New Study Reveals 7 Student Preferences for Online Learning

With online education becoming increasingly popular in higher academia – and currently by necessity during this time of COVID-19 and social distancing – waves of college professors and students are finding themselves navigating the unknowns of online instruction formats and platforms for the very first time. Yet little is known about what virtual classroom techniques students feel are most beneficial to their overall learning experience.

Dani Groton, Ph.D., and Christine Spadola, Ph.D., LMHC, assistant professors in the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, are bridging this knowledge gap with qualitative data that reveals seven preferences social work students have when it comes to how they learn best online. The results of this study were recently published in the journal article titled “Variability, visuals, and interaction: online learning recommendations from social work students” in the August 2020 issue of Social Work Education: The International Journal (Routledge).

“In the absence of traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms, with whiteboards, handouts, small group discussion opportunities and other tactile learning aids, it becomes even more important for us to identify the course adaptations our students need us to make so they can grasp, engage and retain the content virtually,” said Dr. Groton, lead author.

The research was conducted using three focus groups of 25 graduate and undergraduate social work students who were interviewed about their virtual learning preferences. Drs. Groton and Spadola identified 12 thematic codes, and all three groups expressed these seven codes as being the most important to their e-learning experience:

“Even though we focused on social work students, we feel their feedback is not unique to their chosen field of study,” said Dr. Spadola, co-author.  “It is our hope that degree programs and higher ed institutions are able to use our data as a starting point for optimizing student e-learning experiences, and larger studies can be conducted to further investigate students’ ideal e-learning environments.”

This study was conducted as part of a research project funded by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation  (AASMF).

Two Schools Partner to Form the College of Social Work & Criminal Justice

Introducing Florida Atlantic University’s Newest College

On July 1, 2020, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) officially welcomed its newest college: the College of Social Work & Criminal Justice, which encompasses the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work and the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice. These two sister schools have formed a strong and lasting partnership rooted in a shared commitment to advocating for justice, mobilizing resiliency and promoting equality across our one human race.  

Our nation is at the intersection of, firstly, an unprecedented global pandemic that has further illuminated the racial, health and economic disparities in our country and our world; secondly, an international movement for much-needed change in response to police brutality against Black people; and thirdly, an extremely divisive time in our nation’s history when so many are desperately seeking meaningful transformation and connections. 

The College of Social Work & Criminal Justice is well-positioned to make a deep and lasting impact in these and many other challenging areas, including reentry and reintegration, child welfare, healthy aging, mental health, the opioid epidemic, addiction, human trafficking and many others critical social problems.  Our nationally and internationally acclaimed faculty are passionately working to find answers through education, scholarship, and applied research and public service activities, as well as to inspire and prepare tomorrow’s social work and criminal justice leaders, scholars, practitioners and policymakers to effect positive change in the world. 

The College of Social Work and Criminal Justice is headquartered in the Social Science building on the Boca Raton campus and also offers classes at the University’s satellite campuses in Davie and Jupiter.  Our college offers a variety of degree programs, including: 

The college also offers three specialization certificate programs in the Sandler School of Social Work:

As well as four post-graduate certificate programs:

School of Criminology & Criminal Justice

Sandler School of Social Work

We are also proud to have long-standing partnerships with more than 350 community agencies from Miami-Dade to Vero Beach, giving our students boundless opportunities to develop meaningful service learning experience and job readiness skills in their chosen field before they graduate.

The College of Social Work and Criminal Justice also houses a number of research and service centers within the Sandler School of Social Work, including the Child Welfare Institute, the Healthy Aging Academy and the Robin Rubin Center for Happiness and Life Enhancement.

The immense faculty expertise and strong community partnerships within our two schools produce graduates who are prepared to make a difference.  Our alumni enter the fields of social work and criminal justice fully trained to analyze, implement and evaluate criminal justice and social welfare policies and practices; address discriminatory systems and processes; provide direct services to vulnerable populations; restore justice and promote equal access to care.   

For more information
Web: fau.edu/sw-cj
Social: @FAUSocialWorkCJ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Video: YouTube

BSW Program Ranked #3 in State

SocialWorkDegree.org has ranked the Sandler School of Social Work BSW program third in the state based on our BSW alumni’s monthly earnings just 12 months after graduation. The ranking includes only CSWE-accredited programs and is calculated using monthly salaries deducting student debt payments, as reported by the U.S. Department of Education, to derive median net incomes of our early-career BSW graduates.

“In addition to our high job placement rate, world-class faculty and newly renovated facilities, we are thrilled to have this ranking as yet another reason why future social work students should put the Sandler School of Social Work at the top of their list for a high-value educational experience,” said Heather Thompson, Ph.D., interim director of the Sandler School.

See the full rankings and monthly earning projections for our BSW graduates

New Book Explores Brain Development in Social Context

Congratulations to Gail Horton, MSW, Ph.D., on the publication of her new book, Attachment and Neurobiology: Preconception to Young Adulthood (Cognella Academic Publishing – January 2020). Ideal for students, as well as social work and mental health practitioners, the book “introduces readers to interpersonal neurobiology and attachment to help them better understand how the brain develops across time and within a social context. The text equips social workers and mental health providers with the knowledge they need to optimize prevention and intervention efforts with clients.”

