The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast's new bachelor
of social work program is gearing up for its fall kickoff. The program
will complement the master of social work program at the Gulf Park
campus that has been active since 1996.
are a growing number of agency social services needed for the growing
population on the Coast," said Dr. Michael Forster, director
of the Southern Miss School of Social Work. "Agencies are straining
to respond to the personnel need. The highest demand is at the bachelor's
level and this new program means we can respond in a way we never
the program on the Gulf Park campus had been building for years,
since a shortage of qualified social workers on the Mississippi
Gulf Coast emerged as a major problem for employers such as the
Mississippi Department of Human Services.
has been a lot of interest in the program and I think it's going
to have a lot of students," said Kristen Beard of the Southern
Miss Gulf Coast Division of Health. "I think it will be a valuable
service because there is a need for social workers in this growing
the BSW program are required to complete 35 hours of university
core classes, such as English 101 and 102; basic sciences and mathematics;
history and culture; art, dance or music classes; and decision-making
classes in economics, philosophy or political science. A 30-hour
social work core comes next, with classes in Spanish, psychology
and sociology, followed by the specific social work classes. 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-life situations.
interested should call and see what we offer," Beard said of
the new program. For more information about the Southern Miss Gulf
Coast social work programs, call (228) 865-4517.