The College of St. Scholastica, a 103-year-old independent Catholic Benedictine college, has forged a partnership with Mesa Community College (MCC) that will strengthen its community presence and expand its social work course offerings. St. Scholastica will offer a bachelor of arts in social work program on the MCC campus. Fall 2015 classes commence in September and are already nearing capacity.
The five-year agreement marks the first partnership between the colleges.
St. Scholastica is a private college with locations across Minnesota and its original campus in Duluth. St. Scholastica expanded to Arizona in 2014.
With more than 23,000 students, MCC is the largest of 10 community colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District – the largest community college district in the United States.
MCC students will now be able to conveniently earn a bachelor’s degree in social work from a top-tier private college.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Mesa Community College to offer students a pathway beyond their associate’s degrees in the field of social work,” said Maria Laughner, St. Scholastica’s regional director in Arizona. “MCC is highly regarded as a community educator in Arizona, which makes the campus an ideal setting for St. Scholastica’s social work program.”
Dori DiPietro, faculty director of the MCC social work program, states: “We are so happy to partner with The College of St. Scholastica to provide enhanced opportunity for our students! Together we can offer students everything they need for the successful completion of their bachelor’s degree in social work, at an affordable cost, right here on the MCC campus.”
Annalisa Alvrus, Chair of the MCC Cultural Science department, adds: “Having The College of St. Scholastica on the MCC campus helps to fulfill our college goal of providing an accessible education for students and enabling them to become successful citizens in Arizona’s society and economy.”
Students in the social work program will benefit from the community learning model, individual attention and hands-on field experience – all existing hallmarks of MCC’s social work offerings. Graduates will be well prepared to enter and impact community health programs in schools, shelters, service agencies and a variety of other settings.
Marcia Runnberg, St. Scholastica’s Arizona social work program coordinator, will be on site at MCC and will lead the fall semester courses along with adjunct professors Rosa Molinar, Stacy Moreno, and Jeremy Arp. The fall semester is comprised of two eight-week sessions, Fall I running from Sept. 8 to Oct. 29, and Fall II running from Nov. 3 to Dec. 22.