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Clark College News and Events

October 11, 2006
For Immediate Release
For additional information:
Barbara Kerr, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 360-992-2921


Starting in January 2007, Eastern Washington
will offer a bachelor’s degree in social work at Clark College,
the next step in the career path in the social
work field

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Beginning in January 2007, residents of Southwest Washington will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work without having to leave the area. As part of an effort to increase access to education, Clark College and Eastern Washington University (EWU) have developed a partnership to offer EWU’s Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) at Clark College.

Applications are currently being accepted for the BASW program. Students who have earned, or are close to earning, their Associate in Arts degree and meet other admission criteria are eligible to enroll in the BASW. Those who are interested in the BASW program are encouraged to attend an information session on Wednesday, October 18 from 6-7 p.m. in room 250 of Joan Stout Hall on Clark College’s main campus. Joan Stout Hall is located at the corner of E. McLoughlin Blvd. and E. Reserve St., Vancouver. For details about the BASW program or the information session, contact Diane Somerday of Eastern Washington University at (509) 359-6482 or by e-mail at

Designed with working adults in mind, the BASW is a part-time program; classes will meet one afternoon and evening each week. Classes will meet at Clark College, but will be taught be EWU faculty. EWU staff, located on at the Clark campus, will provide student support for the program. BASW graduates are eligible to apply for advanced standing in the Master’s in Social Work (MSW) program that is also offered at Clark College. Advanced standing reduces required credits and time to completion for the MSW by approximately 50%.

This new program will meet the need for social work professionals. Those who hold at least a bachelor’s but less than a master’s degree are often employed in occupations such as Child, Family, and School Social Worker, Medical and Public Health Social Worker, and Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist. In Southwest Washington, where no baccalaureate degree program currently exists, there are projected to be 45 annual openings in those three occupations alone. There are also indications of a statewide shortage of social work graduates. The Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 2005 State and Regional Needs Assessment, notes that “Social science programs have not grown substantially in the number of graduates over the past three years and growth in specific majors may be warranted to meet employer needs, especially in social work and protective service professions.”

Clark College Interim President Bob Knight noted, “This partnership is one of three pilot programs funded by the Washington legislature as a way to increase baccalaureate education in our state. The bachelor’s degree in social work is the only one of its kind in Southwest Washington. In the Vancouver-Portland metro region, Eastern will be the only public institution offering a bachelor’s level social work program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.”

Clark College Vice President of Instruction Rassoul Dastmozd said, “This program will provide students with a critical understanding of the social science disciplines and supports the professional values and practices of the social work profession. We are proud to be partnering with Eastern Washington University to offer this new program to the community.”

Michael Frumkin, Dean of the School of Social Work at Eastern Washington University, expressed his excitement about the program's implementation. “The start of the BASW Program at Clark is an example of the school's commitment to meeting the educational needs of Clark County and the region, now and into the future. It will provide local residents with a social work career ladder -- allowing students to move from their AA to acquire the BASW and then to receive their MSW through our Clark-based MSW Program. It will permit our students and faculty to work together with social agencies and advocacy groups to improve the lives of residents in Clark and surrounding counties.”

The new program expands Clark College’s partnership with Eastern Washington University. EWU also offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Technology and Dental Hygiene that can be earned on the Clark campus in Vancouver. For information about the Master’s Degree in Social Work program, contact Karmel Shields at (360) 992-2082 or The contact for the Bachelor of Science in Technology program is Phil Robertson (360) 992-2222 or The contact for the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program is Brenda Knutson (360) 992-2528 or

For additional or general information, visit the Clark College website at or call 360-699-NEXT (6398).  Additional information is available on the Eastern Washington University Web site


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