The Louisiana Board of Regents today approved Southern University at New Orleans’ (SUNO) proposal to offer a Doctor of Social Work program (DSW), the University’s first doctoral program.
The new program will fill a state and national need for social workers in the areas of health care, social services, mental health and school social services. It also will alleviate a projected severe shortage of doctoral-trained social workers to expand the ranks in academia in the coming years.
The 2014-15 edition of Occupational Outlook Handbook expects social workers to grow by 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
“The primary objective of the DSW program is to prepare students for leadership roles to perform advanced practice as professional social workers with knowledge and skills of evidence-based practice models within three specializations: pedagogy, practice, and administration,” Chancellor Victor Ukpolo said. “These specializations will prepare graduates of the program to function as leaders of the social work profession locally, nationally, and globally. Graduates would fill workforce needs as social workers, academicians, administrators and applied researchers.”
Expected to launch in fall 2016, the DSW program is a three-year program. Accepted students will be required to have a master’s degree in social work, two years of post-MSW practice experience, and social work licensure.
“The DSW program comes as a result of the combined efforts of faculty and professionals in the community,” said Dr. Beverly Favre, former dean of SUNO’s School of Social Work. “This passage will be an asset to New Orleans, our state and nation by the employment of qualified professionals at a higher level.”
Prior to her recent retirement from SUNO, Dr. Favre led the School of Social Work’s efforts in preparing the initial DSW program proposal.
The School of Social Work is one of the strongest, most productive units at SUNO. Since 1985, the School has produced more than 2,000 graduates. In addition to the new doctoral program, SUNO offers master’s programs in Social Work, Computer Information Systems, Criminal Justice and Museum Studies.