COVID-19 SSW Updates

This page is a source for information and updates about the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the School of Social Work

For up-to-date information on University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus developments, please visit:


Other resourses:

State of Illinois Public Health COVID-19 website

Key Email Communications:

Archived Massmails from the University of Illinois

Community Resources:

C-U Community Resource Guide

Supporting C-U Resources

Student Information:

  • Course Delivery and Field Placements

  • The majority of fall semester instruction will be online, while assuring some access to in-person instruction for students who enrolled in our campus-based programs. In our course delivery plan, we prioritized in-person instruction time for practice courses. These courses are the most challenging to deliver fully online without the loss of instructional quality. As such, we expect to deliver practice courses in a blended format, which includes a combination of in-person and online learning activities via Zoom. We expect non-practice courses to be delivered in a fully online format, also via Zoom. Specific course scheduling will be available for you to review in the system when you register in early August.
  • The School of Social Work faculty and staff have worked closely with those charged with developing campus wide plans to assure that if you encounter circumstances that could compromise your in-person attendance, you will be able to complete all of your courses remotely. We have been working with individual instructors to ensure that all teaching materials are accessible to our students online, and that your instructors are prepared for a transition to fully online teaching if such needs arise during the fall 2020 semester.
  • The Field Education Office knows that the uncertainty of COVID-19 raises questions for students about how field placements may be affected. We have continued to conduct field placements this summer with the great help of our hundreds of agency field partners, and we are actively engaged in planning for fall placements. Please be assured that the Field Office is committed to working with you towards degree completion, and have taken the necessary steps to anticipate possible scenarios associated with changes in the pandemic. You will receive more detailed information from the Field Office in the very near future.
  • The role of the Office of Student Affairs is to stay apprised of issues affecting students, monitor the ever-changing social climate, and remain steadfast in our student-centered approach to deliver high quality programming and services. OSA is here for you to be Open, Supportive, and Advocate. We are ready to face any and all obstacles ahead of us this upcoming school year and look forward to helping you navigate any obstacles you might face, individually or collectively! Please feel free to reach out Director of Student Affairs, Monica Cherry, LCSW if you need any assistance.
  • Resource for adapting to online learning

Faculty/Staff Information:

  • Contacts
    For questions related to specific areas of the School:
    Employment: Wendy Harris
    Teaching/Curriculum: Min Zhan
    Field Education: Mary Maurer
    Student Issues: Monica Cherry
    Deans Office: Debbie Richardson/Steve Anderson
    Communications: Becky Ponder
  • Travel
    Effective March 16, the University is prohibiting all international travel on university-sponsored business for faculty, staff, and students. The University also is limiting domestic travel for faculty, staff, and students to pre-approved essential university business. If you have existing travel reservations, please contact the SSW Business Office for cancellation.
  • University-Sponsored Events and Meetings
    Consistent with University directives, we are canceling or postponing all SSW-sponsored meetings and in-person events for 10 or more people until further notice. Planning of future events also is being postponed until further notice.
  • Mental Health Resources
    This link includes information from the University of Illinois Department of Psychology
    Coping With Coronavirus: Managing Stress, Fear, and Anxiety from the National Institute of Mental Health
    Managing anxiety during the COVID 19 outbreak
  • Online Teaching (Upcoming Scheduled Trainings)
    You will need the following:

1) A Compass page. You need a place to collect and return graded assignments, create and share online meetings, and distribute grades and feedback to students. Why? – Box and Compass are the only approved systems in which we can transmit FERPA data. Email is not an acceptable way to transmit any FERPA data. If you need a Compass site you can request one under Illinois Compass2g Space Request Tool.

Compass support

2) A communications program. If your course has never met virtually before, the technology we are recommending is Zoom. If your class is already using a specific tool like Zoom, Collaborate, or Skype for Business, please continue to use the same program that was previously being used for that class.

Zoom Support:

3) A computer with a microphone, speaker, and camera (optional). You’ll be using your regular classroom for lecturing online. Zoom is installed on all of the computers in the classrooms and the instructor stations are equipped with webcams and microphones so you can teach from the lectern in a traditional format. At this time video is to be used only when necessary. It is very taxing on students’ home networks and can cause connectivity issues that you will find very annoying.

Questions? Concerns? Contact IT at