The Pathway Program: A collaboration between 3 universities to deliver a social work distance education (DL) program to underserved areas of California
This paper describes the development of a partnership between three campuses to develop a (DL) education program-serving employees of county and tribal Health and Human Service Departments in remote rural areas of California. Specifically, the program supports the development of a career pathway for students living in isolated regions of Northern California and Inland Southern California. Surveys and focus groups carried out in 2008 and 2009 identified the need for such a program. Title IVE funding (federal funding for training and education of child welfare workers) was granted via the California Social Work Education Center based at the University of California, Berkeley, which also coordinates the program. Course development, outreach, advising, and student admissions began in Chico and Humboldt in the north and San Bernardino in the south. The first phase was considerable outreach to children’s services county agencies whose employees needed to gain a B.A.S.W. and/or M.S.W. This included academic advising and study skills training. Progress on the implementation of each program along with considerable dialogue on the elements of successful collaboration are discussed.