A new Master of Social Work program was unveiled in Northern Alberta. The advanced Social Work Degree will be based at Grande Prairie Regional College and will be delivered primarily through classroom and face-to-face instruction. The one-time cohort, that aims to build social work capacity in Northern Alberta, will begin in the fall of 2012.
Jackie Sieppert, dean of the Faculty of Social Work, believes this unique program will “afford an opportunity for social workers currently employed in the area to continue working while undertaking their advanced degree.” The university has appointed Ralph Bodor, associate professor with social work faculty, as the site coordinator.
The program will offer an accredited program for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work, who live in that region, and who meet the admissibility requirements of the faculties of social work and graduate studies at the University of Calgary.
Sieppert says “we understand that with a province as vast as Alberta, it is vital for us to search for unique ways to deliver programs to our students. And as an added incentive, we know that the local communities will benefit as our graduates from this program will likely stay in locations where they already live and contribute.”
Susan Bansgrove, the vice-president academics and research with Grande Prairie Regional College, explains “there is a huge demand in our region. We have been offering the Bachelor of Social Work with the University of Calgary for some time and the opportunity for many of these former students to complete an advanced degree is a natural progression for those learners.”
The program is being delivered with funding from the Alberta Government’s Health Workforce Action Plan, which aims to improve health services to better meet the needs of rural and northern Albertans.