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University of Detroit Mercy to host UWindsor MSW program

An innovative agreement between the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy marks a first in cross-border cooperation: the Detroit campus will host UWindsor’s Master of Social Work for Working Professionals program.

“This is exciting because it’s breaking new ground,” said Brent Angell, director of the UWindsor School of Social Work. “It’s the first time in history that a social work program from Canada will be offered in the United States – and for that matter, it has never been done the other way around either.”

The program, run in collaboration with the Centre for Executive and Professional Education, offers weekend instruction in response to a need to reach people not able to pursue a traditional university education. In addition to instruction on the main Windsor campus, it operates satellite programs in other Ontario cities.

“We had to figure out a way to take the program to where the people are, rather than how to get the people to our program, Dr. Angell said. “Fortunately, because social work instruction doesn’t involve a lot of equipment, we have that flexibility.”

Under the agreement with Detroit Mercy, students will have access to both libraries, and faculty from both institutions will provide instruction.

Graduates will receive a UWindsor MSW degree; its accredited status ensure recognition by Michigan’s board of licensure.

“I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be working in collaboration with the University of Windsor,” said Aloha VanCamp, chair of the Detroit Mercy Department of Sociology, Social Work and Human Services. “We see this as an opportunity for our students to gain international experience.”

She said she is confident the weekend schedule will prove popular: “There is nothing like it in Michigan.”

The program is now accepting applications for its first cohort to begin classes in September 2012.

UWindsor provost Leo Groarke said this new agreement is just the latest in a series with the University of Detroit Mercy.

“We have established three important collaborations with UDM – the dual JD program in law, the visual arts and the built environment program in architecture, and now social work,” he said. “We see these collaborations as a key way to foster our international activities with our neighbours on the other side of the Detroit River and look forward to more collaborations in the future.”

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