JPM20390 femaleDaemen College is now offering a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, which includes a concentration in the high-demand prac-tice area of children and families, making it the first MSW program offered at a private college in Western New York.

The New York State Department of Education has granted approval for Daemen to offer the MSW degree that’s designed to provide advanced training for experienced professionals and students with a background in liberal arts who are looking to further or begin their education in the field.

Dr. Michael Brogan, Daemen vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, emphasized that MSW gradu-ates will be well-positioned for changing community needs in social work.

“Given current societal issues and demographic trends, the social work profession is in the midst of an emerging job demand for advanced trained practitioners in some key specialized areas, such as children and families, gerontology, military, immigrants, and other growing client populations. Daemen’s MSW program is designed to prepare social workers for these types of roles,” he said.

The MSW program, open to students on a full-time basis, is comprised of a two-year 60-credit hour program or a one-year advanced standing 30-credit hour program for students who have an undergraduate social work degree accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

As noted by Dr. Isiah Marshall, master of social work program director and associate professor, Daemen’s MSW program evolved out of the college’s well-established, successful under-graduate degree program that has existed for nearly four decades.

“It was this foundation that made it a natural transition to add a master of social work program at Daemen,” he said. “In many ways, this program is poised to help strengthen and fill the current and future needs of the workforce with highly qualified, compe-tent practitioners.”

Also in academics, Daemen’s Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) Fellowship Program, the only post-professional offering of its kind in New York State, has received State Department of Education approval to be offered as a master’s degree.

Adhering to the rigorous academic and clinical requirements already established for the fellowship credential, the master-level program will offer licensed, experienced physical therapists training to develop advanced psychomotor and analytical skills in manual physical therapy, a growing specialization in the field. Daemen’s OMPT program is one of only six available at an academic institution in the U.S. and among 21 accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Dr. Ron Schenk, dean of health and human services at Daemen, said the new master’s degree evolved out of the successful foundation developed from the advanced fellowship program, which was launched in 2006.

Offering this as a master’s degree connects what we were already doing through the fellowship post-professional program but now gives experienced physical therapists the added academic credential of receiving a graduate-level degree in a highly specialized area,” said Schenk. “Physical therapists with this type of expertise are considered crucial to contributing to improved patient care and keeping pace with the needs of health care today.”

The program combines on-campus weekend classes with a distance learning component, clinical mentoring by fellows of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, and a research project. Students who complete the 30-credit hour program will earn both a master’s degree in OMPT from Daemen and a fellowship credential, which is accredited by the APTA.