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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU expands social work master's degree program at Albuquerque Center

ALBUQUERQUE - There has never been a better time to apply to New Mexico State University for a master's degree in social work at the university's Albuquerque Center. The deadline for 2007 applications has been extended by the School of Social Work, located in the College of Health and Social Services. In addition, the class schedule at NMSU's Albuquerque Center will be expanded, as it continues to meet the education needs for working adults.

The reason the deadline was extended is that the Master of Social Work program is growing. Having started with a small cohort in Albuquerque in 2001, the MSW program is now planning to expand in the 2007 fall semester to an enrollment of 120 students, an increase of 55. Wanda Whittlesey-Jerome, site coordinator, said applications will continue to be accepted until all seats are filled.

"Our program has steadily grown from 43 students in 2004 to 82 students currently. The long-range plan is to increase the enrollment to 160 students in 2010," Whittlesey-Jerome said. "This is an excellent time for individuals with a bachelor's degree interested in entering the social work field to apply for our three-year, part-time MSW program."

According to Stephen Anderson, director of the School of Social Work, New Mexico has a shortage of MSW level social workers, particularly in rural communities throughout the state.

"Albuquerque, with its large population base and central location within New Mexico, is a logical location to expand our program to assist in meeting the workforce needs of the state," Anderson said.

Whittlesey-Jerome added that individuals with a bachelor's degree in social work may apply for admission to the Advance Standing program, where the first year of the MSW degree is waived, allowing the master's degree to be completed in two years as a part-time student.

Currently, the three-year, part-time program meets on Saturdays at the NMSU Albuquerque Center, at 2444 Louisiana Blvd. NE. Soon, the program will offer another course schedule option.

"Presently the students are taking a condensed format: each three-credit course lasts six weeks of day-long Saturday classes," Whittlesey-Jerome said. "Beginning the second summer semester we will offer two sections of each course. Besides the Saturday section, the course will be offered one evening per week for the semester - reflecting a more typical graduate-level university schedule."

The program increases will require additional faculty and staff at the Albuquerque Center, and new classes will begin middle to late summer 2007, according to Anderson.

For more information about the program, contact Whittlesey-Jerome at (505) 830-6936. Completed applications will be accepted at the university's Albuquerque Center social work program office, Room 112.