Colleen Begley, MSW is a 2007 graduate of the CSUN MSW program. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Southern California. Her first-year field placement was a dual placement: Macro work at the Los Angeles County Department of Health with the Homeless Coordinator and Micro work at the Weingart Center in downtown, Los Angeles. Colleen’s second-year field placement was at the Occupational Therapy Training Program (OTTP).
Q. How did you first learn about the profession of social work?
A. After college I was working for an agency called GLASS (Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services). In the group homes there were social workers providing therapy to the youth, which is when I first learned about social work and knew I wanted to become a social worker.
Q. What have been the most valuable aspects of your educational experiences so far in the CSUN MSW program?
A. There were several valuable aspects about my educational experience. First was the way in which the program challenged me in several ways to become the best social worker I could possibly be. I was challenged to come out of my comfort zone, whether it was in my first year placement, presentations in the classroom, presenting at a conference, or becoming a leader in the classroom. Secondly, the clinical tools the program taught left me feeling able to effectively provide services to clients that would best suit their needs. Lastly, the urban-based emphasis of the program allowed me to broaden my cultural awareness and become more sensitive to the backgrounds and issues that I may face when working as a social worker.
Q. What do you hope to do after you graduate?
A. I am currently working for GLASS as a therapist, providing mental health services to previously homeless transitional-aged youth. In the future, I hope to continue working in the GLBTQ community or possibly open a charter school.
I am very proud of the education I received through this program and I am glad that I chose to attend the MSW program at CSUN. I really like that individuals who may not have the opportunity to excel or stand out in other MSW settings will be challenged to do so in this program. In my undergraduate education I was a student who sat in the back of the classroom and who did what I needed to do in order to get by. Through this program I gained confidence to really exert myself and to have confidence in myself and my social work abilities.