The Catholic University of America

Aug. 30, 2011

NCSSS Wins Global Social Work Award

The National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) at The Catholic University of America is the recipient of the 2011 Partners in Advancing Education for International (PIE) Social Work Award, a national award given by the Council on Social Work Education. NCSSS was honored in the degree-granting social work education program category for its master’s degree program that trains social workers in the Philippines.

In May 2007, NCSSS and its professors began offering a two-year Master of Teaching in Social Work program to social workers and social work professors on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao. The program originated when NCSSS alumnus Steven Muncy invited a CUA team to train Filipino social workers and to help families displaced by more than 40 years of civil war return to their villages to rebuild homes and lives. Muncy, the executive director of Community and Family Service International, an internationally known group that has been involved in resettlement and social development in Mindanao since 2001, nominated NCSSS for the PIE Award.

The first cadre of 32 Filipino social workers earned their degrees in February 2008, and another 32 students graduated in October 2010. When the current class of 36 graduate in October 2012, NCSSS will have produced 100 master’s-level social workers to work in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao. Seven of NCSSS’s 19 professors have already taught in the Philippines program, and more are expected to take turns teaching there.

“We are honored to receive this award from the Council on Social Work Education. But the best gratification for the inroads we have made in Mindanao comes from the Filipino social workers themselves who are using their advanced degrees to help their island recover and prosper,” said CUA social work professor Frederick Ahearn, who initiated and oversees the program.

NCSSS will receive the award at CSWE’s Annual Program Meeting in Atlanta in late October.


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