A total of 17 students are working to get their bachelor’s degree in social work from Missouri Southern. Announced in the spring of 2015, the degree program is coming at a time when social workers are in high demand.

“Demand is outpacing the supply of social workers,” said Dr. Renee White, department chair. “It’s very much a growing field. Most people think of social work as child welfare, but that’s just one piece … there’s a vast field of work outside of that.”

Admission to the degree program is by application.

Students will start in their junior year. The four-semester program includes an internship with a local non-profit organization in the community. “They’ll partner with a social worker at an agency to get hands-on skills,” said White, who has had 33 years of experience as a social worker prior to joining the university. “It will be wonderful to watch students come into their own.”