Wheelock@Worcester Celebrates Five Years
September 18, 2017
More than 70 leaders from government, the social sector, the business community, and academia came together September 6 to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the launch of the Wheelock@Worcester Master of Social Work program. The celebration was held at the program's new home on the campus of The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.
Wheelock@Worcester was designed to increase academic opportunities for social work professionals in the Greater Worcester area. Taught entirely in Worcester by Wheelock faculty, the nationally accredited MSW program has graduated 71 students since its launch and currently has 43 students enrolled.
"Wheelock is eager to continue and deepen our partnerships with agencies, communities, and efforts in the Central Massachusetts corridor," said Hope Haslam Straughan, Dean of Wheelock's School of Social Work, Leadership, and Youth Advocacy. "This gathering is a true testament of the human rights and justice commitment of our program, as well as impact on the community."
Among the speakers at the event was Worcester City Councilor Khrystian E. King, who also serves as a social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. "At heart, I'm a social worker," King said. "I don't call it politics; I call it macro-social work."
King offered encouragement to those considering entering the social work field, saying, "Wheelock will challenge you. I encourage you to meet that challenge. This work is tough."
About the MSW Program
Wheelock's MSW program is a 60-credit, three-year course of study. Wheelock@Worcester also offers a Social Work Advanced Standing program, which allows students who have completed an accredited BSW program and meet certain requirements to complete their MSW degree in an accelerated time frame. All Wheelock MSW students study in five core areas: human behavior and the social environment; social work practice; social policy; social research; and field practicum experiences. The curriculum is based on human rights and social justice. This prepares graduates to practice strengths-based social work, taking into account the dynamics of oppression and discrimination, and the importance of cultural differences and how to leverage them to help individuals and communities grow creatively and safely.
Photo 1: (l to r) Wheelock@Worcester Site Coordinator Amy Ebbeson talks with Dean Hope Haslam Straughan and Wheelock President David J. Chard
Photo 2: City Councilor Khrystian E. King