Alverno College and the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) have established a formal partnership that streamlines the transfer process for female students who want to become social workers, allowing them to complete their associate degree in human services at MATC and transfer to Alverno to complete their Bachelor of Social Work.

If students follow the proper course sequence at MATC and Alverno, they can graduate in four years. The partnership further enables the work of Alverno’s strategic plan, which aims to grow enrollment in targeted programs to support workforce development needs for Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin.

“This partnership provides another opportunity for women to advance their education with the most seamless transition possible,” said Crystal Aschenbrener, chair of the Social Work department at Alverno. “Student success is our top priority, and this agreement allows women who want to earn their bachelor’s degree in social work to do so in a way that is flexible and affordable.”

Under the partnership, students who complete their Human Services Associate at MATC will have satisfied the requirements for a minor at Alverno, which is required of all social work majors. Any field education internship courses completed at MATC will count toward Alverno’s internship requirements, and social work-related courses may count toward the social work major’s required electives.

The social work program at Alverno educates practitioners to understand and navigate the conditions that created clients’ suffering and teaches students how to advocate for changes in policy and legislation.

Alverno recently formed a similar partnership with Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC), allowing students with a human services associate degree to apply their credits to a Bachelor of Social Work at Alverno.

The job outlook for social workers is projected to grow by 16 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much higher than other occupations. The increasing need is driven by an aging population, more people seeking treatment for mental illness and substance abuse, and rising student enrollment in schools.

Alverno’s social work graduates can seek professional state licensure and will be prepared to make positive contributions in a wide variety of areas including mental health treatment, child welfare and enhancing wellness for older adults.