Social Work Degree to be Added

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KWU, Saint Francis collaborate to address need for Social Workers and expand internship opportunities

The need for qualified social workers has been evident in Kansas as well as at the national level. To help strengthen the field of social work, Kansas Wesleyan University and Saint Francis Community Services are partnering to develop a Bachelor of Science in Social Work program that provides field experiences throughout a student’s course of study.

“There is a need across the state of Kansas for social workers, especially in the area of child welfare,” Saint Francis Community Services CEO/President Fr. Robert Smith said. “The new Social Work program will be designed so that students will have multiple observation and practicum opportunities built into the curriculum. They will be more prepared for the challenges of the job when they graduate.”

Saint Francis and Kansas Wesleyan will collaborate on developing the program to meet the needs of Saint Francis and other area partners. They will work together to develop internships for KWU students, not only in social work but also in other appropriate areas, such as nursing, addictions counseling, psychological services and management not for profits.

“The partnership with Saint Francis will benefit students in many service-focused majors,” Kansas Wesleyan’s Interim Provost, Damon Kraft, Ph.D., said. “We have learned from the success of our Teacher Education program that real-world experience spread throughout the course of study leads to more confident and knowledgeable graduates. We are fortunate to have partnerships, like this one, that enrich the educational experience at KWU and produce professionals ready to meet the needs of the community.”

Saint Francis will underwrite the initial hiring of the Director of the Social Work Program and Director of Internships positions at Kansas Wesleyan. Kansas Wesleyan will pursue accreditation for the program through the Council on Social Work Education, which is a three-year process. The first students could be accepted into the program as soon as fall 2018.