Valparaiso University launches graduate social work program • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Valpo social work students

Valparaiso University launches graduate social work program

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Valparaiso University recently added a Master of Social Work program to their list of offerings.

“Faculty have wanted the MSW program for a long time, and I am excited we can now realize that dream for our students and community,” said Caroline Ban, program director and assistant professor in the university’s social work department, in a press release. “Students will be challenged and supported as we prepare passionate leaders to serve and practice at the forefront of social change.”

The program will offer direct practice, macro practice and individualized pathways. Direct practice caters to students who want to work in a clinical setting. Macro practice is geared toward students who want to engage in social and systemic issues. The individualized pathway allows students to pursue specific interests.

“As a primary employer of mental health and addictions professionals in the community, and a longtime partner of Valpo, Porter-Starke Services is very excited to support the launch of the Valpo MSW program,” said Sandra Carlson, vice president for clinical service at Porter-Starke Services. “For years we have benefitted from the excellent skills the BSW graduates possess that sets them apart from other recent graduates.”

Sam Burgett earned her bachelor's degree in social work from Valparaiso University in 2020. Now a social worker at the Porter County sheriff’s office, she celebrated the announcement.

“Valpo’s program is unique in that it pushes students to have real-world experiences early on and to begin applying what they learn in the classroom to their work in a way that is different from most other schools,” she said.

The university plans to roll out the new MSW program in phases. A part-time online program will start in fall 2024. A full-time, in-person program begins in summer 2025. An advanced standing option for students with a bachelor's degree in social work will start the following summer.

Valparaiso University’s bachelor of social work program was accredited in the 1970s. Students complete coursework and 550 internship hours. Graduates are employed in schools, mental health, elder care and other social service settings.

Caption: Valparaiso University’s social work department traveled to the Indiana legislature in 2023. (Provided by Valparaiso University)


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