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Thinking of going back to school.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I've been thinking of getting into the mental health field for years. I keep putting it off. Something comes up and life takes me in another direction. Well, life has changed again, and I'm thinking of it. I have been for a couple of months now.

To do what I would like to do, I need a Masters in Social Work, and some specialized training in EMDR therapy.

Ideally, I'd love to find a way to take my MSW program through distance education.

I looked into making it work through the local schools - University of Regina.

To get my training locally, I need to go for my BSW first, and that's 2 1/2 years full time studies. Then working for 2 years before I could be accepted into the MSW program. I'm not sure how much longer after that the MSW program would be. Most of these classes are over 2 hours away. Some are available through a regional college, and online, but until I find out just how much, I don't think this is possible. Besides, my BSW will cost me something like 15,000. Apparently then I need to practice for at least 2 years before admission to the masters program. I can work with my BSW, so that can pay for my MSW.

Basically, taking the MSW program though the local university looks like it's not an option for me. I don't have 10 years and a bottomless bank account to do that.

I've only found one way to take my Masters in Social Work without having to move or go back almost full time. The problem is it's for education in North Dakota. I live in Canada. I don't know if the licensing will transfer over. If it won't then this training is worthless to me. This program allows for direct entry into the MSW program based on the education I already have. This program is a 2 year program, all done through distance education - web based classes. It'll cost $12,000. The cost is enough of a barrier, but I can find a way around that I'm sure. I am capable of earning a living.

But I'm not sure about licensing. The whole reason for looking into this is so
that I can do what I love, anywhere. I can stay with Lee wherever he chooses to live. I need to look into whether or not the local governing body will recognize my credentials. At first glance, I'm thinking they won't. I'm not giving up on this route, but it's not looking good right now.

And if it won't? What then? It will be a way to earn the masters I'm looking for. I will be able to be licensed in ND. I'm pretty sure I could get the EMDR training I'm looking for. I've already found places where I can get the training.

So the question becomes, do I go ahead with this? Get the training I am looking for, but possibly restrict myself to being licensed in the US? That won't necessarily be a bad thing. I would just have to find out how to go about practicing there. However that would mean moving. The nearest "center" for practicing is 2 hours away.

I guess another route is to find out what it would take to become licensed and be able to practice in North Dakota. That will mean moving in a few years though. And will those credentials be recognized anywhere in the US? And what would I need to do to be legal to work in the US?

I have no idea where to even start with all of this. I checked at the school. I can be licensed in ND after this MSW course. So what I need is the information on how to be able to work in the US. Maybe I should contact a local social work association and see if they can point me in the right direction. I guess I could deal with all the formality of the paperwork, etc for this while I'm doing my training. The question is, am I willing to pick up and move to ND? Myself yes. Am I willing to loose Lee over it??? I don't think so.

I really hope the Saskatchewan registered association of social workers gets back to me soon. I would LOVE it if I could take this course, and work here.

Just in case you were wondering, I've looked into programs where I can enter directly into the MSW program here in Canada. There are two. Calgary - the online option is not for clinical practice. It's more for someone who wants to oversee a "clinic" More of a macro approach to social work. If you ask me, not only is that not as good as a clinical hands on education, it is NOT what I want at all. I'm not into the political, schmoozing nonsense. Sounds to me like there's a lot of that in this.

Toronto has another MSW direct entry program. Nothing is available remotely - I'd have to move to Toronto to take my classes. I have ZERO interest in moving to Toronto. I'd take Calgary first. Lee won't go to Calgary. So that's out.

Or should I just let this all go again? Maybe now is not the right time. And if it isn't I'd have to believe that this just was not the road I was meant to take.

So where do I go from here? Get my answers first. Then I guess I'm finding another path in life.


Okay. I guess if I'm going to try to make this work I have to take the program locally. I haven't heard back from any licensing agencies, but it's not looking like they'll even consider a distance course. Besides, how am I supposed to get my practicum in? I'd have to move anyway.

I just don't know what to do. I just know what I'm doing isn't working for me. It hasn't been for years.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CYND59
    I say Go For It! You are never too old to learn new things.

    1627 days ago
    My thoughts - Can you transfer credits from North Dakota to the University in Regina? If you can without much trouble or loss of credits, why not take the NoDak classes until about the last semester, transfer them to Regina, and finish up there? That way you would have your SK licensing more easily. A lot of states in the US have boards for licensing and you might have to sit for a board exam. You would have to check to see if they have reciprocity with other states/provinces.

    With the internet, it should be fairly easy to find the answers to your questions, or at least find contacts for where to get the answers.

    Good luck.

    1628 days ago
  • FIT4MEIN2013
    How exciting! Keep searching and the right decision will come to you. There is a lot of prep work before returning to college, but it is soooooo worth it!
    1628 days ago
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