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Colleges looking at need for social workers

Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Posted by Eric Killelea; Williston Herald

Administrators at Williston State College and Minot State University are collaborating to assess regional interest in pursuing a bachelor's and master's degree in social work through their institutions.

"We're seeing a need for social workers in the community," said Kim Weismann, arts and human sciences chair at WSC. "We're seeing more students who want to go into the field."

Administrators are asking individuals interested in social work to complete a brief survey. The survey is 15 questions long, and will only take a couple minutes to complete, Weismann said.

The survey can be assessed by visiting www.willistonstate.qualtrics.com.

It asks whether students would be interested in participating in face-to-face classes or Interactive Video Network, and if students would be committed in obtaining their master's degree, among other inquiries, according to the survey.

"We are working with Minot State to have a four-year degree program," Weismann said. "Students can complete their generals, then instead of going to Minot, they can complete online classes or interactive video networking or night classes here."

An interactive video networking option involves students attending classes on the WSC campus while off-campus teachers instruct on a monitor, according to the survey. WSC is in preliminary discussions with Minot concerning teaching options.

"If there is interest, we will work with Minot to get offerings available," Weismann said.

WSC already has a similar agreement with Mayville State University, where students can earn bachelor degrees in elementary education.

"Students can get a two- year degree at WSC and then do night classes and online classes at WSC with Mayville," Weismann said.

"It's been wonderful for them," she added. "It's nice because there is a teacher shortage throughout the area. It's been nice to have people want to stay locally and teach locally."

The survey gauging interest in social work degrees will be available until April 30. Administrators will then review the data.

"It'll give us a better idea to assess our needs," Weismann said.