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A Virtual Exploration of Social Work

The Wurzweiler School of Social Work is committed to connecting passion to purpose by training social workers who can navigate modern obstacles and complex systems with the ultimate goal of healing a fractured world. That's why we've built "The Heights," a dynamic virtual environment that provides a rare opportunity for students to learn from inside the context, to engage critical scenarios and to "see" communities through new lenses.

The Heights: A Virtual Learning Environment


Speaker 1: Social workers view the world through a uniquely complex lens and need to maintain a heightened sense of their environment. At Wurzweiler, we've built an interactive community where you'll test critical skills and learn to make quick but thorough decisions on behalf of the clients you may serve. Welcome to The Heights. Part of our online master of social work program, The Heights helps you build a more dynamic and informed view of the world around you and prepares you to navigate the critical scenarios you'll face as a professional social worker.

When you enter The Heights, you'll find an interactive and searchable map that lets you quickly navigate between densely populated urban regions, residential suburban areas, and outlying rural communities. With just the click of a button, you can search for individual points of interest and gain knowledge about diverse communities. You can also view areas through different perspectives with community lenses. This feature allows you to select from various sociocultural and demographic filters, such as transportation routes, household income, an average age.

As you progress through the online MSW program, The Heights will test your knowledge, awareness and decision making abilities through interactive branching scenarios. These scenario based learning experiences deliver case data through various multimedia elements and prompt you to make decisions throughout the narrative, which changes in accordance with your selections. Work your way to the end of each scenario and receive immediate feedback on the choices you've made. No matter where you live, The Heights lets you dive deeper into the online MSW program and through practical application in a low risk environment, prepares you for the challenges and opportunities you'll face in the field.
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Make an impact as part of the Wurzweiler community.

Expand your career in social work and make a difference in the world. Earn your master’s degree online with Yeshiva University and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. The online MSW program combines the best of our on-campus program with unparalleled flexibility.

For further information on the specifics of the program, fieldwork, application requirements and much more, complete the form and download the program guide.

From Our Students

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One of the best aspects of the learning environment is the virtual neighborhood, The Heights. The Heights presents realistic characters and scenarios that bring the social work concepts and theories to life.
- Jessica VanWyngaarden, MSW 2021

Navigating "The Heights"

"The Heights" is the name of both our interactive, virtual learning tool and the fictional community depicted within it. This community includes maps of urban, metropolitan, suburban and rural areas, which represent the various types of communities that the social workers who train in our online program support. We understand that trying to devise a transportation option for a client in New York City is very different from doing so for a client living in a rural area, and we intend for our students to be proficient at both. Thus while the Wurzweiler School itself is in the heart of a dense urban area, "The Heights" provides our online MSW students with the ability to experience these various environments so that they will be able to operate in any community upon their graduation.

Here's how you will navigate the virtual environs of "The Heights" and access the various activities and assignments that operate through it:


Demographic Lenses

As students engage the interactive map, they have the ability to turn on different "lenses" which allow them to view all or part of "The Heights" through specific perspectives. These different ways of looking at this virtual community mirror the way in which social workers must keep track of certain aspects of the communities they serve in order to do their job.

  • Available demographic lenses include household income, racial and ethnic groups, age, education level, crime rate, and more
  • By quickly toggling between the available lenses, you can customize the virtual environment according to individual course assignments or learning objectives
  • Select courses throughout the online MSW program will direct you to activate specific lenses within a particular region and use the resulting insight to either complete an assignment or better connect with the current course topic(s)

Points of Interest

Color-coded points of interest throughout "The Heights" direct you to critical community features, including schools, health and wellness provisions, public services, food, transportation, community centers, and more. These both create crucial context in which you can practice making professional decisions and serve as information centers for course content.

  • You may toggle points of interest on and off throughout the map, allowing you to scan broad areas of the virtual community for specific features
  • You can also search for points of interest throughout the map either by keyword ("school," "hospital," etc.) or by a unique location ID provided by your instructor, which allows faculty to dynamically customize "The Heights" to suit specific course material
  • Outside of assignments, you may visit points of interest to explore case studies relevant to various roles within the social work field, or to listen to real-world professional and academic presentations delivered in conference or lecture settings

Case Management Scenarios

The points of interest throughout "The Heights" serve as jumping-off points for a variety of simulated case management scenarios identified as being critical to the development of successful social workers. These scenarios provide crucial opportunities for students to process complex information and to make and learn from mistakes within the safety of a virtual environment.

  • Each case management scenario guides you through situational narratives with multiple outcomes dependent on the course of action you choose
  • Multiple choice prompts throughout the narrative structure your case management decisions, and how the narrative progresses and concludes will depend on your selections for each prompt
  • Case management scenarios may include videos, audio clips, images and written case histories that augment the unique learning path forged through your decision-making

Explore Wurzweiler’s Online MSW Program

Shape Your Future With Our Flexible Curriculum

In addition to advanced clinical practice with individuals and families, group work, and community practice, the online MSW can also accommodate unique social work specializations.

Prepare for What's Ahead

Our application and admissions requirements, as well as our expert Admissions Outreach Advisors, will help prepare you for a rewarding program built on rigorous coursework and field-based training.

Discover New Ways to Engage Online

The online MSW offers exclusive support resources for your digital experience, as well as unique opportunities to engage and collaborate remotely with your cohort peers and faculty.

Check Out Our Blog

May 06, 2024
Studying social work and its effect on societies is essential to understanding and enhancing human and community well-being. By effectively measuring and evaluating social work outcomes, practitioners can employ evidence-based social work practices and evidence-based treatments (EBTs) to provide structured approaches to addressing client needs.
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