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CSWE Gero-Ed Center Awards Almost $150,000 to 20 Social Work Programs in BSW Experiential Learning Program Grants


For Immediate Release

Carrie Murdock deGuzman
Marketing & Communications Manager
Office of Member and Communication Services, CSWE

Alexandria, VA, January 1, 2007 – The CSWE Gero-Ed Center will administer nearly $150,000 in BSW Experiential Learning (BEL) Program funding to social work programs nationwide. Made possible by the John A. Hartford Foundation, the 20 selected CSWE-accredited BSW programs will receive $7,400–$7,500 each over 2 years to implement hands-on opportunities with older adults for students likely to enter direct practice.
Research has indicated that only 5% of those BSW students polled in the United States express interest in working with older adults. This number is very small, compared to the 60,000–70,000 direct practitioners needed by 2020 to meet the needs of older people and their families.

“Reaching social work students early in their education about the rewards of working with older adults is key,” said Nancy Hooyman, coprincipal investigator of the CSWE Gero-Ed Center and Hooyman Gerontology Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle. “If more have positive experiences with elders and become interested in pursuing gerontological social work, we can efficiently increase the number of practitioners prepared to meet their needs.”

Ending on June 30, 2010, this 2-year grant cycle allows each grantee to design its own learning opportunities for its BSW students. BEL Programs will vary based on the school’s unique student population, but aim to dispel any existing misconceptions or fears about working in the field of aging.

The CSWE Gero-Ed Center’s 20 BEL Program awardees represent a diverse population of social work programs throughout the country—in cities and towns, small colleges and large universities, and from coast to coast. These universities are Ball State University in Muncie, IN; East Central University in Ada, OK; Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI; Fordham University in New York, NY; Loyola University of Chicago; Luther College in Decorah, IA; Michigan State University in East Lansing; Miles College in Birmingham, AL; Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO; Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV; Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY; State University of New York at Fredonia; University of Arkansas at Little Rock; University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg; University of Maine in Bangor; University of North Carolina at Greensboro; University of North Texas in Denton, University of Portland in Oregon; Wayne State University in Detroit, MI; and West Virginia University in Morgantown.

Founded in 1929, the John A. Hartford Foundation is a committed champion of training, research, and service system innovations that promote the health and independence of America’s older adults. Through its grant making, the Foundation seeks to strengthen the nation’s capacity to provide effective, affordable care to this rapidly increasing older population by educating “aging-prepared” health professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers), and developing innovations that improve and better integrate health and supportive services. Mr. John A. Hartford and his brother, George L. Hartford, both former chief executives of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, left the bulk of their estates to the Foundation upon their deaths in the 1950s. Additional information about the Foundation and its programs is available at

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a nonprofit national association representing more than 3,000 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education.


Visit the CSWE Gero-Ed Center for more information about the BEL Program.