CSU, Chico News

California State University, Chico Seeks to Add School of Social Work to 'Impacted' List as Number of Applicants Surges

Date: 02-06-2017

Sean Murphy
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s School of Social Work has declared its intention to change the admissions status for its bachelor's degree in social work (BSW) program to "impacted." If the University receives final approval from the Chancellor’s Office this spring, the designation would take effect for the start of the 2018–2019 academic year for incoming freshmen.

An undergraduate major is designated as impacted—or oversubscribed—when the number of applications received from fully qualified applicants exceeds the number of available spaces in the program.

Vincent Ornelas, BSW Program director and associate professor, said the declaration for impaction comes in the wake of the phenomenal growth rate in the number of students in the program.

“Our most recent cohort of students admitted into our junior level cohort is more than triple the size of our graduating cohort 10 years ago,” Ornelas said.

As a result, Ornelas said, the BSW program will prioritize applicants who are from Northern California and have an interest in serving the needs of residents of Northern California. The School of Social Work will also raise its standards for potential BSW Professional Sequence applicants.

Students can still be admitted to the campus in an alternate major, or they may eventually be admitted to the oversubscribed major if they meet the supplementary admission criteria.

If approved, this change would affect both of the University’s delivery modes of teaching: traditional, face-to-face classroom time as well as Distributed Learning, which includes a mix of internet instruction, face-to-face classroom time and collaborative sessions with instructors and classmates.

The School of Social Work, part of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, would join recording arts and nursing as the University’s other impacted majors.

CSU, Chico is not alone in declaring impaction of its BSW program.

“Of the 12 CSU campuses with BSW programs, seven have already declared impaction and three, including our program here at Chico State, are declaring impaction this year,” Ornelas said.

Ornelas noted that CSU, Chico began reaching out to its community college partners and school districts in its feeder area last semester to inform them of the upcoming process.

The University’s School of Social work has created online resources containing detailed information about the impaction, as well as links to upcoming public meetings about the process.

The School of Social Work will host a series of public service meetings that are open to the public for feedback:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 8 at CSU, Chico in Meriam Library, Room 045 from 3:30–4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 24 at Yuba College, 2088 N. Beale Road in Marysville, in the 1100 Building's ITV classroom from 1–4 p.m.
  • Friday, March 3 at Shasta College
  • Friday, March 10 at CSU, Chico in Meriam Library, Room 045 from 3:30–4:30 p.m.