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In order to meet the growing demands of the social work profession, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of North Florida will offer a new Bachelor of Social Work degree, enrolling the first group of students in the fall for the 2013-14 academic year. Applications for the new degree program will be accepted through Monday, July 1.
In Northeast Florida, the State of Florida projects the demand for social workers and community/social service specialists will increase by 1.69 percent, or 217 new positions annually, between now and 2019. In 2009, the State of Florida also granted title protection to the social work profession. As a result, individuals who don’t hold a Bachelor of Social Work degree or a Master of Social degree from an accredited institution are prohibited from calling themselves social workers or working in many social work positions.
“Our students have been asking for this type of degree for several years, and local human services professionals have expressed a lot of enthusiasm about the new program,” said Dr. Krista Paulsen, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UNF. “We anticipate that there will be high demand for the program, and that our graduates will make great contributions to the community.”
The BSW program, accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, will admit 40 students each fall and will be housed in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, which provides the opportunity for departmental faculty to contribute required courses on understanding diversity and elective courses in social problems relevant to social welfare practice.
In addition to providing students with a marketable advantage in practice settings, students who earn a BSW degree will have the option of entering an Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program, in which they can complete their graduate education in approximately one year (compared with two or more years without a BSW degree).
UNF has offered a minor in social welfare and a social welfare concentration in the sociology major for a number of years, and those programs have required a 150-hour internship and practicum. Graduates of these programs work in a variety of local human services agencies, such as the Sulzbacher Center, the Department of Children and Families, Second Harvest Food Bank and Jewish Family and Community Services, and are highly regarded in the community. The University currently has agency agreements with 42 local health and human-service agencies that host UNF interns.
For more information about the new Bachelor of Social Work degree, contact Dr. Krista Paulsen, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, at (904) 620-1650 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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