March 2, 2018
Thanks to approval announced on Feb. 20, Ursuline College will begin offering a fully online bachelor’s degree program in social work (BSW), with classes starting in fall 2018.
The Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org) provided the final approval the College needed to offer the online curriculum through its Ursuline College Accelerated Program (UCAP). UCAP is a degree-completion program designed to be especially appealing to working adults. Human service paraprofessionals such as case workers and home health aides can complete their BSW while continuing to work, and in so doing, move forward to positions of advocacy and leadership in their fields.
“Graduates of Ursuline College's social work program are women and men who desire to help people and want to know how to do so effectively,” said Professor Sharon Zimmerman Wilson, MSSA, LISW-S, social work program director, pictured at right. “With this online capability, we will be able to offer our collaborative, flexible, and challenging curriculum a broader cross-section of people who want to be capable and compassionate social workers.”
Ursuline College President Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, PhD, added, “Ursuline College has a long history of educating students to be servant leaders. Our social work graduates contribute greatly to human wellbeing throughout Northeast Ohio and beyond.” In addition to the 15-week semesters, students are individually matched with agencies and organizations for field work in their local communities. Professor Wilson noted that Ursuline social work graduates have a strong track record for passing the state licensing exam and securing employment soon after graduation. “Many of our students have jobs lined up before graduation,” she said.
Faculty members strive to build a sense of community in each class, Wilson said. “During the fall 2017 semester, we taught two online social work courses and had great results. Students definitely felt engaged and connected to one another.”
Ursuline is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). In addition to the HLC approval, the social work program is accredited by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Council on Social Work Education. Because the program is fully accredited, BSW students can earn up to 15 credits of graduate-level work and have the option of advanced placement into master’s degree programs.