Student resources

Student Success

Three images depicting students on campus

The Virginia Commonwealth University Office of Student Success embraces a holistic approach to supporting students from the moment they express interest in the School of Social Work to long after they’ve graduated. Whether working with a prospective student or one just weeks away from Commencement, we believe in the power of individualized support and attention. As students transition into our school, as they work to excel and make a difference and as they connect with their peers and their communities, they’ll encounter student success advisers and mentors along their journey who will help light the path.

To access the VCU School of Social Work Student Policy Handbook or the Technical Standards and Essential Functions for Social Work Students, students should check their VCU email account. Forms and documents for all programs and offices are distributed biweekly to students via their VCU email account.

For assistance with student policies or technical standards, contact the Office of Student Success at


Advising is an important element in the professional education of all students. Each of you has a student success adviser who can:

  • Assist students in planning a program of study
  • Discuss academic progress based on information from instructors
  • Refer students to school and university resources
  • Interpret academic policies, rules and regulations
  • Assist with students’ integration of learning experiences
  • Advocate on behalf of students

Advising syllabus

We recognize your road to success will be comprised of complex, interrelated elements. Your student success adviser is dedicated to serving as the go-to resource and guide to help you navigate this journey. The advising syllabus is an outline of what you can accomplish as a result of engaging in a collaborative relationship with your adviser. Each adviser's syllabus is specific to them, so contact your adviser today to see what your next steps could be.

B.S.W. student success advisers

Sarah Burton-Everette
(804) 828-1043


M.S.W. student success advisers

Jillian Asay Carpenter
(804) 828-0567


Peer mentor program

The peer mentor program connects you with an energetic, passionate B.S.W. or M.S.W. student who can help you with everything from advice on scheduling courses to how to juggle school with work, family and a social life. Every peer mentor is academically successful, empathetic and has great communication skills. They routinely receive professional development and mentorship training. A matching system ensures that each mentee is paired with a compatible mentor. Contact the Office of Student Success at to learn more about our peer mentors or request to meet with one today.

Scholarships and financial resources

The desire to make a difference in people’s lives through social work should never be hindered by financial barriers. So, in addition to working with the VCU Office of Financial Aid, the school offers a broad range of scholarships, research assistantships and awards. Scholarships available for application will be announced via email at the start of each fall and spring semester.  

Child Welfare Stipend Program at VCU

The Child Welfare Stipend Program is a partnership between the Virginia Department of Social Services and four state universities within Virginia, including Virginia Commonwealth University. This specialized training program, funded through title IV-E of the Social Security Act, prepares social work students for a career in child welfare. M.S.W. students accepted into this program receive a $10,000 stipend per academic year. In exchange for the stipend and extensive child welfare training, the stipend recipient must commit to working one calendar year at a local department of social services within the commonwealth of Virginia for each academic year the stipend was received. 

More information about the Child Welfare Stipend Program is available online.

For questions, contact Naomi Reddish, Child Welfare Stipend Program coordinator, at

Student associations

Outside of the classroom, you can expand your experience by taking part in a student-run organization. To get involved, email us at

The B.S.W. Student Association brings undergraduate social work students together to discuss interests and concerns, as well as elect students to serve on committees within the school. The association sponsors a variety of activities throughout the academic year, including workshops on professional writing, resume writing and social justice, as well as social events and volunteer opportunities.

The M.S.W. Student Association provides an opportunity for masters-level social work students to address interests and concerns, and also elect students to serve on committees within the school. The association organizes a variety of activities throughout the academic year including workshops, community outreach and service projects, and social events.

The Doctoral Student Association facilitates student involvement in the School of Social Work community by participating as representatives on school committees, coordinating access to resources and engaging in social activities. 

The Association of Black Social Workers works to empower people of African ancestry through advocacy, human services and research. ABSW sponsors a variety of educational forums and activities that address social issues and concerns of the black community and works to develop an in-depth understanding of areas of interest, enhance leadership skills and establish a networking support system.

The LGBTQIA+ and Allied Social Work Group provides a safe space for LGBTQIA+ and allied social workers to collaborate and engage in advocacy efforts. The organization also promotes awareness of LGBTQIA+ topics within the VCU social work community through curricula building, education and social events.

Writing support

Professional writing skills are crucial to both your academic and future professional career. We are committed to strengthening your writing and helping you better communicate and participate in the school and beyond. All three programs use the American Psychological Association, or APA, style as a guide, and online tutorials and resources are available. If you need assistance, you can schedule to meet with the School of Social Work's student success writing adviser. Also, the VCU Writing Center provides in-person and virtual consultation.

Student success writing adviser

The student success writing advisor position is currently vacant. For in-person or online writing consultation, please contact the VCU Writing Center

APA format and citations: VCU Libraries research guides

This site provides a host of APA-related resources.

APA format and style guide: Purdue Online Writing Lab

This site provides extensive grammar resources and helpful tools for writing, including APA resource guides, and has examples of papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes and the reference page.

Professional development

As your academic career begins to come to a close, you will start to focus on your future career and developing the skills necessary to seek, find and obtain employment. And we are here to help you with that as well. From resume creation to negotiating a salary,  we will provide you with the tools necessary to be successful after you leave the classroom. Professional development workshops are hosted throughout the academic year. Check the student calendar for dates and time. Online resources are available year-round.

Student calendar

Stay up to date by checking the VCU School of Social Work Student Calendar.


For questions about the Office of Student Success, documents, forms or policies, please contact your student success adviser.