Are you interested in attaining a Master of Social Work (MSW)? Saint Leo University is excited to announce that its online MSW program will now be available to many more prospective students beginning in the fall of 2019.

The graduate online social work degree program currently allows for students in six U.S. states to enroll in and complete the program with the ability to attain the appropriate licensure in the students' respective states of residence. These states are Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia. Now, five more states will be added to this list.

Reasons Behind the Additions

Dr. Courtney Wiest was recently promoted to be the director of the graduate online social work degree program. Wiest, who also serves as an assistant professor in the master's curriculum, explains how the university came up with this list of new states to be added to its current crop.

"We looked at the calls coming in to our admissions team from people who are interested," she says. "We got the highest volume of calls from these particular states. Also, these five states are mostly those that border the current states in which we offer this program."

The five new states in which the program will be available are Tennessee, North Carolina, New Jersey, Illinois and Maryland. This means there are now 11 states in which students can enroll in this online MSW program.

She says her team is always looking at potential opportunities to include more states, but it's all about "balancing the growth with the quality of the program."

Wiest talks about how the licensure process for social work professionals works among different states.

"The requirements are different for every state," she says. "Our curriculum meets all of the requirements for the licensure test, but some states have additional requirements. For example, you might have to take an ethics course to be licensed in one state that isn't required in another state. I always suggest checking with the state licensing board to be certain of the requirements."

She says there are numerous benefits of adding the new geographic areas to the mix.

"We get to serve many more students who simply can't make it to a traditional campus for a graduate degree program like this," she says. "There are many students out there living in rural parts of this country who are already working in the social work field. This online MSW program gives them the opportunity to get their graduate education and ultimately help them advance their careers."

An Overview of the Online MSW Program

Because the program can be completed remotely, it comes with several advantages.

"We like to call this a high-tech, high-touch program," she says. "Technology allows a student to take this program from home, but it also allows students to connect via web conferencing software. Students get to practice and improve their skills in a face-to-face manner through this software. They can do role-playing and so many other things via a video feed. So, it offers the best of both worlds."

According to Wiest, the program has several full-time faculty members and about 20 adjunct instructors who teach the courses.

"We have a great mix of instructors from both research backgrounds and those with lots of practical experience."

Benefits of Social Work Careers

In the eyes of Wiest and so many others, there are countless benefits to earning a social work degree and several reasons to consider a career in this field.

"You really have an opportunity to be a change agent in the lives of individuals from several different populations. Helping people change their lives and meet their goals is incredibly rewarding."

Saint Leo University's Social Work Programs

Saint Leo University proudly offers both bachelor's and master's degrees in social work. Visit this page to explore all of your options, including several tracks to earn a master's degree in social work in both one- and two-year tracks.