The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has given its approval for Texas A&M International University to add a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) to its undergraduate degree inventory.
Initial student coursework for the major begins this Fall with ongoing program development.
Provost Dr. Ray Keck said the addition is the latest indication of A&M International's commitment to its service community.
"We have long been encouraged to consider the overwhelming need for this degree in our social sciences offerings. We believe it is a much-needed response to the demands of the workplace and look forward to having our students help address our community's social service needs through this innovative program," Dr. Keck explained.
Dr. Jerry Thompson, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, said the degree is part of the College's continued expansion.
"This is a tremendous addition to our offerings and I know that our graduates will be able to consider a number of career options. I view the BSW as a giant step toward our planned Masters degree in Social Work, which we hope to offer soon. We also anticipate adding undergraduate degrees in Art, Music and Dance in short order," Dr. Thompson explained.
Dr. Cecilia Garza, assistant professor of sociology and chair of the department of psychology and sociology, was a primary force in the development of the degree program proposal. She said the developing program will have strict standards.
"We will be working on developing a rigorous program according to national accreditation standards which will eventually enable our students to take the State exam for licensing of social workers," Dr. Garza said.
Garza, a licensed social worker who worked in the field for over 16 years, said the demand for BSW-degreed individuals far outstrips the supply and she believes local graduates will have numerous employment opportunities.
"We've had a continuous flow of requests for such a program from students and from social service agencies. We predict great job opportunities for those earning the degree," she said.
The addition of the degree boosts the University's degree inventory to 52 undergraduate or graduate degrees. The University has added 23 new degrees since 1990.
A collaborative Ph.D. with Texas A&M University in Curriculum and Instruction is being offered this Fall. The University's College of Business Administration is also developing a Ph.D. in International Business.
For additional information, please contact Dr. Garza at 956.326.2475 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Late registration for the Fall Semester is underway through Sept. 3.
University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.