Mitchell College Partners with University of Saint Joseph to Offer Master of Social Work

Soon area residents interested in pursuing a Master of Social Work won’t have to travel far to do so. The University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Conn., is signing an agreement with Mitchell College to use its New London campus as a satellite campus for the master’s program. Classes taught by USJ faculty will be offered in the evenings and on weekends, and local agencies will serve as partner sites for student clinical training.

Dr. Tracy Y. Espy, president of Mitchell College, and Dr. Rhona Free, president of the University of Saint Joseph, will sign the agreement in a ceremony on Thursday, March 31, at 10 a.m. in The Red Barn at Mitchell College, 629-A Montauk Avenue, New London.

President Espy said, “Expanded behavioral health access is one of the areas cited by Gov. Ned Lamont and his Workforce Council. Mitchell College very much looks forward to working in partnership with the University of Saint Joseph, sharing our resources to fill today’s abundant need for social work professionals. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students, particularly in our psychology and criminal justice programs, and for others in the greater Southeastern Connecticut community.”

President Free said, “This new partnership between the University of Saint Joseph and Mitchell College will make it possible to meet some critical workforce needs in the New London region and provide a convenient way for potential students to earn degrees that are not currently offered nearby. We will start with a master’s in social work but hope to expand, taking advantage of Mitchell’s outstanding facilities and location and USJ’s record of success preparing students for health care, education and social service careers.”

Dr. Tara Broccoli, Mitchell College professor of behavioral sciences, said, “The collaboration with the University of Saint Joseph is an exciting opportunity. The flexibility of the program will appeal to students, as they can select a two- or three-year program sequence to fit their needs. The hybrid method of delivery is especially responsive to adult students, improving their accessibility of the program.”

Espy also noted that Mitchell College is expected to create a graduate level mental health degree in the next couple of years, developing a program for credentialing mental health professionals, in alignment with the governor’s call for expanded behavioral health access. These programs may be offered via distance, hybrid and HyFlex formats and fall under the college’s recent award of federal funding for the creation of its Digital Innovation Hub for Educational Excellence.