Due to a rapidly growing demand for social workers with graduate degrees, Marywood University in Scranton, PA will begin a partnership with East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) to offer a Master of Social Work program on ESU's campus this fall. The program will be known as Marywood's Pocono Program at East Stroudsburg University.
"Our relationship with Marywood University will improve the quality of life in Northeast Pennsylvania," said Marilyn Wells, Ph.D., M.P.H, ESU vice provost and dean of the graduate college. "It's really designed to be an interwoven program, involving students and faculty in public service and leadership in the educational and economic development of the region. We anticipate new opportunities for service projects and research where the faculty and students are working side by side to serve our communities."
Marywood University has been one of the premiere educators of social workers in Pennsylvania since they began offering the major in 1969. The courses for the new program will be held at ESU on Saturdays to accomodate students already in the work force. Classes will be taught largely by Marywood professors, and the M.S.W. degree will be conferred by Marywood.
Students with a bachelor's degree in social work from an accredited program can apply for advanced standing in the master's program, which means they will be required to earn 39 credits. Students with a bachelor's degree in another field will be required to earn 60 credits for their M.S.W. ESU is working toward accreditation of its bachelor of science degree in social work, which will enable its graduates to later earn a master's degree in social work in a shorter span of time.
The program is beginning at a time when social workers are in high demand. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the profession is expected to add more than 161,000 social workers from 2010 to 2020. They are employed in a broad spectrum of settings, including schools, hospitals, substance abuse treatment facilities and community mental health centers. They work with clients across the lifespan including children at risk, families in poverty, and the aging.
"Social workers are initially trained to be generalist practitioners and then specialize through advanced training and education," said John Kraybill-Greggo, Ph.D., M.S.W., L.S.W., and A.C.S.W., associate professor and chair of the ESU Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice. "In the health care field alone, the U.S. Department of Labor is predicting a 34 percent growth in the need for social workers and a lot of that has to do with the projected needs of baby boomers."
"Nationally, social work has been listed as one of the top professional programs for the next few years, in terms of need," said Lloyd Lyter, Ph.D., M.S.W., L.S.W., director of Marywood's Pocono Program. "Social workers are the primary providers of mental health services in the United States. There are social workers in virtually every kind of setting."
According to Dr. Lyter, there is already a lot of interest in the program from potential students at ESU. Both he and Dr. Kraybill-Greggo said both faculties are looking forward to collaborating on research, community work and symposiums.
To celebrate the program, key stakeholders from ESU and Marywood will participate in a signing celebration to mark this new joint venture on Friday, June 14 at 1 p.m. in ESU Innovation Center, located at 562 Independence Road, East Stroudsburg, PA.
For more information about the Marywood master's degree in social work at ESU, contact Ann L. Williams, Marywood University graduate admissions, or Lyter, director, school of social work and administrative studies.