FVSU Launches New Master of Social Work Program

by Pamela Berry-Johnson

Posted on May 19, 2022

(Fort Valley, Ga.) - Fort Valley State University today announced it will offer a new Master of Social Work (MSW) program both in-person and online.

The graduate-level program will focus on mental health, addiction, and clinical behavioral health. Internship and fieldwork placements will allow students to further their understanding of addiction and mental health through direct practice. The MSW degree program will also allow students to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to prepare for immersion in a culturally diverse landscape. Recruiting for students will begin in the fall. Classes start in spring 2023.

The new program supports ongoing strategic initiatives by the University System of Georgia and FVSU to introduce affordable and competitive degree programs that support increased university enrollment while also meeting the needs of the nation's workplaces.

Dr. Komanduri Murty, professor and chair of FVSU's Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, called the MSW program a welcome addition, especially for previous social work graduates who want to expand their professional options.

"We are very excited about this wonderful opportunity to start a new master's program for our social work majors, who have long been awaiting it," Murty said. "Our faculty are fully prepared to equip students in the MSW program to develop a holistic perspective and deeper understanding of human behavior."

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Murty said.

FVSU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Olufunke Fontenot said adding the MSW program to the university's currently accredited undergraduate social work program is an exciting development that will provide an excellent career option for students looking to serve in high-demand areas, including as therapists, counselors, social program administrators/managers, and researchers.

"Our team is elated to offer this program in support of our students who desire to be advanced practitioners in their communities," Fontenot said. "There is a great demand for master-level social workers in Middle Georgia, and FVSU's program will help to fill that need."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, the overall employment of social workers will grow by 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services but will vary by specialization. Additionally, the Governor's High Demand Career Initiative Report of Georgia for 2019 listed licensed clinical social workers as a career path in healthcare that will continue to see phenomenal growth.

Through FVSU's new flexible access program, students in rural areas will also be able to take advantage of an affordable, accessible program for advancing their education.

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