Fulbright College Launches Online Master of Social Work Program This Fall

Alishia Ferguson, social work clinical associate professor, online program coordinator and assistant dean for academic integrity in Fulbright College
Photo by J.D. White, University Relations

Alishia Ferguson, social work clinical associate professor, online program coordinator and assistant dean for academic integrity in Fulbright College

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences will launch an online advanced standing Master of Social Work degree program this fall. This program allows professionals with a bachelor’s degree in social work to further their education by studying full-time to complete the degree in one year.

“The M.S.W. is the gold-standard, terminal practice degree within the field of social work,” said Yvette Murphy-Erby, associate dean of social sciences at Fulbright College. “We are very proud to now offer this degree online in addition to our on-campus program, helping more professionals succeed in this challenging yet rewarding field.”

Alishia Ferguson, social work clinical associate professor, online program coordinator and assistant dean for academic integrity within Fulbright College, said that the new degree will also provide social work professionals with access to new opportunities.

“Earning a master’s degree allows social workers to move into clinical practice settings,” Ferguson said. “This degree can also give social workers an edge when competing for leadership roles, allowing them to use their advanced knowledge as administrators and policy advocates to work for organizational and community changes.”

Social workers with a master’s degree can also earn about 25 percent more than those with bachelor’s degrees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ferguson said this program will create greater access to social work services for all Arkansans.

“We’re hoping to create a larger and more educated social work workforce in our rural state by adding the first online ‘advanced standing’ program in the state,” Ferguson said. “There are only three universities in Arkansas that offer master’s degrees in social work, and some people cannot pull up stakes and move their families to one of those three campus locations. The U of A’s online option provides a more flexible path to earning a graduate degree in social work.”

The application deadline for the U of A’s Master of Social Work degree program is June 1 for fall 2016.  Students must complete 39 credit hours and a full-time internship in their home region. No Fayetteville campus visits are required. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

The social work program is one of 18 master’s degree programs offered completely or primarily online by the University of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas ONLINE website showcases all online programs.

The U of A Global Campus supports Fulbright College and other academic units in the development and delivery of online programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.

About the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with 19 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Alisha Ferguson, online program coordinator for social work
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-3796, ajfergus@uark.edu

Kay Murphy, director of communications
Global Campus
479-575-6489, ksmurphy@uark.edu


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