- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Beginning in the fall of 2016, Southern University at New Orleans will begin offering its first doctoral program ever - and it’s in social work.

The college, a small urban campus near Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, said it got approval Thursday from the Louisiana Board of Regents to offer a doctor of social work program.

It’s a three-year program and the college says it should be ready to start in the next academic year, in fall 2016.

Graduates will be prepared to become leaders in the field of social work as academicians, administrators and researchers, Chancellor Victor Ukpolo said.

The degree program will specialize in the areas of pedagogy, practice, and administration.

The university said education and economic data show a growing need for social workers due to a projected severe shortage of professionally trained social workers in coming years.

Students wanting to apply will be required to have a master’s degree in social work and at least two years of practice.

The college said its School of Social Work is strong with more than 2,000 students graduating since 1985.

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