Omaha – The demand for Master of Social Work graduates and licensed social workers in Nebraska continues to grow each year. According to the Bureau of Health Workforce, 88 of 93 counties in Nebraska are designated as federal mental health professional shortage areas.1 The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports there are 83 counties in Nebraska with unusually high needs for mental health services. And there are additional recruitment and retention issues, a large portion of mental health and behavioral health practitioners near retirement age.2
The Grace Abbott School of Social Work is working to meet that demand by launching a fully online MSW program in Fall 2019. Online delivery of the MSW program will allow GASSW to provide a graduate education to qualified applicants as the only in-state tuition option for Nebraska residents and military members, and an affordable option for non-resident applicants.
Currently, GASSW receives between 175-200 applications for the MSW program each year. With current program offerings and resources, GASSW is only able to admit 60% of those applicants. The totally online MSW program will provide a third delivery alternative to the two existing MSW formats which are a traditional, face-to-face program offered on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus and a weekend program offered on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.
The fully online format will allow students the freedom and flexibility to complete their degree from any location and will not require students who are in the program to visit any University of Nebraska campus at any point while in the program. It will be offered with either a part-time, four-year plan or a full-time two-year plan.
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