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Springfield College will expand MSW Classes at Saint Vincent Hospital

March 30, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, MASS., March 29, 2012 -- Central Massachusetts residents interested in earning a master’s degree in social work will have a new opportunity close to home beginning in September 2012. The Springfield College School of Social Work (SSW) will expand its program at Saint Vincent Hospital and will offer a full range of courses there on weekends.

The college initially introduced four master of social work (MSW) courses at the hospital in September 2011, and decided to expand in response to student demand. A total of 20 students enrolled, which was double the number that the college expected for the first cohort.

According to SSW Dean Francine Vecchiolla, “The demand for certified social workers in central Massachusetts has been rising, and this partnership will result in more highly trained professionals. It is an ideal arrangement between a hospital committed to addressing community needs and a college dedicated to preparing social workers with the latest knowledge and skills.”

Deborah Bitsoli, chief operating officer at Saint Vincent Hospital, said, “Partnering with Springfield College in this way is consistent with our commitment to the communities we serve. We want to do our part to help bring more social workers to the region.”

Students will be able to complete the MSW weekend program in three years. It features a concentration in advanced generalist practice which, according to Vecchiolla, “is ideal preparation for direct practice, group work, community development and organization, and administration in a wide variety of settings including adoption agencies, schools, hospitals, veterans’ services, senior centers, prisons, mental health clinics, military support programs, public social agencies, hospice care and corporations.”

Within the advanced general practice, the school offers areas of emphasis in adult mental health, school social work, child welfare and child mental health services, and gerontology.

The MSW Weekend Program is the same three-year program that is offered on the Springfield College Campus. There, the school also offers a full-time MSW program, which students can complete in two years with classes two days a week. Also available is an advanced standing master of social work program for qualified graduates of bachelor of social work programs that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. At the post-master’s level, the school offers a certificate program in advanced practice with children and families.

Additionally, the school offers a combined master of social work/juris doctorate program in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law, which takes four years to complete.

More information on the program is available from SSW Admissions Coordinator Chris Hinely, by calling (413)748-3060, or on the website www.springfieldcollege.edu/ssw. Applications are being accepted and are available on the website, or by calling the Springfield College Office of Graduate Admissions, (413) 748-3479.

The Springfield College School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the official accrediting body for social work programs in the United States. Graduates are eligible for professional social work licensure in all 50 states. MSW/JD graduates are eligible for professional social work licensure and bar examination. Western New England University School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Springfield College, founded in 1885, is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

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