The Development of International Programs in a School of Social Work
AbstractDuring the last decade increasing numbers of schools of social work have adopted an international mission and have developed a variety of activities to reflect their global perspective. In earlier years, however, relatively few schools expressed a global mission, offered coursework on international social work, provided field placements or other opportunities to expose students to international learning, or extended components of their academic programs to other countries. An early leader in doing such things was the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina (COSW), where the author was privileged to serve as dean for 22 years (1980-2002) when many of these developments occurred. This paper will discuss how this school acquired an international mission and developed various programs to manifest this commitment. The paper will describe, in particular, the college’s signature achievement in international social work education – the development and implementation of a Korea-based MSW program. The COSW was the first school of social work in the US to offer a master’s degree in its entirety in a foreign country. It is hoped that the recounting of this school’s experiences will offer guidance to other social work education programs that are exploring ways of expanding their international initiatives.
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