Social Work majors Carolyn Jackman, Carl Jackman, Marcela Insuasty Toro, Dan Sterling and Brody Clemmer and Jenn, take a breather during Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Staten Island is a burgeoning community of nearly half a million people and is part of one of the most important and opportunity-filled cities in the world. Staten Islanders tend to seek the majority of needed services within the borough and rely heavily on local schools, hospitals, and social service settings in the community. The lack of a graduate-level social work program on Staten Island makes it very difficult for those living and working there to access effective social work there.

Staten Island has a large and diverse population of people with disabilities, and in order to prepare students to meet this growing demand, the College of Staten Island (CSI) will launch a new Master’s of Social Work (MSW) degree program for the fall 2014 semester.

The purpose of the MSW program is to educate students for advanced, urban social work practice in the community, region, and worldwide, with an emphasis on meeting the needs of people with disabilities.

Admission into this program is highly competitive, with only 18 full-time students being accepted for the first year of the two-year, 60-credit program. Applicants who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education can apply as a one-year (30-credit) Advanced Standing student.

Applications are being accepted from December 1, 2013, until February 8, 2014, for the MSW program offered by the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work. Applicants will need a BA or BS degree with at least one course in statistics (which can be taken in the summer upon acceptance into the program), a minimum grade point average of 3.0, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

The program will concentrate on working with people with disabilities, broadly defined to include developmental, intellectual, physical, sensory, and psychiatric disabilities. The curriculum consists of courses that, among many others, focus on social work values and ethics, diversity, social justice, and at-risk populations, and will include up to four internship courses.

Students who complete the program will be eligible to apply for their New York state license, which allows them to work under a licensed social worker as they prepare for their clinical license. Licensed master social workers (LMSWs) are needed in all environments, and as Dr. Lacey Sloan, Associate Professor of Social Work, insists, “There is a robust market for social workers—every field of practice needs social workers.

“Social work is a profession that strives to create a just and equitable world for the future of humanity. Guided by a code of ethics, social work is committed to ending oppression, embracing diversity, and ensuring that individuals, communities, and organizations function at an optimal level,” commented Dr. Sloan on the importance of social work in the community.

“CSI is located on the former campus of the Willowbrook State School, an institution for people with developmental disabilities that was closed due to inhumane conditions and inadequate management. Given the history of Willowbrook State School, it is part of the mission of the MSW program at the College of Staten Island to develop a rigorous academic program that educates professionals who respond to the needs of former Willowbrook residents and clients, the larger disabilities communities, and others who live on Staten Island and in the region.”

To learn more about the requirements or to apply, contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment at 718.982. 2019 or at