New Degree Program Request:
Add a new degree-major program
Proposal for Master of Social Work (MSW)- Social Work Major - Graduate
Summary of the Changes:
The University of North Florida (UNF) Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work proposes to launch an accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) degree during the 2017-18 academic year. The MSW was added to UNF’s New Degree Program Master Plan in 2011. The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program was added to the Master Plan the same year. Since then, the Department has successfully implemented the BSW program, which admitted its first class in fall 2013 and graduated 20 BSW students in spring 2015. The BSW is making timely progress toward accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), having been granted candidacy in October 2013. Full accreditation of the BSW Program is anticipated in fall 2015. Implementing the BSW Program has allowed us to develop infrastructure and expertise that will facilitate a successful MSW program at UNF.
We are proposing both Traditional and Advanced Standing MSW programs. The Traditional Program will require 60 credit hours, and will admit students without a BSW degree from an accredited program. The Advanced Standing program will require 38 credit hours and is available to select students entering with a BSW from an accredited program (we anticipate admitting many UNF BSW students). The curriculum includes 900 hours of field education in accordance with the accreditation standards of CSWE. The program will offer a single concentration, in advanced generalist practice.
The UNF MSW program will prepare students with the requisite theoretical knowledge, skills, and ethical framework for advanced social work practice with diverse client systems across practice settings. UNF MSW students will be uniquely trained through an integrated curriculum that merges historically disparate “clinical” and “administrative” social work practice roles in a more contemporary and transformative approach to social work practice and social change, emphasizing the social and economic well-being of those who are vulnerable, marginalized or oppressed. All MSW students will demonstrate advanced mastery of ten Core Competencies dictated by the Council on Social Work Education, which will allow them to assume clinical and administrative social work practice roles upon graduation. Students who wish to pursue licensure as clinical social workers after graduation will have the necessary course preparation and field experience to do so.
Social workers routinely provide services in the areas of child welfare, housing assistance, disaster relief, mental health, substance abuse, crisis intervention, vocational training, hospice and palliative care, juvenile justice and corrections, and victim advocacy. Demand for social workers is increasing nationally, statewide, and regionally. The State of Florida grants title protection to the social work profession: individuals who do not hold a BSW or MSW from an accredited institution are prohibited from calling themselves “social workers” or working in many social work positions (Section 491.016, F.S.). The 2014 Child Welfare bill (CS/SB 1666) granted hiring preference to social workers as child protective investigators, and set a goal that social workers constitute half of all child protective investigators by 2019. Each of these legislative acts has increased demand for undergraduate and graduate social work degrees from accredited institutions. To pursue clinical licensure in the State of Florida, Social Workers must hold a Master’s Degree from a CSWE-accredited program that includes substantial clinical coursework. Graduates of the proposed program will be qualified to meet these conditions for employment and advancement in the field of social work.
Northeast Florida human services agencies that hire large number of social workers, including Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), Children’s Home Society, Jewish Family and Community Services, Daniel, and United Way, have attested that a UNF MSW program would have a positive impact on their ability to recruit qualified staff and serve their client populations. As detailed in the New Degree Program application, these organizations expressed unanimous support for development of an MSW at UNF, citing the ability of the program and its graduates to better serve the organizations’ missions and clients.
The proposed MSW program will require four additional Social Work faculty. The faculty size is stipulated by the accrediting body CSWE, which requires six faculty be primarily assigned to an accredited MSW program. We will reassign two of our current faculty to reach the full complement of six. We will also require a half-time administrative support position, which will be reassigned from elsewhere in the College of Arts and Sciences. Additional expenses include those associated with CSWE accreditation and membership and support of the field education component. The proposed budget accounts for any new library resources that would be required for the MSW program.
(Master of Social Work in Social Work Proposal Attachment)