Students have a lot on their plates. For graduate students, the demands on their time can be especially stressful as they may be working and raising a family all while continuing their education. As your students’ needs change, your program needs to adapt as well to better assist them toward becoming licensed practitioners. One of the best ways to do this is to simply outline a clear path for them. Remind them of the bigger picture when they get bogged down in the weeds and continue to remind them of this clear path ahead of them.
Begin by outlining the major milestones in their way, like graduation and licensure. Students are motivated by deadlines, even if they’re years away. By keeping these goals front and center, you’re acting as their guide and marking out clear landmarks they can remember and look to when they feel lost.
To help them reach these graduation and licensure milestones, you can further break down the steps they’ll need to take to achieve each. These smaller, steps will be less threatening and will help them feel like they can achieve each because you’re helping them visualize it. For instance, “to achieve licensure you need to complete your site placement hours.”
Imagine you’re creating a map. This map shows the final destination: becoming a practicing social worker as well as all the twists and turns along the way. To make sure your students don’t get lost, you need to set up signposts along the way.