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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State to offer social work courses in Albuquerque

The New Mexico State University School of Social Work will offer courses in Albuquerque leading to a Master of Social Work beginning in the spring 2002 semester.

workers who have completed a bachelor's degree within the last seven years at a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) are considered advanced standing students and may apply for the courses in Albuquerque.

Classes will take place primarily on Saturdays, so students in northern New Mexico will be able to attend, and faculty from Las Cruces will be able to share the teaching responsibilities with a full-time professor in Albuquerque.

"The classes are designed for full-time social workers who want to continue their education but stay in their own community," said Harriet W. Meek, New Mexico State assistant professor of social work and site coordinator in Albuquerque. "With classes being held on Saturday and Albuquerque being centrally located, many social workers in the northern part of the state can participate in the program."

The curriculum is designed according to the requirements of the CSWE and will parallel the Master of Social Work Program in Las Cruces. The curriculum is focused on family-centered practice in multicultural settings. Course work includes family theory, family policy, research and family-centered practice.

The New Mexico State University School of Social Work plans to seek branch program approval from the CSWE during the first part of the new year, said Stephen Anderson, director of the New Mexico State School of Social Work.

"We really wanted to respond to the growing need to develop a program in the major population center of the state," Anderson said.

Students admitted with advanced standing are required to take 33 credits of advanced courses including 500 clock hours of field placement. Students should be able to complete the program in 17 months.

"With the large number of agencies situated in Albuquerque, there are many opportunities for field placements," Meek said.

Classes will be taught at the University of New Mexico Hospital. "The level of cooperation from the UNM Hospital has been outstanding," said Jeffrey Brandon, dean of the College of Health and Social Services at New Mexico State.

Registration for the spring semester will be done through the Distance Education Program at New Mexico State.

If the program is approved by CSWE, students who participate in spring classes must then apply to the Graduate School and the Master of Social Work Program at New Mexico State. Spring registration acceptance does not indicate admission to either the Graduate School or the School of Social Work.

"It is our intent to offer the regular Master of Social Work to students coming from all types of undergraduate majors in 2003," Brandon said.