GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Colorado Mountain College and the University of Denver are working together to bring a master’s degree in social work to Garfield County.
The Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver has recently started enrolling students into its Master of Social Work program in western Colorado. Colorado Mountain College will host the program at its Glenwood Center, 1402 Blake Avenue, behind the City Market, in Glenwood Springs.
Classes will start in fall 2013. Available spots are already being filled.
“By partnering with the University of Denver, we’re able to help empower our local residents with greater access, so they can earn an advanced degree from a well-respected university,” said Dr. Charles Dassance, interim president of Colorado Mountain College. “Not only will this degree prepare people for careers in social services, it will provide the highly educated professionals to meet a very real need in western Colorado communities.”
Over the past year, the University of Denver has studied the viability of making its master's in social work available in western Colorado, similar to the degree they offer in Durango in cooperation with community partners that include Fort Lewis College. With support from Garfield County Department of Human Services staff, which discerns the great need for social workers in this part of the state, the private university from the Front Range and the public college from the Western Slope joined forces.
The program combines both classroom and online instruction. Classes held Friday evenings and on Saturdays will accommodate the needs of working professionals, and students enrolled in the degree will enjoy a reduced tuition rate from the University of Denver.
“This collaboration is absolutely critical to prepare our western Colorado students to meet the regional workforce demands of human services departments,” Garfield County human services director Mary Baydarian said in a press release. “It also fills our needs for locally based social workers for a wide range of career positions, expanding our local workforce to the master’s level to serve our western Colorado residents and clients.”
CMC is a longstanding partner with the Garfield County Department of Human Services in providing such programs as LINK to Success, Go to Work Workshops and GarCo Sewing Works to help public assistance clients transition successfully into jobs and careers.
The two-year master's program is available to applicants with a baccalaureate degree in an academic discipline other than social work, earned at a regionally accredited college or university. In addition a one-year degree option is available to qualified applicants with a bachelor of social work degree.
“Our students who’ve earned a bachelor’s in sustainability studies will be able to feed into the University of Denver’s master’s degree,” said Dr. Brad Tyndall, senior vice president of academic affairs at Colorado Mountain College. “It gives them a pathway to an advanced degree, and to well-paying jobs.”
In addition, the Colorado Department of Human Services, in partnership with Graduate School of Social Work's Butler Institute for Families, has committed to offering eight Title IV-E child welfare stipends of $8,000 each to this program. Stipend recipients must commit to working in public child welfare in Colorado one year for each year they receive the stipend.
For more information and application instructions, contact Richard Bishop, program coordinator, at GSSW.WestCO@du.edu or 303-871-3615, or go to www.du.edu/socialwork