular attention to under‐served and oppressed populations
  • Develop and implement animal related programs in existing social work agencies, in stand alone programs, or in host settings, according to the NASW Code of Ethics and existing veterinary animal welfare protocols.
  • Develop and demonstrate psycho‐educational, mediation, and team building skills.

Requirements for the VSW-CP

To earn the Veterinary Social Work Certificate UT MSSW students must complete 24 credits*:

  • 3 credit hour elective class of your choosing*
  • 3 elective credits in the Veterinary Social Work Course (SW 567)
  • 3 elective credits in the Principles and Techniques of Mediation (SW 557)
  • 3 credits in a specialization year course with a major assignment dedicated to a VSW-related topic**
  • 12 Credits in specialization Year Field Practice ***
  • Attend live web meetings during specialization year
  • Complete the face to face Veterinary Social Work Intensive and AAI Workshop****

Program Trajectory

Stage 1

Apply to the UT MSSW Program

Once accepted into the UT MSSW program, apply to the Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program.

Stage 2

Additional elective

  • Complete an additional elective course of choice before graduation
  • When the elective is completed depends on the student.

During your specialization year (final year in MSSW program)

  • Complete a field placement and incorporate one of the four areas of VSW on your learning plan
  • Incorporate 1 of the 4 areas of VSW into a class project in any specialization course
  • Complete 2 required courses
    • Veterinary Social Work Course (SW 567)
    • Principles and Techniques of Mediation (SW 557)
      • These courses are typically take in the spring. Student may request to take SW 567 as an Independent Study in Summer or Fall depending on program and schedule
  • Live Web Meetings
    • 8 session throughout specialization year
    • Offered through Zoom video conference
    • Each session is 1 hour

Stage 3

Face-to-Face Intensives

  • Available March of each year in Knoxville
  • Student gets specialization year field hours for participation
  • Spring Break: 7-day Intensive: Animal Assisted Interactions; Grief and Bereavement; The Link between human and animal violence; Compassion Fatigue & Conflict Management

Stage 4

Take VSW oath just before your graduation ceremony at either the Knoxville or Nashville location.

Veterinary Social Work Oath

Specializing in veterinary social work, I pledge my service to society by tending to the human needs that arise in the relationship between humans and animals. From a strengths perspective and using evidence-based practice, I will uphold the ethical code of my profession, respect and promote the dignity and worth of all species, and diligently strive to maintain mindful balance in all of my professional endeavors.

Applications to the VSWCP are due by February 1st of a students 1st year in the MSSW program

  • For advanced standing students, applications are due as soon as possible after starting the program.
  • For all students, share your interest in the program with your field coordinator right away.

If you are a UT MSSW student, click here to apply for the UT MSSW Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program

If you have a question, email us at slyall@utk.edu

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