USJ to launch new Master of Social Work program in Mansfield, Conn.

This summer, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) will launch a new Master of Social Work (MSW) Program in Mansfield, Conn.—the University’s second site in Eastern Connecticut to provide the highly-regarded graduate program for students in this region of the state. 

The MSW in Mansfield will be a one-year program for Advanced Standing Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) graduates who do well in their undergraduate degree program and have excellent references and internship experience. “This allows them to take a shorter program of study, exempt from some of the usual first year courses because they have already taken that content in their BSW. They can complete their 33-credit MSW in one calendar year—summer, fall spring,” explained Robert Madden, professor of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice and coordinator of USJ’s Eastern Connecticut MSW sites.  

The MSW program in Mansfield will take place at United Services, Inc., a private, nonprofit behavioral health center. USJ is currently recruiting for this new cohort now. 

Last fall, USJ expanded its MSW program to Mitchell College in New London, Conn., offering hybrid and online classes on weekends and evenings. There are currently 19 first year students in USJ’s New London program, who will complete the 61-credit regular MSW in six semesters over two years. 

Both of USJ’s Eastern Connecticut MSW programs are full-time and fully accredited.  

“Both programs will help to increase the number of license eligible clinical social workers in Eastern Connecticut by enabling working adults to complete their MSW degree taking hybrid courses (50% in person, 50% online) with class sessions held on evenings and weekends in Eastern Connecticut. Students enrolling in our two-year program in New London take five remote courses on Friday nights in year one, and a Social Work Practice course that meets every other week on the campus of Mitchell College in New London,” explained Anthony De Jesús, associate professor of Social Work & Equitable Community Practice. “The Advanced Standing MSW Program we are launching in Mansfield will make it possible for students with an undergraduate degree in Social Work (BSW) to complete their MSW degree in one year (the Advanced Standing curriculum is the final year of the two-year MSW program). Students will benefit from Hybrid courses with class sessions held at the state-of-the-art United Services facility in Mansfield.”

This expansion into Eastern Connecticut has been in response to a critical shortage of clinical social workers statewide, particularly in the Eastern Connecticut region. Before USJ opened the Eastern Connecticut sites, no graduate social work programs were located east of the Connecticut River, requiring students to travel long distances to attend classes. 

“The Mansfield site was suggested by our partners in the region,” Dr. Madden said. “The CEO of United Services also serves as the leader of the Eastern Connecticut Health Care collaborative, a group of health and behavioral health programs across Eastern Connecticut. That group was discussing the shortages of clinical social workers across the region. They asked us to consider offering our MSW program at a site in the Northeastern part of the state in addition to our program in New London. We explored this and realized that Eastern Connecticut State University has a large BSW program, so an MSW program close by could encourage these students to stay in the region to do their graduate degree and hopefully stay in the area after to take jobs.” 

For more information about USJ’s Master of Social Work Program, go to: 

Master of Social Work (MSW) Program | University of Saint Joseph (usj.edu) 

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