Leadership in Community Benefit Organizations educates and trains students and alumni to lead social sector organizations generating innovative ideas that address the world's most daunting problems.
Leadership in Community Benefit Organizations offers:
Brittany Bartkowiak, MSW ’15, is passionate about working with at-risk youth, violence survivors and young people who have been in foster care. She’s seen firsthand how the problems plaguing the child welfare system can impact the individual.
Bartkowiak earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at EMU and chose Management of Human Services for her MSW program at U-M because it gave her the macro focus she needed to one day play a role influencing policy and bringing about change in the child welfare system at the national level.
“I saw Management as a beautifully well-rounded way to unite my background in Interpersonal Practice with social policy and evaluation, and community organizing,” said Bartkowiak. “The classes helped me build the skills and versatility I need to feel more confident and assertive.”
Bartkowiak enrolled in the SSW’s Advanced Standing Program, which allows students with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work to complete their MSW in just 12 months and reduces the required number of credit hours from 60-45.
“There’s no need for basic foundational classes, and no field class prior to placement. You just jump right in,” said Bartkowiak. “Because I knew I had only one year to learn everything I could, I worked hard to make the most of my time. It’s a very intense and immersive program, but I had total support from my professors and the SSW.”
Bartkowiak’s field placement was with Eastern Michigan University’s Mentorship, Access, and Guidance in College (MAGIC), a campus-based support program that focuses on increasing graduation rates among students who have experienced foster care or homelessness. Bartkowiak worked side-by-side with MAGIC’s program coordinator on everything from strategic planning, advisory board development, event planning, and advocacy and awareness in the general on-campus community.
“I used what I was learning in class directly in my field placement,” said Bartkowiak. “My Grantgetting, Contracting and Fund Raising class with Barbara Hiltz gave me a very concrete sense of what it’s like to work for a non-profit organization and I was able to have a lot of input in the day-to-day operations at MAGIC.”
Bartkowiak also worked as an intern for Michigan Radio. After her July graduation, Bartkowiak joined Michigan Radio full-time as Outreach Producer for State of Opportunity, a special reporting project featuring documentaries, interviews and first-person storytelling that attempts to expose the barriers that children of low-income families face in achieving success in Michigan.
“So much of interviewing is social work in nature, particularly when talking about highly personal and sensitive topics,” said Bartkowiak. “My knowledge of the child welfare and foster care systems – through both my personal experiences and my social work education – informs the work I’m doing now. It helps me write insightful questions, navigate the conversation, and process the interview. I use my social work skills every single day.”
Bartkowiak also earned a Management of Human Services Certificate, a nationally recognized certification offered in partnership with the Network for Social Work Management through the SSW’s Leadership in Community Benefit Organizations. To learn more about certificate requirements, visit the Management of Human Services Certificate webpage.