Off-Campus Commonwealth MSW Program
Developed in response to the needs of rural communities seeking advanced social work education opportunities, the Commonwealth Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at Temple University, provides an off-campus blended learning program fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). The Commonwealth off-campus Program is currently offered in the following Pennsylvania communities:
- Dallas (Misericordia College)
- Dubois (Penn State-Dubois Campus)
- Lancaster (Franklin and Marshall College)
- Poconos (Northampton Community College in Tannersville, PA)
- Mansfield (Mansfield University)
- York (The United Way)
We are also happy to announce The Commonwealth MSW Program may be returning to the following areas to begin a new, “regular,” 3-year part-time cohort starting in fall, 2014:
- Huntingdon (Juniata College) - Information Session will occur early in 2014.
- Schuylkill County (Schuylkill County Education Council (SCEC) in Schuylkill Haven) – An Information Session is scheduled for Wednesday, December 11th at 6:00pm at the Schuylkill County Education Council (SCEC)
The Commonwealth Program utilizes a mix of instructional delivery methods to offer the MSW curriculum. Classes may be delivered on ground, that is, delivered face to face, hybrid (combination of face to face and online) or fully online. Courses may also be delivered using video-conferencing or ITV system (interactive television) connecting various cohorts to one another.
IMPORTANT: All of our off campus programs (Commonwealth MSW Program) use a cohort model of education. Students take classes together and follow a prescribed course sequence.
In order for students to graduate on time, students must remain within their original cohorts.
Regular Standing MSW Part-Time Program – (60 credits) Students attend 2 classes per semester over a period of three years (or 10 semesters). Classes are usually offered one night per week and on a full-day every other Saturday.
Advanced Standing Part-Time - (34.5 credits) Students generally attend two classes beginning in the fall semester. Advanced Standing students join the Regular standing students for advanced courses in the following year.
The Commonwealth MSW curriculum is taught by full-time instructors from the Temple-Harrisburg Campus, main campus and by part-time faculty who are experienced social work professionals.
Student Technology Requirements:
Students must have access to independent computer resources in order to complete a significant amount of required online coursework and to communicate with their instructors and peers.
Please view admission requirements and application instructions for regular and advanced standing admission.
If you are interested in applying to the Commonwealth MSW Program off campus program, please contact:
MSW Admissions Contact:
Assistant Director, Recruitment
For MSW Program Information, please contact:
Maria Paradiso, MSW, LSW
Commonwealth MSW Program Director
Office Phone: 717-232-6400 X 430
Cell Phone: 215-806-4092
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is unique about the program? The Commonwealth MSW is a distance learning program and uses a blended learning model. A blended learning model offers students the flexibility and convenience of taking both traditional “in person” or “face to face” classes, hybrid (which includes a combination of in person and online instruction) AND fully online courses.
Online classes may be offered using a synchronous or asynchronous format. Synchronous formats means a student logs onto an online learning platform at a particular time. Asynchronous means class lecture, assignments and discussions are not held during a fixed time. Students will have regularly scheduled assignments and due dates.
The Commonwealth Program’s 3-year structure appeals to the working professional, providing students with flexibility and a realistic timeframe to complete their MSW degree. Students acquire an advanced social work knowledge base and are offered many practice skill-building opportunities.
The program uses a cohort educational model which means students who start together, take classes together and finish together. Face to face classes are generally offered one evening a week or approximately seven Saturdays throughout the semester. Courses offered using a hybrid model or online exclusively will have required participation dates and deadlines infused into the syllabus requirements.
What is a “cohort program”?Students admitted into a “cohort” will take all of their classes together and progress through the program as a group. If a student does not take the courses as scheduled then she/he is not guaranteed to graduate with their group. On occasion, students have taken courses based in Harrisburg or another site to complete the program.
IMPORTANT: In order for a new cohort to be implemented in any community, a minimum amount of students must be enrolled. There is no guarantee an MSW cohort can be offered every year. In most cases, cohorts are offered every other year, unless there is a significant need in a particular community.
Who teaches the courses? Courses are primarily taught by full-time Temple University-Harrisburg Faculty, faculty from main campus and by experienced part-time faculty with professional social work experience.
How long will it take to get my MSW? By following the outlined course of study, a part-time Regular Student will receive the MSW in 3 years and Advanced Standing Students will receive the MSW in approximately 18 months.
Can I continue to work while enrolled in this MSW program? Yes. Classes meet one evening per week and Saturdays throughout the semester (usually every other Saturday). Classes are also offered using a hybrid and online (asynchronous or synchronous format) which provides students with additional flexibility and reduces the need to travel to a physical brick and mortar site.
Will I have to do a field internship? Yes, all Regular Students and Advanced Standing students complete a prescribed number of hours for field education. Students must follow Temple University and CSWE Accreditation standards for field education hourly and assignment requirements.
May I use my place of employment for my field requirement? Usually yes, the majority of Temple MSW students complete their field requirements at their place of employment. This will depend on whether your employment can offer MSW supervision by someone other than your employment supervisor, the agency’s ability to offer advanced social work practice opportunities, and the student’s learning interests.
Is the program clinically focused? Yes, the program concentration is Clinical Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Small Groups.
Is the MSW program the same program that is offered in Harrisburg and at other campuses? Yes, course content, expectations, and quality will be the same for classes provided in all MSW courses offered at Temple campuses.
How do I apply? Prospective students may apply online here.
When is the application deadline? The School employs a rolling admission process with applications being reviewed as they are completed. Therefore, it is to your advantage to apply early.
Who do I contact to find out more information?
Assistant Director, Recruitment