Master of Social Work


September 14, 2013

Welcome back! This is an exciting and busy time for the Master of Social Work Grande Prairie program, as students begin their second (and final) year of courses. In July, we were honored to have Dr. Deb Bennett teach a summer block week on Grief and Loss. September brought our next course, with Dr. Dan Wulff from the Calgary faculty teaching Narrative Clinical Practice. The last course for the fall term will be Indigenous Qualitative Research, co-taught by Dr. Leona Makokis and Dr. Ralph Bodor from October 28 to November 2.

The arrival of September also marks the beginning of MSWGP students attending their practicum placements. Students are now attending practicum opportunities in their home communities, exploring various areas such as mental health counseling, private practice, addictions, homelessness, student advising and school-based supports, and many other areas within the profession. Thank you to the community agencies who are hosting a practicum student, your support and commitment to social work field education is very much appreciated!

The MSWGP Program has also been busy offering various professional development opportunities to the community of Grande Prairie. In July, Dr. Deb Bennett presented to 40 community members a free, three-hour workshop on Grief and Loss. Dr. Wulff also presented a workshop on Constructing Narrative Practices while he was here in Grande Prairie teaching the block week course. Both workshops were very well received, and we are excited to host another professional development opportunity in late October. Dr. Makokis and Dr. Bodor will be presenting on Indigenous Social Work - a nehiyaw (Cree) perspective. All of these workshops qualify for ACSW Category A credits through the Faculty of Social Work. If you are interested in attending the October workshop, please contact 780-539-2211.


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The Master of Social Work Program

The Faculty of Social Work is very pleased to offer the MSW program to a cohort of students in north Alberta beginning in Fall 2012. Working in co-operation with Grande Prairie Regional College, we are committed to providing learners with an innovative educational program designed to fulfill national accreditation standards while responding to cultural and geographic realities. The Faculty has offered programs in northern Alberta for over a decade through our Learning Circles BSW. We understand that educating social workers for advanced practice is a community endeavor. We are appreciative of local input and support as we develop and implement contextually appropriate courses and as students engage in practica close to their home communities. Advancing the knowledge and skills of social workers not only supports quality practice with social service users, we believe it also enhances social justice within communities generally. As such, we’re happy to be partnering with northern Albertans in the effort to strengthen capacity in all of our communities.

Program Description

The Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, with funding from the Alberta Government's Health Workforce Action Plan (HWAP), is delivering a one-time advanced social work degree focusing on community needs in northern Alberta. The goal of the HWAP is to improve health services to better meet the needs of rural and northern Albertans. The best of an accredited university program along with the specialized knowledge and needs of rural and northern health and human service programs will provide students with a unique opportunity to contribute to positive health and social development in northern communities in Alberta.

The program is designed for individuals holding an existing BSW degree living in or potentially working in northern Alberta communities and who are admissible to the Faculties of Social Work and Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary.

Program Features

A north-west/central Alberta graduate program intended to educate professional social workers in meeting the needs of people living in both rural and northern communities in Alberta. The program will focus on various aspects of advanced social work practice relevant to the context of community, and the individuals in the community

The MSW curriculum will be delivered primarily through the use of classroom-based and face-to-face instruction at Grande Prairie Regional College in north-west Alberta. The program may include components of online delivery.

Field Education (practicums) will be locally-based and research-intensive with the goal of supporting effective community development initiatives, knowledge mobilization, and an increase in community capacity dedicated to addressing issues specific to northern and rural communities in Alberta.

In addition, the program will focus on building community capacity and sustainability by enabling MSW level supervision of BSW Field Education when the graduates of this program become field instructors.