New Program Pays Tuition for Low-Income Rural UCCS Students Pursuing Masters of Social Work

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – A new program will pay tuition for low-income rural students in southern Colorado pursuing a master’s degree in social work.

11 News spoke with the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs about the new behavioral health incentive program. The Colorado Department of Higher Education has approved $5 million in grants to five universities that will provide tuition to students pursuing selected degrees and certificates in behavioral health, in an effort to increase the workforce. ‘work.

“The behavioral health needs in our community are profound. We have a labor shortage in Colorado that existed before covid,” said Dr. Catherine Simmons, professor and director of the Master of Social Work program at UCCS.

UCCS has the newest social work program in Colorado. UCCS is still working out the details of which students will qualify, but hopes to fund the first round of students this fall.

“Colorado’s mental health system is stretched to its limits. We cannot address behavioral health issues in our community without first ensuring that we have a well-trained workforce. Without a well-trained workforce, we cannot help those in need,” Simmons said.

The five institutions, their eligible programs and grants are:

  • Colorado Mesa University ($421,481)
    BSW in Social Work
    MSW in Social Work
    Professional Certification in Addiction Studies
  • Colorado State University ($1,746,673)
    MA in Addiction Counseling in Psychology
    BS with Concentration in Substance Abuse Counseling
    MA in Human Development and Family Studies / Marriage and Family Therapy
    MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    MA in Social Work
    BA in Social Work
    Joint Master in Addiction Counseling in Psychology and Social Work
  • University of Northern Colorado ($1,585,457)
    MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    MA in Educational Psychology
    MA in Foundations of Professional Psychology
    MA in Marriage, Counseling and Counseling/Family Therapy
  • University of Denver ($1,014,222)
    Master in Social Work
  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs ($232,167)
    Master in Social Work

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Ryan H. Bowman