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Budget cuts impact two distance education programs

Like the rest of the UNC system, ever-deepening state budget cuts are hitting home at the School of Social Work. The School is suspending two of its four distance education Master of Social Work programs — Mountain Area and Winston-Salem Advanced Standing.

Both of these programs will operate for the existing cohort of students to complete, but will not accept new students in 2011. What happens after that remains to be seen, but School officials hope that if the economy turns around the programs might be brought back.

The School is continuing its two other distance education programs, geared towards working professionals: a traditional MSW program in Winston-Salem, which meets at Forsyth County Department of Social Services; and the Triangle MSW Program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

While the Advanced Standing MSW Program — an accelerated curriculum for students with a Bachelor of Social Work degree — won’t be available in Winston-Salem, the School has a full-time Advanced Standing MSW program in Chapel Hill and hopes that potential students will consider that option.

Putting the Mountain program on hold, which meets at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, and formerly met at UNC-Asheville, is a significant change. “We have offered our MSW program in western North Carolina for over 25 years and greatly appreciate the phenomenal support it has received,” said Dean Jack Richman.

Prospective students who were interested in the Mountain Program are encouraged to consider the MSW programs in Winston-Salem and Chapel Hill.
“Budget realities are difficult, but we are managing,” said Richman. “We remain committed to our core mission, and our students, faculty and alumni are accomplishing great things despite economic challenges.”