Five Missouri Southern students who are scheduled to graduate in May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW) are spending part of their senior years at local elementary schools.

The students are at Irving (Jordan Dinyer), Eastmorland (Alexa Callahan), Soaring Heights (Jazmine Rodriguez), Cecil Floyd (Michaela Jones) and McKinley (Michele Kattine) elementary schools. Each will primarily function as a case manager, and will address the physical, social, psychological and emotional needs of students and families.

MSSU’s Social Work Program received national accreditation earlier this year by the Council on Social Work Education. It will run through 2022 and is also retroactive to August of 2015.

“It’s very huge for us,” says Dr. Renee White, MSSU Social Work Department Chair. “This accreditation in the national realm allows us to have continuity across the country that says if a person walks out with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW), then there is recognition that our students have received at least a minimum set of skills, knowledge and values.”

The program has tripled in size since 2015. 75 students are currently a part of it, with 30 scheduled to graduate in May of 2019.

“Our growth has been phenomenal,” added White. “There is a huge demand for bachelor’s level social workers. We receive calls all the time.”

MSSU’s Social Work Program was approved by the Missouri Department of Higher Education prior to the start of the 2015 fall semester, and is also fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.