Until now, the only option for students wishing to complete the Social Work Technician Associate’s degree program in two years was to enroll in four or five classes for 12 – 15 credits each semester. That rigorous, full-time schedule left many students unable to work while in college, or stretched their education out to four years if they attended part-time.

The Fine Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) Division has designed a schedule with working students in mind and will pilot the new model this Fall.

“The new schedule uses a combination of half-semester courses, online courses, and a few 15-week full-semester courses to reduce the number of classes a student has to take at any one time,” said Mary Cusack, Dean of FASS. “Following the new schedule, students can complete the Associate’s degree in two years while taking no more than three classes at a time. This allows them to commit to less time on campus and leaves them more time to work or spend with their families.”

“What’s more,” continued Cusack, “is that most classes are online, so that students have more flexibility to do homework around their work and family schedules. We plan on offering any face-to-face classes on Tuesday and/or Thursday evenings, which means that students can plan their schedule for two years, knowing they only need to keep those nights free for class.”

Students who adopt the half-semester schedule, and take the online classes where available, could complete their program in two years, while spending no more than two nights a week on campus.

In addition to the new schedule, Social Work Technician students will now be able to practice their techniques in a newly renovated facility that mimics an office setting. The mock-office has built-in cameras, allowing faculty to record students as they work through “real-world” social work assignments. The faculty can then review the students’ performance with them and offer coaching.

“This is a great teaching-aid for our faculty who will now be able to replay a student’s practice and pin-point exactly where their technique needs adjustment,” said program coordinator Dr. Dalton Connally. “It gives them a really powerful tool to help a student move from a theoretical understanding of work in the field to a practical one.”

A Social Work Technician will work with clients to help connect them with available social services, will maintain client records, interview individuals or family members to gather information on social, educational, criminal, institutional or drug history, will write and submit reports, and work with agencies to stay up-to-date on services provided, requirements, and procedures. 

Graduates of the Social Work Technician program can expect to work as a Social Services Assistant, Assistant Case Manager, or Social Services Technician. They are prepared to qualify for licensing under the Michigan Bureau of Health Professions. 

For more information about the Social Work Technician program, or any other programs in Fine Arts and Social Science, visit the FASS Division at mcc.edu/fass