The Mi’kmaq/Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work Programme is an existing programme that allows First Nation individuals to obtain a Bachelor of Social Work degree from St. Thomas University within a flexible and culturally relevant framework. The MMBSW is designed for First Nation individuals who are currently working or wish to work in social work or related positions in areas such as child & family services, addictions, health, social development or schools in First Nation communities in the Maritime Provinces.
Mainstream social work education programmes have been unable to attract and retain First Nation students resulting in an insufficient number of professionally trained First Nation social workers. The MMBSW programme has not only managed to retain a high number of students, but also has attracted a data base of students interested in applying for the second cohort scheduled to begin in September, 2008. The staff of the program includes the Coordinator and Student Support Worker.
The MMBSW is guided by a Steering Committee composed of members representing ST. Thomas university; employing agencies; and students from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The MMBSW is an accredited social work degree programme serving Indigenous students in the Maritime Provinces. Students can enroll in the BSW programme at St. Thomas University and are able to earn their BSW degree in a flexible format on a part-time basis over a three-year period. The programme design respects that First Nation students are typically employed and have family commitments. Students who wish to study on a full-time basis can access the mainstream programme at ST. Thomas university.
The MMBSW programme requires students to successfully complete 60 social work credit hours over a 3 year period.
The following highlight some unique features of the MMBSW:
Students admitted to the MMBSW are required to meet the admission requirements of St. Thomas University. The programme was launched in September 2005 with a cohort of students who had completed a minimum of 10 full university credits (two academic years) prior to admission. Students are provided any supports needed in order to complete their Arts credits while enrolled in the MMBSW programme. Potential students are encouraged to complete their admission credits in whatever way possible to facilitate their admission to the third cohort.