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Daemen’s New MSW Degree First One at Private WNY College | Business

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Daemen’s New MSW Degree First One at Private WNY College
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Daemen’s New MSW Degree First One at Private WNY College

Daemen College will begin offering courses next spring for a new master of social work (MSW) degree, which will include a concentration in the high-demand practice area of children and families, making it the first MSW program offered at a private college in Western New York.

The New York State Department of Education has granted approval for Daemen to offer the MSW degree that’s designed to provide advanced training for experienced professionals and students with a background in liberal arts who are looking to further or begin their education in the field.

“As a long-standing leader in undergraduate social work education, Daemen recognized the need to add an advanced program of study in the field at a time when there’s a strong need for working professionals with enhanced skills and knowledge,” said Daemen President Gary A. Olson. “This new MSW program will help extend the reach of Daemen’s educational offerings throughout the region as agencies, organizations and private practices seek enhanced trained social workers to service a variety of clients.”

Dr. Michael Brogan, Daemen vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, emphasized that MSW graduates will be well-positioned for changing community needs in social work.

“Given current societal issues and demographic trends, the social work profession is in the midst of an emerging job demand for advanced trained practitioners in some key specialized areas, such as children and families, gerontology, military, immigrants, and other growing client populations. Daemen’s MSW program is designed to prepare social workers for these types of roles and we envision expanding concentration tracks that will focus on these specialties,” he said.

The MSW program, open to students on a full-time basis, is comprised of a two-year 60-credit hour program or a one-year advanced standing 30-credit hour program for students who have an undergraduate social work degree accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Courses will be offered in traditional classroom or hybrid formats, as well as in the evenings and on weekends, providing students a flexible schedule as they complete their studies.

In addition to learning generalist social work practices, students will develop clinical practice skills in managing crises, advanced techniques in mental health assessment and treatment, and competency in working with children and families in a clinical setting, one of the most popular fields of social work practice. Also, a number of elective courses will be offered for the clinical concentration.

Beyond the skills-based classroom component, students will also complete semester-long internships through Daemen’s extensive network of program approved public and private field sites in the community. After successfully completing the program, students will be prepared for licensure at the master’s degree (LMSW) or clinical (LCSW) levels.

As noted by Dr. Isiah Marshall, master of social work program director and associate professor, Daemen’s MSW program evolved out of the college’s well-established, successful undergraduate degree program that has existed for nearly four decades.

“It was this foundation that made it a natural transition to add a master of social work program at Daemen,” he said. “Now, we will have the opportunity to prepare social workers at an advanced level to keep pace with the ever-changing challenges and demands they face daily in the field. In many ways, this program is poised to help strengthen and fill the current and future needs of the workforce with highly qualified, competent practitioners.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. The profession is expected to grow by 25 percent between 2010 and 2020. More than 650,000 people currently hold social work degrees.

Dr. Ron Schenk, dean of health and human services at Daemen, said that “the new MSW program continues the college’s commitment to educate exceptional social work practitioners in our community.”

Interested students may learn more about Daemen’s MSW program at an information night planned for 7 p.m. Nov. 18 in Rosary Hall. To register for the session or for additional information, contact msw@daemen.edu or 566-7884 or visit daemen.edu/msw.

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