UHD student Damaris Cortez meets with Associate Professor Jo Dougherty Bailey after class. Those interested in entering UHD’s social work program spring semester should apply to UHD and the program before Oct. 15.
The University of Houston-Downtown is offering courses toward a new degree in social work to help fill the growing need for social workers in the Houston area.
Organizers of the program have a plan to produce practitioners with the cultural understanding and skills required to work with diverse populations. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, demand for social work professionals will increase 30 percent by 2010.
Jo Daugherty Bailey, UHD associate professor of sociology and social work, and Dawn McCarty, assistant professor of social work, are collaborating with the Council on Social Work Education to assure the profession’s standard of excellence in higher education are reflected in UHD’s program. The CSWE recently granted candidacy to UHD’s social work degree program, one milestone towards the UHD Bachelor of Social Work degree’s full accreditation by 2013.
“UHD’s B.S.W. degree will serve a market need in the community,” said Susan Ahern, dean of UHD’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “The B.S.W. program will develop graduates who are culturally sensitive as they begin their social work careers. Our College also has a long tradition of sending graduates to the University of Houston’s Master of Social work program and other master’s degree programs. With the national accreditation we are seeking for our program, UHD students who go into an M.S.W. degree may save close to a year of coursework. It is exciting to offer access to social work education to our student population, which mirrors the diversity of the Houston metropolitan area.”
The first group of students admitted to the B.S.W. program started this fall. The program has an admissions process, and students can apply throughout the year. Interested students can enroll in the social work classes pending formal acceptance into the program. Bailey says a number of social work courses are open to non-majors.
UHD student Damaris Cortez enrolled in Introduction to Social Welfare Policy and Human Behavior in Social Environments as soon as she learned about the program. She was among the first to apply.
“I was so excited when I learned UHD offered the degree program,” she says. “UHD is representative of people like me, who work and go to school. The professors (Bailey and McCarty) are passionate about social work, and their passion shows in their teaching.”
The early application deadline for acceptance into the program is Oct. 15 for the Spring Semester 2010 and Feb. 15 for Fall Semester 2010. Early applicants receive priority consideration.
Founded in 1952, the Council on Social Work Education is a nonprofit association representing individuals, and both undergraduate and graduate programs for professional social work education. The association’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation is the sole accrediting agency for U.S. social work education.