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Department of Social Work introduces accelerated degree program
Posted 11/06/2017 11:44AM

The Misericordia University Department of Social Work will offer a new way for students to obtain a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree beginning in the spring semester of 2018. The new BSW Accelerated Degree Program is designed for students who have work and family obligations and will provide a majority of classes online, allowing students to complete their degree in as little as two years.

The only accelerated BSW program of its kind in the region, the new program affords adult students, who oftentimes have to work part- or full-time while completing their degrees, the flexibility they need to meet the demands of work, school and family. The predictable format of the program enables students to take classes at an affordable rate, while utilizing a blend of online and in-person delivery formats.

The program offers a structured schedule of classes. Students can begin anytime throughout the year taking prerequisites, core and elective classes. They will join a cohort of students for the required social work classes that begins each fall. A completion of 121 credits is required to earn a BSW at Misericordia University.

"A non-traditional student seeks and often requires flexibility in the design of a curriculum course structure," said Susan McDonald, Ph.D., L.S.W., assistant professor and chair of the Department of Social Work at Misericordia University. "This program was developed to address the unique needs of these students. The format offers a new and accelerated avenue to a degree in social work and provides opportunities for non-traditional students to receive a quality education in support of the mission and philosophy of Misericordia University."

The new accelerated program is offered in addition to the traditional BSW degree program offered to full-time students. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1975, Misericordia University's Bachelor of Science degree in social work also offers minors in gerontology, addictions counseling, child welfare and psychology.

The university has arrangements with numerous fieldwork sites that allow students in the BSW accelerated degree program to complete the required hours of fieldwork experience during evenings and weekends, according to Dr. McDonald.

"Misericordia is dedicated to ensuring that students of all ages and experience levels have access to a rigorous and affordable education in career fields where there is a need for highly trained practitioners," said Leamor Kahanov, Ed.D., A.T.C., L.A.T., dean of the College of Health Sciences and Education at Misericordia University. "There is an added bonus thanks to an articulation agreement with Marywood University that enables academically eligible students who earn a BSW at Misericordia to earn advance standing and seamlessly enter the Master of Social Work degree program in Scranton.''

The Departments of Social Work at Misericordia and Marywood universities signed an articulation agreement in June that enables Bachelor of Science-degree recipients from the Misericordia University social work program to earn advance standing and transfer into the Master of Social Work degree program at Marywood University. Students who meet academic requirements and earn advanced standing can complete their master's degree at Marywood University in as little as one year by attending classes full time.

The articulation agreement enables Misericordia University graduates in good academic standing to transfer up to 21 credits to the Marywood University graduate program. By transferring up to 21 credits to Marywood, bachelor-degree holders from Misericordia need to earn an additional 39 credits to receive their Master of Social Work degree.

Advanced standing in Master of Social Work programs is reserved for graduates who have earned their Bachelor of Social Work degrees from academic programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Misericordia has been preparing social workers for rewarding careers since 1939. The program received accreditation from CSWE in 1975. Marywood's graduate program has been accredited by CSWE since 1969.

For complete information about the new BSW accelerated degree program and the Department of Social Work at Misericordia University, please contact Dr. McDonald at (570) 674-6212 or visit

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