NEW PALTZ — In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on America, humans are living in a new society, with new pressures and engaged in a new kind of warfare. People all over the world now have a more pressing need to understand themselves and their relationships to the social systems.
Society always needs social workers, and they are especially critical in this new era. A joint program between SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Albany can give much-needed human services providers the skills to be successful.
The Department of Sociology at SUNY New Paltz, together with the Rockefeller School of Social Welfare at SUNY Albany, offers a dual degree program culminating in both a master’s in social work and a master of arts in sociology.
On November 26, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Jacobson Faculty Tower Conference Room (1010) at the New Paltz campus, representatives from both SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Albany will be present at an informational seminar about the dual master’s program.
“The real attraction of this program is that it provides students with both the theoretical and practical tools to achieve change in society,” said Peter Kaufman, SUNY New Paltz professor and interim graduate coordinator of the dual degree program. He explained, “Students in the program think of themselves as ‘scholar change agents.’ They are actively working to address problems of modern society and they have a solid grasp of the structural factors that give rise to these problems. Graduates of the program recognize that in order to treat personal troubles, one must also understand and address the larger public issues.”
The major goal of the program is to offer students an opportunity to combine an MSW with an academic focus in sociology. This combination not only enhances students’ understanding of societal factors influencing the issues and problems that arise in social work, it also provides them with increased options in employment.
“Because of their training as sociologists and social workers, students have tremendous flexibility in terms of the careers they pursue,” said Kaufman. “The majority of the graduates express greater job satisfaction and higher pay than their peers who only have the MSW or MA degree.”
New Paltz and Albany’s dual degree program is one of only a few such programs in the nation. “A real synergy is created when sociology and social work are combined,” said Kaufman. “It makes one wonder why there are not more programs like this around.”
The program is open to both full-time and part-time students. The completion of both degrees requires 72-75 credits. In the planned model curriculum, completion of both degrees will take a student two years of full-time study, including summers, or five years of part-time study. Field instruction is taken concurrently with courses over four semesters, approximately 16 hours per week.
If interested in attending the informational seminar on the SUNY New Paltz/SUNY Albany joint degree program in social work and sociology on November 26, please call Kaufman in advance at (845) 257-3503.