Important College Update: Exciting Changes Coming Soon!

We are pleased to announce that, beginning in Fall 2020:

  • the School of Architecture and the School of Public Administration will join the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters;
  • the School of Urban and Regional Planning will join the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science;
  • and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice & the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work will partner to become the new College of Social Work and Criminal Justice (new website coming soon!).

Check out our comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions for helpful answers related to the transition.

The Sandler School of Social Work and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice naturally pair well together because of their shared vision for effecting social change, driven by their considerable overlap in curriculum and research areas, as well as their impact objectives.

In much the same ways, the Schools of Architecture and Public Administration will find more symmetry with their colleagues in Graphic Design and Political Science within the Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. The same is true for the School of Urban and Regional Planning, which complements the Geoscience and Environmental Sciences departments within the Schmidt College of Science.

Remember that for now, it’s business as usual, with an added splash of excitement as we all look forward to this fresh, new chapter!

One Play Taught 700+ People How to Spot Human Trafficking

On Sunday, February 9, 2020, more than 700 people attended one of two performances of “Only One”, the play on human sex trafficking written by senior Criminal Justice student Abigail Howard. The riveting 45-minute play tells the story of three teens who become victims of sex trafficking and share how they got there – one lured by a false opportunity to become an actor; one who was meeting his online boyfriend for the first time in person; and one who had been groomed to believe she was in a meaningful relationship. The name of the play comes from the sobering statistic that only one percent of trafficking victims are rescued.

Following both performances, expert panelists shared invaluable safety tips with parents and youth in the audience.

  • Dr. Calli Cain, producer, panel moderator, and Assistant Professor in the FAU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Pastor Alfredo Castro, Ministry Relations Director of Glory House of Miami
  • Special Agent Katina Hernandez, Homeland Security Investigations and South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Sgt. Carlos Lisboa, Coordinator of the Palm Beach County Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Alex Ortiz, Director of Business Development for the Child Rescue Coalition
  • Dr. Heidi Schaeffer, President of the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches
  • Alma Tucker, International Network of Hearts

Attendees learned that victims and traffickers represent all genders, ages, races, income levels and sexual orientations, and that Florida ranks third in the nation for reported cases of trafficking. The panelists also shared safety tips – such as the importance of keeping gaming and smartphone devices in a common area of the home, to have open dialogue with kids of all ages on how to establish safe physical and information boundaries; and where to go for more information:

Panelists also encouraged all attendees to add the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 to their phone contacts and report any suspicious behavior. As Special Agent Hernandez said, “If it turns out to be a false alarm, great. But if it turns out to be trafficking, you’ve saved a life.”

Photo Gallery

 

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In Memoriam: Our Namesake, Harvey Sandler

(L-R) Gary Rubin (son-in-law), Harvey Sandler, Robin Rubin (daughter), Phyllis Sandler (spouse), Amy Ross (daughter), David Ross (son-in-law)

With heavy hearts, we would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Sandler family for the untimely passing of Harvey Sandler, a pillar of our Palm Beach County community and specifically our School. In 2017, Harvey Sandler, along with his wife, Phyllis, generously donated $7 million to the School of Social Work, thus naming and endowing The Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University.

Words cannot describe the loss we are feeling within our School and College at this time. Harvey Sandler and the entire Sandler family have continually supported the School with their transformative gift, compassion, kindness and generosity. Carrying Harvey’s vision, their generous gift has allowed for the renovation and expansion of our facilities that include a state-of-the-art auditorium, a student study lounge, additional classrooms to accommodate the growth of our academic programs, and a future center for Substance Use Disorder and Recovery Research. In addition to the naming and endowing of our School, the Sandler family has been integral to the funding of students’ scholarships through the annual Phyllis Sandler Heart of Social Work event, which is the School’s largest fundraiser. Additionally, students who are actively involved in community service efforts receive direct support from the Sandler Family Scholarship. Furthermore, Harvey and Phyllis’s daughter, Robin Rubin, has recently established the Robin Rubin Center for Happiness and Life Enhancement within the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work. This center aims to offer programming for students, faculty, staff and community members to enrich, nurture, and improve their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Harvey and Phyllis’s legacy thrives throughout the Boca Raton and surrounding community. Their legacy includes naming the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler Center at the Levis JCC, the Harvey & Phyllis Sandler Pavilion and the Sandler Medical Plaza at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, and so much more.  Harvey and Phyllis were members of the Federation’s Ketubah Society, and The Federation’s Sandler Family Major Gifts Event was named in their honor.

We could not be more honored that Harvey and Phyllis Sandler chose to support our School because they saw the difference it makes in the community and the world. Each and every one of our faculty, students, alumni and community partners helps to carry on their legacy of giving to and transforming our community.  We are eternally grateful for Harvey’s and his family’s legacy and their belief that the world can be a better place by educating and training social workers devoted and committed to the service of those who are most vulnerable in our society.  We cannot fully express our admiration for their continued service and support to our School and the surrounding community.

