March2, 2000
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

MSW Program granted "In Candidacy" Status

California State University, Bakersfield's master's degree in social work program has been granted "in candidacy" status, paving the way for the program's first classes in the coming fall quarter.

The approval from the Council on Social Work Education is the culmination of more than a year of work by Joseph Chandy, CSUB's Department of Social Work chairman, who was hired to build the program from scratch.

"We are extremely pleased," Chandy said of the "in candidacy" status. "This is what we have been working for."

"In candidacy" is the status of programs such as CSUB's that are just beginning. A program can't be fully accredited until it has graduates, but it must be "in candidacy" to accept students. The in-candidacy status means that the curriculum has been approved and the program is ready to accept applications. Chandy expects full accreditation by June 2002.

Chandy said he expects about 50 students to be enrolled in the program this fall. "I anticipate that we will be one of the largest graduate programs on campus," he said.

Chandy said he is planning to hire two tenure-track faculty and three clinical faculty members to begin instruction this fall. "Our long-range plan is to have six tenure-track professors for the MSW program," he said.

He has already hired a second faculty member, Patricia Henry, who is the coordinator of field education. In addition to the two other faculty members he is hiring for the fall quarter, he plans on having two more for fall 2001, completing the fulltime faculty complement.

Chandy has also applied for and received more than $1 million a year to enhance the program. "The money is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is renewable each year," he said. The money will go to hire lecturers, but most of it - nearly $750,000 a year - will provide 40 annual fellowships of $18,500 for 40 MSW students.

"We'll also provide another 10 to 15 yearly part-time fellowships," he said. "The fellowships will cover fees, books and travel."

Chandy came to CSUB from the University of Missouri, where he was the director of the MSW program in the School of Social Work. Prior to that he was a professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of North Dakota. He also was an instructor and a research associate in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota.

He earned his doctorate in social work from the University of Minnesota in 1990. He received masters' of arts degrees from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Bombay, India, in 1985 in social work, and from the University of Kerala in India in sociology in 1983. He earned a bachelor of arts in sociology, economics and politics from the University of Kerala in 1980 and bachelor of divinity in philosophy, theology and humanities from the Pontifical Institute in India in 1976.

CSUB sociology professor Ken Nyberg said the addition of the MSW program is long overdue. "There is tremendous interest in this program," Nyberg said. "We have such a need here. We suffer from a great many social problems that other areas of the state don't. All this places a lot of stress on families and children.

"The private and non-profit agencies are designed to serve people with these problems, but they're staffed by people without enough training. We want to increase the training for people in social service, and the master in social work is the best degree for that process."

CSUB's MSW Program Will:

  • Require 90 units of graduate work.

  • Have both full- and part-time programs available.

  • Offer concentrations in families and children services, and in health and mental health services.

  • Require about 1,000 hours of supervised field experience.

    For information about the MSW program or to apply for admission, please call Department of Social Work at 661/664-3434, or e-mail Chandy at jchandy@csub.edu.