West Virginia University’s Division of Social Work will now be called the School of Social Work, effective Saturday, July 7.

As the sole institution in the state’s higher education community offering an accredited Master of Social Work program, WVU chose to change the name due to the size and ranking of its program. This designation would more appropriately compare the program with its peer institutions such as the University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, University of Pittsburgh and University of Maryland, Baltimore. This designation would likely assist in student and faculty recruitment, as well as overall visibility in the state and the nation.

“The designation as a school best reflects the scope and breadth of our social work program which already has high visibility for its teaching, research and service missions,” explained L. Christopher Plein, interim chair for the School of Social Work.

The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is home to approximately 475 students, 300 of which are graduate students. In a 2008 U.S. News and World Report ranking of graduate programs, The WVU Master of Social Work program was ranked 82 out of 159 programs.

The program will remain a department of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. The program’s faculty discussed the changes and voted unanimously in support of the name change in the fall.

“This change reflects the will of the faculty to have the unit acknowledged for its efforts. The title school is much more befitting,” explained Helen P. Hartnett, interim director for the Master of Social Work program.

The school is housed in WVU’s Knapp Hall.

For more information, contact Chris Plein, at 304-293-7974 or Chris.Plein@mail.wvu.edu



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