News Archives: Master of Social Work to be offered at GPRC by University of Calgary
Released: Thursday, November 24th, 2011
The University of Calgary (UC) "Access" program is continuing to open doors to advanced education for learners in our region. An agreement signed today by representatives of GPRC and UC will now provide the opportunity to complete a Master of Social Work on campus at GPRC.
The full social work component of the MSW program will be offered here through the UC Faculty of Social Work, facilitated by the GPRC School of Arts, Science and Upgrading. The University has appointed Dr. Ralph Bodor, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, as the MSW site coordinator to work with the College to offer these programs. Dr. Kazem Mashkournia, GPRC Dean of Arts, Science and Upgrading, will represent the College in fulfilling the terms of the agreement.
"We are helping those learners who because of their responsibilities in life cannot go to big cities and achieve their dreams," says Mashkournia. "GPRC is bringing other institutions to Grande Prairie to help those individuals to get to their goals." Prospective MSW students will apply to the University, and will earn a University of Calgary degree. The program will begin in the fall of 2012, and will be run as a one-time cohort directly targeted at building social work capacity in Northern Alberta.
"The delivery of this program is built around learners who are now practicing their profession," explains Susan Bansgrove, GPRC Vice-President Academics and Research. "There is a huge demand in our region. We have been offering the Bachelor of Social Work with UC for some years now, and there are graduates of that program practicing in the region. The opportunity to complete a Master of Social Work degree is a natural progression for those learners."
Bansgrove goes on to point out that the University of Calgary has been "incredibly collaborative and cooperative in the delivery of the Bachelor of Social Work and now in preparation for delivery of the Master of Social Work." Under the terms of the agreement, the University holds responsibility for course delivery, instruction and any resulting credentials, while the College provides access to the campus and its facilities to enable this delivery.
"We understand that with a province as vast as Alberta, it is vital for us to search for unique ways to deliver programs to our students," says Dr. Jackie Sieppert, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. "As an added incentive, we know that the local communities will benefit as our graduates from this program will likely stay in locations where they already live and contribute." The program is being delivered with funding from the Alberta Government's Health Workforce Action Plan, which aims to improve health services to better meet the needs of rural and northern Albertans.
"GPRC is firmly committed to our role as a portal to opportunities in post-secondary education," says Don Gnatiuk, GPRC President and CEO. "This agreement with the University of Calgary is a shining example of how well our approach serves learners in our region. We are very gratified to be adding the Master of Social Work to the baccalaureate degree already offered here. Strong collaborative relationships make great things happen!"
The agreement is effective until June 30, 2014.