Michel Torres '11 MSW '13

Michel Torres says the opportunity to take graduate-level classes in social work while completing her bachelor’s degree at Dominican University helped confirm her plans to earn her Master of Social Work and become a school social worker.

Through Dominican’s Bridge program, which allows qualified Dominican seniors to take classes in the Graduate School of Social Work, she was able to complete both her bachelor’s degree in psychology and MSW.

Through the program, her internship at a school in Berwyn North School District helped her land her current job at an elementary school.

"I was at the internship for the full school year. It really provided me with the experience necessary to know what it’s like to be a school social worker," Torres said. "Being a school social worker is really rewarding. Because I get to work with kids every day, I get to see them grow. I get to see them learn. I get to be an active participant in helping them change and better their lives."

She also completed another internship through the social work program with a youth social services agency that provides counseling to teenagers.

"My internships provided me with supervised guidance from caring professionals in the field of social work, and my graduate assistantships gave me the opportunity to give back to students and gain valuable experience," she said.

Torres was originally attracted to Dominican as an undergraduate because of Dominican’s size and location. She majored in psychology with a minor in criminology.

"I chose Dominican because of the small class sizes and individualized attention that the professors provide for the students," Torres said. "It really felt like a community."

In addition to the Bridge program, Dominican offers a combined BA/MSW degree where qualified Dominican students can complete both a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology or criminology and a Master of Social Work in as little as five years. This combined-degree program is for promising students who know they want a career in social work, and who want to do it as efficiently and affordably as possible.

"I would recommend the combined BA/MSW program for dedicated students who feel like they have a calling for helping others. The program provides students with a lot of hands-on experiences. I didn’t just learn about the field, I experienced it while I was still a student," Torres said. "Additionally, the BA/MSW program gives students the opportunity to get to know the MSW program while still taking undergraduate classes. This helped strengthen my connection with the school, and it gave me the opportunity to really get to see myself as a social worker."