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Release: Immediate

UI School of Social Work will offer MSW program in Sioux City

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa School of Social Work announced Tuesday, Feb. 23 that it will provide a Master of Social Work (MSW) program in Sioux City, beginning in fall 1999 and continuing through summer 2002.

The program will be conducted on a "cohort basis," which means a single class of students will be admitted to the three-year program, and at the end of those three years the students will graduate, and the program will no longer be offered. The program will admit up to 35 students who will begin coursework this fall and earn degrees by the end of summer 2002.

"The university is very pleased to return to the Siouxland to offer an MSW program," said Jon Whitmore, provost. The UI had offered an MSW program in Sioux City for several years in the 1980s, but ended its MSW activities there when federal funding that supported the program was discontinued.

Whitmore indicated that the cohort program has been in development over the past year, and the university had worked with Siouxland groups such as the Tri-State Graduate Study Center, of which UI is a member, and a local advisory committee to plan the program.

"The delivery of this program provides an excellent example of the substantial cooperation that has existed between the UI and Siouxland groups and individuals," Whitmore said. "The support of Briar Cliff College, which will provide classroom space and other physical resources, has been invaluable."

Whitmore also praised the staff of the Tri-State Graduate Study Center, Tri-State member institutions and agencies, and Siouxland legislators for their roles in bringing the need for the program to the attention of the UI and assisting with planning and implementation.

"The university's teaching, research, and service missions will all be evident in this program," Whitmore said. "As is true with UI-MSW program sites located at Des Moines and the Quad Cities, the Sioux City program will involve instruction by regular tenure-track research faculty at the UI, as well as UI clinical faculty and faculty administrators."

Salome Raheim, interim director of the UI School of Social Work, said the new program fits into the service mission of the school, which has always taken seriously its responsibility to help upgrade the quality and skill levels of social work professionals and administrators statewide.

"The University of Iowa School of Social Work is pleased to be able to serve the needs of the northwestern region of the state by offering our program in Sioux City once again," she said. "Providing graduate level professional education in social work will benefit human service agencies, their employees and the clients they serve in Sioux City. The program will permit the Siouxland community to develop the talents of Iowans who live in the region. "

A reception and a program information session for prospective students will be Tuesday afternoon and evening at the Western Hills Area Education Agency, a facility that houses the Tri-State Graduate Study Center offices. The reception, to which prospective students and Siouxland supporters of the program have been invited, will be from 4-5:30 p.m. at Martin Room East. The program information session for prospective students will be conducted from 6-7:30 p.m. in Martin Room North.

UI representatives attending the reception and conducting the information session include Raheim; Kate Kemp, MSW Program Administrator; Emmett Vaughan, dean of continuing education, and Wayne Prophet, assistant dean of continuing education.

During the information session Raheim and Kemp will explain program requirements, course schedules, and related matters. Program application forms will be available at the session as well as at the Tri-State Graduate Study Center.

Siouxland legislators participated in the press conference to announce the new program from Des Moines via the Iowa Communications Network. Whitmore participated from Iowa City, also via the ICN.

Whitmore indicated that distribution of information about the program as well as the delivery of some courses would make good use of the ICN. "We are using the ICN to make this announcement, linking with Des Moines to invited Siouxland legislators and to UI representatives and program supporters in Sioux City," he said. The School of Social Work and Division of Continuing Education will conduct follow-up sessions about the program Thursday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 24, linking a University of Iowa ICN room with ICN rooms in Sioux City.

"When the MSW program is under way, several courses will be offered by faculty at Iowa City, reaching out across the state to their students in Sioux City via the ICN," Whitmore added.

An ICN classroom operated by the University of Iowa on behalf of the Regents universities is located on the campus of Western Iowa Technical Community College and will be the site for those MSW courses delivered to Siouxland students via the ICN.