Clarke University has been given approval by the Higher Learning Commission to begin a Master’s in Social Work Program (MSW) beginning in the fall of 2014. Clarke is the first private university in the state of Iowa to offer both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work.The Master’s in Social Work is a two-year program for those who have a bachelor’s degree other than social work. Students who have a bachelor’s degree in social work can apply to Clarke’s Advanced Standing Program and receive a MSW in one year.“With a commitment to service and social responsibility, Clarke’s MSW program looks to the future needs of society and the provision of job opportunities available for graduates,” said Joan Lingen, Clarke provost and vice president of academic affairs.The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the need for social workers will grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2020. Employment for social workers is expected to increase by 25 percent and the need for mental health and medical social work is expected to be even greater.“Clarke University’s MSW Program is committed to educating students to meet the needs of the profession with a focus on mental health and medical issues and a commitment to serving the rural population,” said Regina Boarman, chair of the Clarke social work department.Clarke boasts full-time faculty members who have their master’s degrees and Ph.Ds in social work, with advanced experience in clinical settings. The courses in Clarke’s MSW Program will emphasize individual and family treatment; crisis intervention; substance abuse; domestic violence; mental health; medical issues in social work; and social work and the elderly.The MSW is acknowledged in all states as the licensed professional degree preferred for all social service agencies – including mental health, substance abuse, and family treatment facilities. All hospitals, specialty clinics, hospice care and nursing homes are required to have licensed social work professionals on staff.You can apply online for Clarke’s Master’s in Social Work program at www.clarke.edu/graduate.Clarke University is a Catholic, liberal arts and sciences university dedicated to preparing students who positively impact their workplace, family and community. Academic offerings include more than 40 undergraduate liberal arts and pre-professional programs, a robust adult degree program and six graduate degree programs. Founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Clarke is located near the Mississippi River in the thriving city of Dubuque, Iowa.For more information, contact the Clarke University Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318.