BEACH - The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast will
offer classes leading to a bachelor of social work (BSW) degree
for the first time at its Gulf Park campus in the fall of 2004.
Dr. Tim Rehner, assistant director of the Southern Miss School of
Social Work and coordinator of the BSW program, the demand for the
program on the coast has been building steadily for years.
two or three calls a month from potential students on the coast,
especially from students at the two-year colleges who want to continue
their studies," Rehner said. "Until now, we could only
invite them to come to Hattiesburg for their BSW degree."
of qualified social workers on the Mississippi Gulf Coast has emerged
as a major problem for employers such as the Mississippi Department
of Human Services.
of study will be the same at the two campuses. Eligible students
must already have close to two years of college credits, and will
take three "pre-social work" courses before applying for
formal admission to the program. Once admitted, they will complete
another 12 required and elective social work courses in such subjects
as human behavior, social work practice, social welfare policy and
social work research. Students in the program must also complete
a semester-long internship in an agency setting, where they are
taught to apply classroom learning to real people and situations.
program is designed to prepare professionals with the solid knowledge
and experience foundation they need to work successfully with individuals,
families, groups and communities on a broad range of problems,"
said Dr. Michael Forster, director of the Southern Miss School of
Social Work. "There's a growing need for social workers on
the coast, and we want to be there to help meet that need."
has been offering the master of social work (MSW) program at its
Gulf Park campus since 1996. New classes of MSW students are admitted
every other year. Applications for the fall 2004 class are now being
work faculty members are already based at the Gulf Park campus.
A third faculty member will be added this fall to help launch the
new BSW program. As the program expands, additional faculty will
information about the Southern Miss Gulf Coast BSW or MSW programs,