SRU adds two new, work aligned degrees


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February 21, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University has received approval from Daniel Greenstein, chancellor of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, to begin offering master's degrees in accountancy (fall 2019) and social work (fall 2020).

"Aligning our programs with workforce needs is vital, not just to the future success of our students, but to the future of the Commonwealth," Greenstein said. "Each of these new programs was developed with both of those goals in mind."

The Master of Accountancy program will be a hybrid housed in the College of Business as a 4+1 option that would allow students to earn both the Bachelor of Science in Accounting and the Master of Science in Accounting at a substantial savings of both time and money. The program would join the current MBA, offering students seeking graduate business degrees a choice of direction.

"SRU's current MBA is a generalist master's degree in business," said Melanie Anderson, professor in the University's School of Business. "As the accounting field is becoming more specialized, the proposed program is becoming the more preferred graduate degree for individuals who desire to work in public accounting firms or become CPAs.

The program will allow students to be eligible for several national certifications, including certified public accountant, certified management accountant, certified internal auditor and certified fraud examiner. The CPA, CMA, CIA and CFE have education, testing, work experience and continuing education requirements. The proposed program would include specific courses to assist students in preparing for these exams and certifications.

The Master of Social Work, which will be accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, anticipates an annual program enrollment that would develop to a capacity of 72 students. It will utilize a hybrid curriculum, with approximately half of the credits offered face-to-face and half online. It would also include a 900-hour internship requirement and service learning component.

The program will offer a clinical concentration in social work that will prepare students to offer the proper diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems. Students will select one specialization track, either crisis intervention or forensic social work. Although there will be clinical practice emphasis to the program, the curriculum will address the general practice competencies required for all graduate social work programs. Students will also be able to pursue an option in animal-assisted social work that will enable students to pursue certification in animal-assisted interventions. The animal-assisted social work courses would complement both the crisis intervention and forensic specializations.

Upon completion of the degree, graduates will be eligible to take the licensed social worker exam in Pennsylvania and most other states. In Pennsylvania, an LSW who receives 2,000 hours of clinical supervision may then take the licensed clinical social worker exam.

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