How We’re “Making It Happen:” The 2019 Loyola Summer Institute & How You Can Join Our SSW PLC This Year
Hello SSWN readers: as lots of you know by now, my name is Dr. Michael Kelly and I am Professor at Loyola Chicago School of Social Work. Along with teaching at Loyola, I am also the Director of the online School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program (SMHAPP) as well as the Family and School Partnership Program (FSPP). To date, the FSPP has provided advanced training CEUs to over 1,400 school mental health professionals. including our 14th Annual Summer Institute this July 25th & 26th, “Making it Happen: Learning How to Take Your School Mental Health Practice to the Next Level from Youth Activists and Expert Practitioners.” Just in case you’re able to get to Chicago by July 25th, you can register here: http://luc.edu/fspp2019 Even if you can’t join us, there’s lots of great ways for you to get involved with our growing professional learning community, and I share below some different things we have going on this upcoming school year, starting with the FSPP next week.
We are thrilled with this year’s program, a combination of expert practitioners from our SMHAPP certificate (more on them in a minute), along with keynotes from:
•SSW expert trainer Ali Hearn from Midwest PBIS, one of the national leaders in PBIS/MTSS training
•Youth mental health leaders and advocates from the VOYCE Project (Voices of Youth in Chicago Education) (Check out their “Rethinking Safety” campaign and other amazing advocacy work here.)
Here’s the FSPP 2019 Program Booklet with all the details, including bios of all the awesome 2018-20 SMHAPP students who will be presenting:FSPP2019FinalProgramBooklet
How the Loyola SMHAPP Got Started, What It’s All About, & How You Can Join Us For Fall 2019
While we’ll always gladly offer CEU events like this one to school clinicians, we have also found that some of our school clinicians wanted more. Over the past decade, we heard loud and clear from some of our trainees that they wanted more than CEUs, that they wanted to go more in-depth on learning how to be more systemic, data-driven and evidence-informed in their work as SEL leaders, so we created the SMHAPP certificate to provide the kind of learning environment that will help more school mental health professionals to become more active and effective in delivering interventions across all 3 tiers of the MTSS/PBIS framework. We just published several articles this year (Brake & Kelly, 2019; Thompson, Frey, & Kelly, 2019) underlining the need for more professional learning communities (PLCs) to help school mental health professionals grow. We hope that you consider becoming part of the next SMHAPP cohort and join our growing PLC. The 15-credit SMHAPP is delivered almost completely online to allow you to continue your important school mental health work while learning the most up-to-date techniques, strategies, and interventions from the school mental health research and practice world. Courses focus on small group cohort problem-based learning via online seminars, as well as online courses on evidence-based practice (EBP), strength-based school mental health interventions, and data-driven school mental health practice.
Each one of the incredible SMHAPP students that our FSPP attendees will meet this week has been tasked with developing and delivering an intervention that change their school at a systemic level. We call it the “School-Change Project,” and each SMHAPP student has just finished year 1 of the 2-year project, and will share their work in progress with you this week. Each of them have developed their project using the following steps:
- Identifying a key problem in their school (including collecting some initial needs assessment data and EBP searches to find “what works”)
- Building key alliances with school stakeholders (admin., teachers, parents) that understand what needs to happen to address the problem
- Conducting more detailed needs assessments using relevant data, and developing a logic model about the proposed intervention or program
- Delivering the intervention and measuring its outcomes.
Based on our careful study of implementation science and how it relates to school mental health implementation, we know that all of the SMHAPP students’ “School-Change Projects” won’t happen overnight. Indeed, our students are in year 1 of what will likely be a multi-year initiative for each of them, so they will be speaking mostly to the first 2 steps (how they identified a problem and an intervention, and how the mobilized school stakeholder buy-in), and then inviting participants to work with them to figure out what systemic school problems they might lack to tackle during the 2019-20 school year.
I reached a point early on in my SSW practice career (1992-2006) where I realized that everything I had learned in grad school was necessary but not sufficient if I was going to be the visible valuable, and vital SSW I wanted to be. I sought out professional consultation, community, and resources where I could find them, but it was always a challenge to find sustainable spaces and networks to help me manage my complicated school contexts and everything that was coming at me. Now, 13 years into a research career focused on studying what school clinicians say they do and what they need, I’m even more convinced that we need ongoing and meaningful professional learning communities (PLCs) to “make it happen.” Join us however you can: follow us on Twitter at @SchoolSocWork & join us our 100% free, no spam e-mail social network at schoolsocialworkers.mn.co/ and finally go here if you want to start an application for our Fall 2019 SMHAPP cohort–there’s still time to get an app started, but the deadline is coming up soon (August 1st)!