I graduated with a 4 year Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) almost a year ago from Ryerson University. I applied for my Masters of Social Work (MSW) at Ryerson University and York University but did not get in due to a perceived lack of experience.
(A little fun fact: In my letter of acceptance I stated that I had wanted to do my research on the non-hospital population that engaged in self harming behaviour. My personal research had revealed that most of the current academic research on self harm was conducted on individuals in hospitals when I knew that there was a very large population, myself included, that had never entered a hospital or had hospital stays for their self harm or other psychiatric issues. The two populations are different and I wanted to find out how. I also wanted to research individuals who were chronically self harming. Again, the academic research I found was conducted on individuals who admitted to only engaging in the behaviour a few times to only once. We cannot use that data to generalize to individuals who chronically self harm. As an awesome side piece I would have loved to research male self harmers since majority of research is on females. )
I’ve been working since finishing school and it’s be great. The problem I’m running into is the jobs that I want I need something I don’t have and that is a degree related to working with children such as Child & Youth Care (CYC) or Early Childhood Education (ECE). I was venting about this issue to Michael (my partner) because I love working with children but the current jobs that I can apply for are not long term. I may have experience with children but the fancy degree is what people want these days. Michael suggested that I go for a masters related to ECE. I said that it probably didn’t exist because ECE is generally a college level program and it was very strange of Ryerson to offer ECE at the undergraduate level. I WAS WRONG!!!!
Ryerson has a Masters of Fine Arts, Early Childhood Studies (MA, ECS)! Reading the description is sounds great (http://www.ryerson.ca/ece/graduate/index.html). I already have an idea for a Major Paper: how parents with mental health issues raise children. I would want to look at the issues these parents face, issues faced by children, supports available, stereotypes of mentally ill parents, effects of stigma on children, fears of to-be parents with mental health issues, being a mentally ill parent(s) and raising a child with mental health issues etc I can link my own lived experience and combine two things that I like, mental health and kids!
The big question is….HOW DO I PAY FOR THIS!?!?!?!? I will look into another student loan, scholarships, bursaries and would continue to work through school but it’s just scary. A lot of money!