School of Social Work

Title IV-E Pathway Program

Program Description

The California State University, Chico, School of Social Work is a participant in the statewide Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program, a collaborative project of the California Department of Social Services, the County Welfare Directors Association, California’s graduate schools of social work and social welfare, and the California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The primary goal is to professionalize child welfare services by increasing the number of bachelor’s- and master’s-degreed social workers who provide services to children and their families.

Pathway, a part-time program offered through the traditional Title IV-E Program, provides financial and other supports for current child welfare workers that live in rural and remote areas of the North State. Pathway provides a bridge between individuals and higher education and, in particular, distributed learning education. This means those who desire a degree in social work can continue working in their communities while attending school through web-based and hybrid course formats (online with scheduled face-to-face time). These individuals will “pay back” their support after graduation by continuing to work in their public and tribal child welfare agencies.

The Title IV-E Program covers the North State, which is comprised of 12 northeastern California counties and includes 18 federally recognized tribes and rancherias. However, after much review of student retention data and county needs, it was recognized that many of the rural and remote areas in the North State were not benefiting from the efforts of the Title IV-E Program in the same way urban areas were benefiting. As a result, the Pathway Program was created, addressing the educational and training needs of human service agency staff in rural and remote areas. This effort to provide a pathway to greater access to education has embraced the philosophy of a grow-your-own professional workforce.


Students must be accepted to the California State University, Chico, School of Social Work to be eligible to compete for the Title IV-E Program. The number of stipends is limited. Applications must demonstrate commitment to public child welfare. Priority will be given to current employees of the County/State Department of Social Services, and who reflect the diverse client populations currently served by child welfare agencies in California. Fluency in a high demand language is also given priority.

Interested students will qualify in the following ways:

  • Be employed at a public child welfare/tribal agency
  • Have an agency letter of support for coursework
  • Be accepted into the starting education institution
  • Apply for, and be accepted into, the Pathway Program
  • Have valid California driver’s license, registration, and insurance for a car available for fieldwork
  • Be willing to participate in full-time, continuous employment obligations after graduation as “payback” for the financial support (or make financial payback plans if necessary/required)
  • Meet other specific Title IV-E program requirements as they arise (participate in field placement, pass child welfare course, maintain academic “good standing”, etc.)

Application Process

Because this is a part-time program, the process varies on a case-by-case basis; however, typically applying to the Pathway program is a three-step process:

Step 1: Apply for admittance to Chico State.

Step 2: For prospective Title IV-E BASW students, apply to the Chico State, School of Social Work BASW Professional Sequence Program(opens in new window). Download all application materials from the Web site, complete the application, and mail or deliver to the School of Social Work. Applicants must be accepted in the BASW Professional Sequence and be in good standing to complete their junior year, before applying to the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program. Applicants apply to the Title IV-E program during their junior year.

For prospective Title IV-E MSW students, apply for admittance to the Office of Graduate Studies(opens in new window) online and pay the application fee. Then apply to the Chico State, School of Social Work MSW Program(opens in new window). Download all application materials, complete the application, and mail or deliver to the School of Social Work. Applicants must be accepted in the MSW Program before applying to the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program.

Step 3: Once candidates are notified of their acceptance into the BSW/MSW program, those who have applied for the Title IV-E stipend will be interviewed by a panel consisting of University and community partners.

Awards Process

An awards committee, made up of representatives of the Chico State, School of Social Work, and community partners, which may include representatives of public child welfare agencies, tribal child welfare, county adoptions, and state adoptions, will review all applications, interview qualifying candidates, and finalize selection of candidates to whom the award will be offered.

Contact Information

~Meka Klungtvet-Morano                                               
Title IV-E Project Coordinator     

~Chelsea Cornell                     
Title IV-E Project Coordinator