Social workers in western Kansas can advance their education now without having to commute to eastern Kansas or move out of state, University of Kansas officials said this week.
The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare will offer its Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program, titled Western Kansas MSW Program, in western Kansas starting in summer 2013, with a new partnerships worked out with Fort Hays State University and Garden City Community College.
Courses will be offered blending in-class and online instruction, said Mary Ellen Kondrat, dean of KU’s School of Social Welfare.
The school, has long recognized the need for more prepared social workers in western Kansas to meet the gaps in service, university officials said.. Currently, all Master of Social Work degree programs are offered in far eastern Kansas, making it difficult for social workers in the west to advance their education. After KU developed and piloted a successful blended option in its MSW program, it became feasible to think about strategies to bring the program to western Kansas.
“Fortunately, the school found a partner in Fort Hays State University’s director of the social work baccalaureate program, Dr. Tim Davis. Davis, too, had long been concerned about the identified service gaps in western and southwestern Kansas. And we agreed that together we could do something to benefit the people and communities of western Kansas,” Kondrat said.