Our hearts and prayers are with Harvey’s beloved family, who were the center of his life, including his wife, Phyllis Sandler, his children, Robin Rubin (husband, Gary), Amy Ross (husband, David) and Larry Schumacher (wife, Andrea), in our community, and Ricky Sandler, and Andrew Sandler (wife, Aurily) of New York, all who continue Harvey’s passion for philanthropy and community building. Harvey also had 17 grandchildren who share his commitment to helping others, and three great-grandchildren.


As a way to continue Harvey’s legacy, the Sandler family has encouraged donations be made in memoriam for Harvey Sandler to the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work.

Make a Memorial Donation

To make a donation via check, please make payable to FAU Foundation, Inc. and write your desired fund designation on the memo line (“Social Work General Fund” or “Heart of Social Work”). Then please mail your check to:

FAU Foundation, Inc.
777 Glades Road, ADM 295
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Congratulations Fall 2019 Graduates

On Friday, December 13, 2019 we watched as 227 bachelor’s graduates, 19 master’s graduates and 2 doctoral candidates walked across the commencement stage to receive their diploma from the College for Design and Social Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University.

To all of our graduates, it has been our pleasure to have you in our classrooms and to watch you grow and learn in your programs.  Whether you are continuing your education or ready to apply your knowledge in the world, we look forward to watching your next chapter unfold. Remember that we are here for you and rooting for your success each step along the way.

Be well and best wishes!

  • Bachelor of Architecture
  • 105 Bachelor of Arts
  • 13 Bachelor of General Studies
  • 15 Bachelor of Public Management
  • 17 Bachelor of Public Safety Administration
  • 59 Bachelor of Social Work
  • 8 Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Bachelor of Urban Design
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Want to explore the degree programs in the College for Design and Social Inquiry at FAU? Call our Academic Advising Team today: (561) 297-2316

Fall 2019 Commencement Gallery

Now Open: Robin Rubin Center for Happiness & Life Enhancement

The Robin Rubin Center for Happiness & Life Enhancement is now officially open! The Center hosts free, guided meditations every Monday and Tuesday from noon to 12:45 for students, faculty and staff. In addition, the special events calendar for the Center is growing by leaps and bounds!

On November 21st, the Center hosted the founders of Womaze, a free app centered around self-empowerment for women. The event was held in the Sandler School of Social Work auditorium with a packed house of FAU faculty and staff members, as well as many members from the community. The audience engaged with the presenters in a meaningful conversation about how to thrive through the holiday season using self-care techniques.

The Robin Rubin Center for Happiness & Life Enhancement is on a mission “to provide programming for students, faculty, staff and community members to enrich, nurture, and improve their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.” And it is well on its way!

Stay tuned for the new Center’s website coming in early 2020 and please be on the lookout for communications about future events coming soon.


NEXT UP:

“Investing In Yourself in 2020”

Thursday, January 16 | 12-1 PM | SO-112

Donna Drucker, LCSW will guide us through mind, body, spirit and relationship balance and help us build a customized action plan for the new year.

 

Fall 2019 College Soar-in-4 Scholars Reception

The College was pleased to host a luncheon reception on October 28 to honor and celebrate our 34 Soar-in-4 Scholars! The FAU Soar-in-4 program is designed to help keep students on track to graduate in four years or less and to maximize their academic experience.

Speakers included Geoffrey Johnson, Director of Academic Planning; Fabio Rojas, CDSI Soar-in-4 Coordinator; Dr. Jesse Saginor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Student Services; and Dr. Naelys Luna, Interim Dean. Our scholars in attendance each shared their stories and career goals, while also enjoying the opportunity to connect with their peers. Congratulations to all of our Soar-in-4 Scholars!


Hajra Akram
Rachel Araujo
Erika Arroyave
Jasmine Augustin
Shamsi Aura
Natalia Ayala
Kayla Baker
Mary Barrett
Caleb Bernstein
Mackenzie Borglum
Nicole Borjas
Isabella Chardon
Andrea Claxton
Mitchnida Clervil
Kennedy Coleman
Sarah Hipps
Chidiebere Ibezim
Chase Lewis
Hunter Llano
Raphael Macedo
Jessica Malagon
Taylor Markevitch
Marchayla Martin
Ariana McCarthy
Natalia Vallejos Munoz
Ayzia Nero
Ce’Coya Paulk
Emely Pegero
Natallia Rodrigues
Emeli Rupert
Alyssa Scherger
Gerrod Thompson
Mai Tran
Matthew Wilder

Photo Gallery


Sharing Anti-Bullying Research on the Capitol Steps

Dr. Sameer Hinduja was asked by the State of Pennsylvania to share his research on empathy, resilience, and school climate with Senators, Representatives, and other dignitaries in the State Capitol Rotunda in late October. In doing so, he encouraged policymakers to embrace asset-building and strength-based approaches.

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