Two university collaborate to offer a new master's degree in social workTemple University and Misericordia University (MU) are collaborating to offer a new master of social work degree program to meet the demand for trained professionals in this field, reports the Times Tribune.

College officials said that the degree will be award by Temple. However, students can complete coursework at MU starting in January.

"There's a need for a higher level of knowledge and training [in social work]," Link Martin, assistant dean of Temple University, told the news source. "Social problems are not going away. With the current economic situation, more families are in need of services."

Currently, the program is offered in a part-time format at MU, which includes one night session per week, as well as classes every other Saturday. Furthermore, summer coursework is offered online. College officials told the news source that the degree program can be completed in three years.

According to a 2008 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the greatest need for social workers in the medical and public health sector. Additionally, employment for these professionals is expected to increase by 22 percent over the next eight years. 

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