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CSU, Chico News

Online Social Work Program Ranked No. 2 Nationwide

Date: 07-31-2013

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Donna Jensen, Coordinator
Mental Health Education Program

California State University, Chico’s online undergraduate program for social work has been ranked second in the nation for affordability and credibility by GetEducated.com.

The website, which rates online colleges and universities, conducted a national survey of 55 regionally accredited universities offering 99 different online bachelor's degrees in psychology, human services, counseling, social work and the social sciences. The rankings include the top 36 degrees in those fields.

The survey found the average cost of those online degrees is $45,548. The cost of the online social work program at CSU, Chico is $21,880. The University ranked second only to Colorado State University, Pueblo, whose online bachelor’s degree in social science costs $17,880.

CSU, Chico’s online social work program launched in fall 2012 to serve students whose geographical distance or work or family obligations make it difficult to participate in the traditional full-time program. The majority of classwork is completed online, with students traveling to the Chico campus two weekends each semester for in-person classes and research. Students typically enter the three-year program as juniors; a total of 31 students are currently enrolled in the program.

The program includes a student-mentoring component, in which recent graduates of the social work program partner with current online students in their home communities to assist with work-life-school balance, study skills and time management.

Donna Jensen, distributed learning coordinator for the School of Social Work, said the online degree was created in response to a need for well-trained and qualified social workers in the more rural and remote regions of Northern California. The GetEducated.com ranking, she said, underscores the program’s value: equal financial and physical access to high-quality social work education.

“The profession of social work is based on social justice, and it was vital [to the social work faculty] that we demonstrated a commitment to this value when it came to educational access,” Jensen said. “We are working closely with county and public service agencies to assist students who are currently working in the field to move through the educational pathway to obtain a college degree.”

GetEducated.com publishes online college and university ratings for affordability and credibility. The lists it publishes include programs that objectively cost less than the average cost of all the online degrees reviewed in the comprehensive data set.

View the complete list at www.geteducated.com.