UNA, Alabama A&M partner to offer Master’s of Social Work

UNA and Alabama A&M University officials signed an agreement today establishing a partnership that would offer the Alabama A&M University Master’s Degree in Social Work on the UNA campus.

UNA President Bill Cale and Alabama A&M President Andrew Hugine signed the agreement creating the satellite program at UNA.

“(This program is a) very cost effective way of providing it, in sharing resources,” Hugine said.

Hugine said universities around the nation are partnering to offer programs at other universities to help with the ailing economy and lack of monetary support from the state.

“You are going to expand your student base … so it is advantageous to both,” he said.

Hugine said declining resources at institutions is why universities like Alabama A&M and UNA are partnering up to provide more to students that cannot move or have the resources to attend at their local college campus.

“We are all looking for ways to take advantage of existing resources in a new and novel way,” Cale said. “These kinds of partnerships offer a level of leverage (against the declining amount of resources).”

Cale said this is one of three partnerships UNA is in to offer Master’s degree programs on the UNA or another campus around the state.

The program will be two-thirds in person and one-third online, Cale said.

“Social work is at least one of the top 10 professions overall,” said Edith Fraser, department chair of the Alabama A&M department of social work, psychology and counseling.

Fraser said Alabama A&M currently has 125 students at the graduate level and 200 at the undergraduate level.

“This is an opportunity for them,” said Joy Borah, chair of the UNA Department of Social Work. “It’s really a service to the community.”

Alabama A&M has been offering the MSW degree since 1995, and the degree will begin to be offered at UNA in January of 2013 to students with advanced standing. Students who have completed an undergraduate degree in social work will be considered in advanced standing for spring admission.