Chico State Launches BASW, MSW Distance Learning Programs

Fall 2012 brought the launch of California State University, Chico’s Distributed Learning (DL) BASW and MSW programs, with a community reception and celebration in August welcoming 39 MSW and 16 BASW students.

CSU, Chico’s School of Social Work has offered the MSW program in an alternative three-year format for six years, using it as a guide to build a comprehensive DL program for those in the region interested in earning BASWs or MSWs. Both degrees are three-year programs, involving year-round attendance. Students take courses during fall, spring, and summer semesters, mostly online, and visit the CSU, Chico campus twice each semester for weekend intensives.

The DL program was created for individuals interested in pursuing a social work degree who reside in rural and remote regions or who have full-time employment as well as family and other obligations that prevent them from participating in traditional campus-based programs.

CalSWEC's Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program and the Superior Region Mental Health Workforce Collaborative partnered with the School of Social Work to help fund the development of the DL program. In addition, the School of Social Work received funding from the Superior Region Mental Health Workforce Education and Training Collaborative to provide a mentoring program to assist DL students.

The school hired six mentors throughout northern California who live and work in the same geographic areas as the students and are available to connect students with academic resources, help with problem solving, assist with acclimation to the academic environment, and provide general support to students, many of whom are from geographically isolated areas or are first-generation college students.

The MSW program is based on a cohort model, with a new group of students starting every three years. The next MSW DL program will begin in fall 2015. The BASW DL program is admitting students every fall.

For more information about California State University, Chico’s Distance Learning MSW and BASW programs, please contact Coordinator Donna Jensen at or (530) 898-6668.