Officials sign agreement of equivalency

July 20, 2015
UW-Platteville campus

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Officials from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recently signed an agreement of equivalency with UW-Milwaukee’s master’s degree in social work program.

The goal of the agreement is to enable UW-Platteville students to complete a master’s degree in social work at UW-Milwaukee in only three semesters and be exempt from at least five graduate courses.

“UW-Milwaukee has a strong program in social work,” said Dr. Elizabeth Gates, chair of the Department of Psychology at UW-Platteville. “It offers students the perfect balance between the exploration of theoretical issues related to social work and the application of social work principles to the real world. It is also very student-focused. The program strives to meet the individual needs of students and match their career and academic interests.”

Students who obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work often are exempt (if the program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education) from foundation courses in master’s degree programs in social work. UW-Platteville does not offer a major in social work, but psychology or criminal justice majors can obtain a social work certificate, allowing them to work as certified social workers in Wisconsin. In order to obtain this certificate, students must take five social work courses and complete an internship. These courses are similar to foundation courses required by master's degree programs in social work.

With the new agreement of equivalency, students who complete the psychology major at UW-Platteville and complete the five courses required for the social work certificate will be exempt from five foundation courses in the UW-Milwaukee’s master's degree program in social work. Depending upon the type of internship they completed at UW-Platteville, they also might be exempt from a sixth course.

“This collaborative agreement will strengthen relations between UW-Platteville and UW-Milwaukee,” said Gates. “The department of psychology at UW-Platteville has always encouraged students to pursue their master's degree in social work at UW-Milwaukee. However, now students will have an increased incentive to choose UW-Milwaukee for graduate school.”

UW-Platteville leadership involved in creating the agreement include Gates; Dr. Elizabeth Throop, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education; and Dr. Joan Riedle, professor of psychology.

UW-Milwaukee leadership involved in creating the agreement include Dr. Deborah L. Padgett, chair of the Department of Social Work, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare; Dr. Gwat-Yong Lie, associate dean and associate professor in the Department of Social Work, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare; and Dr. Stan Stojkovic, dean of the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and professor of criminal justice."

The Department of Psychology at UW-Platteville offers a Bachelor of Science in psychology, along with a human services emphasis, a substance abuse counseling emphasis and the coursework required for the social work certificate. 

The Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at UW-Milwaukee offers a program of graduate studies in social work. According to its website, the mission of its department of social work is to promote positive change through social work research, scholarship, education and community partnerships and the goal of its Master of Social Work program is to prepare graduates with specialized knowledge and skills for advanced practice and leadership with diverse populations and communities.

As UW-Platteville pursues its vision of being recognized as the leading student-focused university for its success in achieving excellence, creating opportunities and empowering each individual, it is guided by four strategic planning priorities. The agreement of equivalency aligns with two of the priorities, including providing an outstanding education and enriching the tri-state area.

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191,


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