Dec 03, 2021  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work

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The School of Social Work offers graduate study leading to the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. The goal of the program is to prepare graduates for advanced practice from a generalist perspective in a wide range of social work settings. Using a combination of cognitive work in the classroom and guided experience in field practica, the curriculum covers five course content areas: human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policies and services, research, social work practice, and field education. The curriculum provides opportunity for students to acquire, test, and refine the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for practice as professional social workers. There are two avenues to the Master of Social Work degree, the regular program and the advanced standing program. The MSW requires 63 credit hours of study for the regular program and 46 credit hours for the advanced standing program, and may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. (Both the School’s full-time and part-time programs are considered full time by the Graduate School and Financial Aid Office.)

Upon completion of the MSW degree, graduates are prepared to seek licensing as Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSW) by successfully completing the examination offered by the Maine State Board of Social Work Licensure. After a prescribed period of satisfactory, supervised post-MSW practice in a mental health setting, graduates who have met certain academic requirements are qualified to be examined for licensing as Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW). The regular program consists of 45 credit hours of classroom work and 18 credits of supervised practicum. The practicum includes a minimum of 900 clock hours divided between two agency settings. The full-time (two-year) program is designed to be completed in four semesters. The part-time extended (four-year) program is designed to be completed in four years. The full-time (one-year) program for advanced standing students includes a three week summer session and two semesters. The part-time (two-year) advanced standing program includes the three week summer session and four semesters.  There is also a weekend option offered at the Fred Hutchinson Center in Belfast.  Students in the weekend program can complete their MSW in three years including summer semesters. 

Classroom courses are offered in Orono on two consecutive weekdays or at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast on weekends. Practicum sites are, when possible, selected near students’ home communities.

In 2009, we admitted our first weekend program distance cohort allowing students in Belfast, Orono, and Calais to take weekend classes, connected through video conferencing. In 2012 we have admitted our second distance cohort, with broadcast sites in Presque Isle, Falmouth, and Belfast.  We plan to admit a third distance cohort in 2015,  as a hybrid online program.

Students with BSW or BASW degrees obtained no more than five years prior to application, from undergraduate social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may be eligible for advanced standing upon meeting general eligibility requirements and submitting the following additional materials from their undergraduate program director: a statement that the student has had 400 or more clock hours in field practica, a description of the field experience, and the student’s final field evaluation. Advanced standing students usually complete the program with 46 credit hours (36 credit hours of classroom work and 10 credits of supervised practicum). This includes a three-week bridging course in the summer. Applicants who have completed some foundation content coursework in another CSWE accredited program within the past five years may request a review of that coursework for possible equivalency or elective credit. In no case can academic credit be given for prior work or life experience.

The MSW program was first accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in 1990 and has been reaccredited consistently since then, most recently in 2012.

To be considered for fall admission, completed applications must be received by February 15. If you are planning to apply to the MSW Program, please contact Lynne Gamperle, Administrative Specialist, School of Social Work, 112 Social Work Building (207 581-2389) or e-mail ( to make sure you have the school’s additional application material to complete your Graduate School application.  For more information about the School of Social Work, visit

Graduate Faculty

Gail B. Werrbach, (University of Texas, Austin, 1988), Associate Professor and Director. Families and children, mental health, child welfare.

Deirdre Finney Boylan, M.S.W. (Smith College, 1992), Belfast Program Coordinator, Clinical practice, school social work.

Sandra S. Butler, Ph.D. (University of Washington, Seattle, 1991), Professor and MSW Coordinator. Gerontology, Social policy, poverty, homelessness, advocacy.

Elizabeth DePoy, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania, 1988), Professor in Social Work and Disabilities Studies Program. Social work in health settings, disability, research methodology.

Stephen, Gilson, Ph.D. (University of Nebraska, 1991),  Professor and Coordinator of Disability Studies, disability, health policy, legislative advocacy.

Kelly Jaksa, M.S.W. (Boston University, 1994), Lecturer and BSW Coordinator. Practice with children and families.

Judith Josiah-Martin, PhD candidate (Smith College). Lecturer, Cultural diversity, substance abuse, practice with marginalized populations.

Lenard Kaye, Ph.D. (Columbia University, 1982). Professor and Director of Center on Aging, Gerontology, Administration, Strategic Planning

Susan Kaye, MBA, MSSW, Distance Coordinator. Strategic planning, management, gerontology.

Nancy Kelly, M.S.W. (Rutgers University, 1986), Field Director. Developmental disability, child welfare, gerontology.

Jennifer Middleton, Ph.D.  (University of Denver, 2011).  Assistant Professor. Forensic social work, trauma, child welfare, research methods.

Robin Russel, Ph.D. (University of Illinois, 1986), Professor. Spirituality and social work practice/education, child welfare, family violence, women’s health.

Emeritus Faculty

Cleo S. Berkun, D.S.W. (University of California at Berkeley, 1981), Associate Professor Emeritus. A School of Social Work. Adult development, minority and women’s issues, issues of middle age and aging.

Diane C. Haslett, Ph.D. (University of Illinois, Chicago, 1991), Associate Professor Emeritus. Group work, women’s issues, adolescence and teenage pregnancy.

Jay Peters, Ph.D.  (University of Maine, Orono, 2003).  Assistant Professor Emeritus, research methods, trauma, child welfare.

Donald M. Pilcher, Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego, 1976), Professor Emeritus. Research and social policy.

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