Social Work Overview
Director: Susan Fineran, Masterton Hall, Portland
B.S.W. Coordinator: Barbara Rich
M.S.W. Coordinator: Jeanette Andonian
Professors: Faherty, Fineran, Wagner; Associate Professors: Andonian, Johnson, Kohli, Lazar; Assistant Professors: Gerstenblatt, Smith; Lecturers: Belicose, Muri; Field Work Co-Coordinators: Fitch, Richfield
Student Affairs Coordinator: Kate Corbett; Administrative Specialist: Cathryn Egan-Arnold
The University of Southern Maine's School of Social Work is committed to educating culturally competent generalist social-work practitioners prepared for multi-level, strengths-based practice that values the well-being of diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
The School, which is part of the College of Management and Human Service, serves southern Maine by responding to the social work education, leadership, service, and evaluation and research needs of the region. The commitment to social and economic justice, and diversity and multiculturalism are integrated. The School strives for excellence in teaching and learning.
Graduates are prepared for entry-level professional practice in protective services, corrections, residential services to various populations, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, neighborhood and community centers, child welfare, and drug and alcohol programs, etc. The social work curriculum of the School is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education at the baccalaureate and master's levels. Students who receive a degree from an accredited undergraduate program in social work may apply to selected graduate schools of social work for Advanced Standing. It is important to consult individual institutions for their acceptance criteria and procedures, which may vary. In most schools, a bachelor's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited institution allows the student to waive the first year of the Master of Social Work (MSW).
Because social work is a values-based profession whose principal commitment is to vulnerable clients, a student's suitability for the profession will be assessed during the process of his or her education. The students of the School have organized a Social Work Student Organization. The organization seeks to facilitate communication between students and faculty, ensure student involvement in departmental activities, provide for professional growth, and respond to issues and problems in the community. Student representatives may attend faculty meetings and may serve as advisory members on the department's curriculum committees. Within the School, a chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society exists.