Photo courtesy of NEIU's Social Work Department
NEIU will begin offering the Master of Social Work (MSW) program in the Fall 2016, according to a university press release. Becoming NEIU’s 36th master’s program, the MSW will be accredited like its Bachelor of Arts counterpart (BASW), and promises advanced study and a competitive training credential at NEIU’s affordable tuition rate.
“75 percent of our students have gone on to graduate school in the Chicago area as well as across the country…with the addition of the MSW at NEIU we can offer a more affordable choice for our students,” stated Dr. Jade Stanley, Chair of the Social Work Program, in an email.
The new program will benefit current NEIU students who are already familiar with the learning community, allowing BASW graduates to complete a one-year MSW starting in Fall 2017. Other students without a social work background can complete the degree in two years.
Michelle Klus, a junior at NEIU, considered attending another university closer to her job to enroll in a master’s program for behavioral sciences after completing her bachelor’s degree. However, that program did not have a focus on professional social work.
“Now, you can already plan out what you’re going take. You’re already going be familiar with a lot of teachers,” said Kuls. “You’re already creating a home and a family here” She later added, “Plus, the master’s degree is specific in social work, strictly social work…other programs they don’t have all that.”
Broadening students’ array of options, a choice of campuses in the Chicago area will be offered for both the BASW and MSW at the NEIU Main Campus and NEIU’s campuses at El Centro and CCICS.
NEIU’s social work programs are also unique in that they prepare students to return to offer services to their communities or to fight for social justice for the marginalized. Especially noteworthy is the NEIU programs’ ability to prepare bilingual social workers as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
The initiation of the new MSW aims “to meet the growing demand of our students for professions that lead to lifelong learning, and a profession that gives back to the community in various ways,” said Stanley.
Stanley continued, “This has been a dream of mine since coming to NEIU in 1993, and this dream has been shared by many social work educators and practitioners who have worked with our students.”