New School of Social Work Announced

News Story: October 31, 2019

Sacred Heart University social work professors Jason Ostrander, Ph.D., MSW, and Patricia Carl-Stannard, LCSW, MSW, teach a class at West Campus. Professors Jason Ostrander and Patricia Carl-Stannard teach a social work class at West Campus.

Sacred Heart University is establishing a new School of Social Work, within its College of Arts & Sciences. The graduate and undergraduate programs in social work at Sacred Heart have become leading programs in the region in this fast-growing and competitive field. 

The social work department has created significant growth with the launch of its master’s of social work degree program three years ago. With just three full-time faculty members as recently as 2015, the School of Social Work now boasts 19 exceptional professors—two of whom are teaching in the Ed.D. in educational leadership program. The School recently moved to the University’s West Campus (former site of GE’s worldwide headquarters), facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration—particularly with the College of Education.

“Social work is an interdisciplinary field, and a strength of our social work programs has always been synergy with various other programs across the University,” says Robin Cautin, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “We are excited to promote the program to school status. This change is a recognition of the hard work and enthusiasm of the department’s faculty and staff. I am grateful for their strategic vision, passion and tireless efforts to serve our students.”

The new School will eventually house two graduate programs—the master’s in social work currently offered on-ground and online and an online Ph.D. focused on education and research. The bachelor’s of social work program has been accredited since 1981, and the master’s program was recently awarded its initial accreditation by the Council for Social Work Education, which described the program as “being in the vanguard of social work education,” referring to its integration of micro and macro practice.

“Congratulations are in order for Dean Cautin and the entire social work faculty and staff,” said Rupendra Paliwal, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Their hard work has paid off and will continue to do so as they develop the University’s first Ph.D. program.”

The department of social work is currently conducting a search for an associate dean of the new School.