New master’s degree in social work offered at Seton Hall

The College of Arts and Sciences plans to debut its newest degree program, the Master of Social Work (MSW), in Fall 2015.

The program is the product of a group effort collaboration between Dr. Matthew Corrigan, program director of the Master of Social Work, faculty in the social work program and colleagues from the sociology, anthropology departments, the Dean’s Office and the Provost’s Office.

Dr. Michael Dooney, Assistant Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, provided support and consultation to the faculty in the development of the program. Dr. Dooney recognizes the beneficial impact MSW will have on the Seton Hall campus.

“It is strongly tied to our Catholic mission in that it will prepare students to contribute to society in a meaningful and compassionate way,” Dr. Dooney said. “This degree will impart a highly marketable skill set dealing with the treatment of mental health and substance abuse.”

Having a focus on behavioral health in addition to mental health, substance abuse and healthcare, MSW has been created to feed the demand for Social Work services nationally.

“As compared with local states, New Jersey has a disproportionate number of schools that offer MSW degrees, with one school for every 2.22 million residents,” Dr. Corrigan said. “New York state in total, New York City and Pennsylvania have rates well below New Jersey with one school per 1.15 million, 1.04 million and 1.28 million residents. Only Connecticut with one school per 1.8 million residents begins to approach the New Jersey rate.”

The MSW program at Seton Hall faces competition from the following New Jersey schools: Fairleigh Dickinson University- College at Florham, Kean University, Monmouth University, Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rutgers University- at the New Brunswick and Newark campuses- and Stockton University.

While the process for implementing the MSW program has taken off since Dr. Corrigan’s initial idea for it in fall 2013, the department of social work will continue to work on finalizing accreditation for the program after it begins this fall for 20 enrolled students. According to Dr. Corrigan, the number of students enrolled in the program is expected to grow in fall 2016 to 50 in total when students who hold a Bachelor’s in Social Work degree can enter the program’s Advanced Standing option.

Together, students enrolling in the MSW program will help further the University’s mission and values said Dr. Corrigan. Sophomore Arielle Bello provides her enthusiasm and support for the implementation of the MSW program.

“Seton Hall is one of the few universities in the state that has a BSW program, which was my reason for choosing this school,” Bello said.

Leah Carton can be reached at leah.carton@student.shu,edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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