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Western KS M.S.W. program coordinator talking with prospective students

The Western Kansas M.S.W. Advanced Standing program is a full-time, clinical program. No credit is given for courses taken before admission. Two sequential semesters of 10 credit hour enrollments are necessary to meet residence requirements. The program requires an enrollment of 38 credit hours, as follows:

  • A summer enrollment in two classes. Summer classes are provided in the traditional class format, which requires attendance in class on the Fort Hays State University campus or Garden City Community College campus. 
    • SW 712, a social work practice class organized around the school’s major curriculum themes (students must earn a minimum grade of B in SW 712 to continue), and
    • An elective course (to be determined) to broaden the base of knowledge. 

Built upon the commitment to a strengths perspective of social work practice, the Master of Social Work program offers educational opportunities for those who wish to expand their skills in helping individuals and communities develop their capacities to support and enhance the quality of life for all people. The school recognizes that individuals with a natural skill in helping come from all backgrounds and encourages them to apply.

The Western Kansas Master of Social Work degree prepares graduates for advanced clinical social work practice with individuals, families, and groups. The first level of the master’s curriculum is a generalist foundation required of all students. The foundation consists of six classroom courses and a two-semester practicum that reflects the generalist intent.

At the advanced level, the focus of the student’s academic preparation is twofold: on developing the assessment skills needed to identify the client’s personal, interpersonal, environmental, and/or systems needs; and on selecting, in concert with the client, appropriate interventions that are evidence based and supported as best practices. Students are exposed to social work theories and methods applicable to the range of practice settings in which clinical social work services are provided and are able to apply this developing knowledge in the field education component of the program.

The Western Kansas M.S.W program is taught in the blended format, which combines face-to-face and online learning with the in-class attendance occurring every other Saturday on the Fort Hays State University campus or Garden City Community College campus. Practicum placements are available throughout western Kansas. The Field Education Office works closely with students to secure field practicum experiences that fulfill the required competencies for foundation level and advanced level M.S.W. students. Students are referred to agencies for placement interviews based on information provided about professional interests and personal learning objectives. Every effort is made to locate a field placement within a one hour drive from the student’s home.

The Western Kansas M.S.W. program is made possible through a partnership between Fort Hays State University and KU and in cooperation with Garden City Community College. The Regular M.S.W. program will be offered in fall 2016 and Advanced Standing program offered in summer 2017 at both Western Kansas campuses. For more details, contact Christina Boyd, Western Kansas M.S.W. program director, at christinab@ku.edu.


Christina Boyd
University of Kansas
Western Kansas M.S.W. Program Director
C: 970-567-2722

Edward Scanlon
M.S.W. Program Director

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