CSU, Chico News

Social Work Graduate Program Debuts in Redding

Date: 08-13-2009

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Collaborating with North State child welfare and mental health agencies, California State University, Chico’s master’s program in social work (MSW) is starting a three-year program this fall based in Redding.

The program is geared for professionals already employed in a social work agency who can work towards an MSW without leaving their jobs to attend school full-time.

Enrollment is full with 40 students signed up from 12 California counties as well as one student from Oregon. Jean Schuldberg, CSU, Chico MSW program director, said the program attracted twice as many applicants as there were places available for students.

The three-year graduate program delivers the same course work as the two-year MSW program, which began at CSU, Chico in 2001. Students will take classes at the Shasta College University Center in downtown Redding, as well as online and two-way video classes to fulfill the program requirements.

To kick off the program, a reception will be held for students 4 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 19, at the Shasta College University Center. CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg and College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Dean Gayle Hutchinson will be on hand to greet the new students and talk about the program. This will follow an orientation day for the students at the University Center.

Because of a need for additional social work professionals, CSU, Chico collaborated on developing the new MSW program with the Northern Child Welfare Directors and the Superior Region Mental Health Directors, who represent agencies located in the North State region. The agencies have provided financial and resource support for the program, such as offering space for students in remote locations to attend two-way video classes.

“This is a tremendous example of the collaborations that occur in our region,” said Schuldberg. “The University is working with different agencies and organizations in the North State to focus on enhancing services for our communities. Our region is large and rural, and there is a strong need for social workers to deliver services to children, older adults and others.”

To accommodate students’ work schedules, classes will meet two weekends per month on Friday afternoon and evenings and Saturdays. Fall classes will be held at the University Center in Redding, while spring classes, due to weather considerations, will be online or two-way, real-time video transmitted to locations where the students can participate in class.

The three-year MSW program requires 59-61 units of course work. The units vary depending on the student’s choice to enroll in electives, or complete a thesis or project. Students also complete 1,200 hours of field education practicum experience.