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University of Saint Joseph Masters Program Granted Full Accreditation

University of Saint Joseph website photo
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The Masters in Social Work Program at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford received full accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education.

University of Saint Joseph website photo

University of Saint Joseph website photo

Submitted

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) is pleased to announce that the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation has granted the University’s Masters in Social Work (MSW) program initial full accreditation at its November 2016 meeting.

For more than 80 years, USJ’s undergraduate Social Work program (BSW) has graduated influential social workers who make significant contributions to the region. With the launch of the MSW Program, USJ is engaged in a new era of professional training and responsiveness to the needs of communities.

The Sisters of Mercy founded USJ on the principle of serving those whose needs are not met within society. The University’s MSW program embraces this philosophy and offers an inventive and flexible program with high standards. It has several innovative features consistent with the University’s mission and purpose, including:

  • A unique concentration in community-engaged clinical social work practice.
  • Specializations in Health/Mental Health, Veteran’s Services, and Children and Families. As all of these areas of practice are forecasted to experience workforce shortages in the next 10 years, program graduates will be in demand.
  • Courses delivered in a unique hybrid model that combines online work with weekly class meetings accommodate the schedules of adult learners and working students.
  • A variety of full- and part-time options are available to both traditional and advanced standing students (those with a degree from an accredited BSW program).

Perhaps the most widely recognized and well-received innovation is the Student Unit field education model in which students work under the guidance of a University-employed Clinical Preceptor. Licensed social workers who serve as adjunct clinical professors and liaisons between the University and the agency, USJ’s MSW preceptors are specifically assigned to a field unit to provide clinical supervision to each student individually and to the group of students in the unit. This approach to field education provides students with a consistent and high-quality clinical education that thoroughly integrates classroom and field-based learning. Additionally, it allows alternative hour field placements for working students, as the supervision can be done at times of mutual convenience.

As the MSW program moves forward fully accredited, it will remain committed to pursuing innovative responses to the needs of communities, ultimately building a national model of excellence in Social Work education.

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