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AV MSW Program to Launch
  April 6, 2006
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

California State University, Bakersfield's Antelope Valley campus is expanding its master's in social work program to include more students. Starting in the fall quarter, a cohort of 25 students will begin the part-time program. The campus currently has a group of 10 students in the first year of the program at Antelope Valley.

Interested applicants are invited to attend a free information session on Tuesday, April 11, from 6 to 7 p.m. at CSUB's main campus in classroom building room 106.

Jane Evarian, CSUB resource development specialist for the social work department, said there is a great need for program expansion in Antelope Valley. "The region is experiencing an explosion in population," she said. "The Antelope Valley is one of the fastest growing areas in the state." Evarian pointed out that nearly half of the department's prospective student base for the upcoming fall quarter comes from the Antelope Valley area.

The Antelope Valley Department of Mental Health reports the region is considered a priority health professionals shortage area. There are high numbers of children on waiting lists for services not because of funding, but due to the significant shortage of professionals. Currently a substantial number of the current professional staff live outside of Antelope Valley and commute in.

"There are many good reasons for us to be there," Evarian continued. "The social work program is community centric and wraps around the community's needs. Bakersfield, in many regards, is very similar to Antelope Valley. There is a high need for social workers in mental health, child services, and substance abuse."

Changes are already under way for program growth. Two new faculty members will be hired with a focus on significant teaching responsibilities in the Antelope Valley. A number of the courses are currently offered via instructional television (ITV), but the hiring growth will provide a more traditional means of offering courses from faculty on-site. A half-time field placement coordinator located in the Antelope Valley is also part of future plans to support the program. "That person will be closely working with agencies in developing internship opportunities for students," Evarian said. She added that these developments will give the department a stronger presence on the campus and in the community.

The students will be studying under a new curricular model, the advanced generalist practice perspective, which prepares them for a wide variety of employment options. "This model gives the opportunity for students to have a breadth of exposure while emphasizing an area of interest including child and family services, health and mental health, and geriatrics and medical social work," Evarian said.

Although space is limited in the Antelope Valley program for fall, Evarian encourages interested individuals to submit application materials. The department is accepting applications through May 15.

Additional information sessions this month include the following:
Saturday, April 22, California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education Education Fair, University of Southern California. For details visit
Tuesday, April 25, 6 to 7 p.m., CSUB Antelope Valley, 43909 30th St. West, Lancaster, room 408.

For additional information, please contact Evarian at (661) 654-3435,, or log onto