The Walla Walla University (WWU) master of social work (MSW) program in Missoula, Montana, will relocate during Christmas break to property purchased by the university at 2415 Mullan Road in Missoula. Classes will begin at the new location during winter quarter 2016.
“The new building is modern and professional and will provide a warm welcome for graduate students each week as well as flexible areas for study and practice,” said Pam Cress, WWU associate vice president for graduate studies.
Kevin Grussling, assistant professor of social work, said, “The new property is centrally located and has a beautiful river view.”
“Our students, who come from all over the state of Montana and from as far as southern Idaho, will find this new location to be a convenient and comfortable place to study and learn,” said Karen Emerson, visiting assistant professor of social work.
For 10 years prior to the purchase of the Mullan Road property, the Missoula MSW program leased space in an unused elementary school—Mount Jumbo School—from Missoula County Public Schools. The school district plans to reopen Mount Jumbo School in fall 2016 and could no longer continue the lease.
“We’re thankful to the school district for allowing WWU to lease the Mount Jumbo space during the last 10 years,” said Susan B. Smith, professor of social work and sociology, and dean of the WWU School of Social Work. “We are pleased they will continue to educate students at the school even though they will be decidedly younger next school year!”
‘Solid clinical skills and broad-based knowledge’
The WWU Missoula MSW program was the first MSW program in Montana. The program enrolled its first cohort of 25 students 18 years ago in 1997. Walla Walla University also offers MSW programs in Billings, Montana, and on its main campus in College Place, Washington. The university also offers a bachelor of social work (BSW) degree and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in sociology.
“The strengths of the WWU MSW program are its clinical focus, agency-based practicum that allows the student to apply what they know by working with real clients, and that it suits the adult student’s lifestyle with classes scheduled on Mondays,” said Smith.
Dave Bennetts, community liaison and former CEO for Altacare of Montana, a comprehensive school and community treatment program, said, “Every year Altacare of Montana actively seeks graduates from Walla Walla University to fill the clinical positions in our school-based mental health programs. We employ over 30 Walla Walla graduates. The students have always been outstanding candidates possessing solid clinical skills and broad-based knowledge that makes them well prepared for social work.”
The BSW and MSW programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Walla Walla University is accredited by the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges and Universities, and by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
To learn more about the Wilma Hepker School of Social Work and Sociology, visit wallawalla.edu/socialwork or call (509) 527-2273.
Posted Nov. 8, 2015