Howard University To Launch Online MSW Degree

Howard University School of Social Work announced Wednesday that it will offer its nationally recognized Master of Social Work (
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Photo: Howard University

Washington and Lanham, Md. – The Howard University School of Social Work announced Wednesday that it will offer its nationally recognized Master of Social Work (MSW) degree online in partnership with 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a global leader in education technology.

One of the nation’s top 25 social work schools, the Howard University School of Social Work is a leading force in the struggle for social justice, educating generations of Black leaders who are architects of liberation in diverse communities and professional contexts. By bringing its rigorous, distinctive social work curriculum online, Howard aims to equip more aspiring social workers from all backgrounds to serve Black and marginalized populations in a range of contexts and transform oppressive systems into ones that sustain and uplift their communities.

Howard University’s part-time online MSW program will launch in January 2022, with a full-time online degree to follow in September 2022. Applications for enrollment are open at online.howard.edu/msw.

“In Washington D.C. and beyond, our communities, particularly communities of color and lower-income communities, are in desperate need of social workers who are specially trained and empowered to break the cycles of oppression operating throughout our current social welfare, health care, criminal justice and education systems, while improving and expanding the overall quality of life for all citizens. Building on our 85-year legacy, the Howard School of Social Work is leveraging the best in technology and digital learning design to launch an online MSW degree that will educate a new generation of leaders from all backgrounds and geographies who will be a force against systemic oppression and work on behalf of underserved and marginalized populations,” said Howard University School of Social Work Dean and professor of social work Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Ph.D., MSW.

The online expansion is part of Howard Forward, the institution’s new strategic plan and a powerful call to action to extend Howard University’s reach, impact and 154-year legacy of academic excellence as one of the nation’s most prestigious HBCUs and top research universities.

“Across our institution, we’re embracing digital learning as an important lever to expand Howard University’s footprint, better serve nontraditional learners and extend our impact,” said Howard University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Anthony K. Wutoh. “With the support of 2U, a leader in high-quality online education, Howard’s social work faculty is uniquely equipped to bring this important and distinctive academic experience to life for online students across the nation.”

The Howard School of Social Work’s online MSW curriculum is grounded in the Black perspective: a framework that articulates how oppression, segregation, self-determination and culture inform the service of individuals and communities. The program challenges students to engage with social justice, criminal justice reform, health care disparities and other topics with attentiveness to their sociocultural and historical context. As students progress through the curriculum, they will participate in up to 1,000 hours of field education in settings within their own communities.

“Today, the social work profession is charged with providing the tools and inspiration for the next generation of leaders who will address the persistent inequalities in the African-American community and other marginalized communities and create enduring solutions,” said Howard University School of Social Work Associate Dean for Academic and Student Advancement Tracy Whitaker, DSW. “Black people are disproportionately affected by health disparities, yet they are heavily underrepresented in the workforce of health professionals who are engaged in reducing those disparities. Howard’s online MSW will expand our ability to train a diverse workforce of social workers equipped with the skills, knowledge and cultural competence needed to serve our communities.”

Howard University is partnering with 2U to build, scale and sustain the online program through an integrated digital transformation infrastructure called 2UOS that brings together a comprehensive set of technology-, data- and people-enabled services to deliver world-class online education and create excellent learning outcomes for students. 2U will work hand in hand with Howard University’s faculty to bring the School of Social Work’s distinctive program to online students, incorporating best practices for online course delivery and supporting students in finding rewarding field placement opportunities through its industry-leading clinical placement network.

“2U believes that great nonprofit universities have a unique and central role to play in addressing society’s most critical needs, and following a rigorous, competitive selection process, we are honored to become Howard University School of Social Work’s digital transformation partner,” said 2U President of Global Partnerships Andrew Hermalyn. “By bringing its acclaimed residential MSW online, Howard will expand access to this in-demand program and empower a new generation of social workers from across the nation to remain in their communities while positively impacting the lives of individuals and families as well as our society.”

Since 2008, 2U has partnered with leading nonprofit colleges and universities to launch and scale over 185 online degree programs across 26 disciplines and has helped students secure over 68,000 field placements across all 50 U.S. states.

For more information and to apply to the Howard School of Social Work’s online master’s in social work, visit online.howard.edu/msw.

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