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Isw08 Hernandez


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  • 1. Santos H. Hernandez, Ph..D. University of Texas, Arlington International Social Work Conference Boston, MA June 6-8, 2008
  • 2. Brief Overview
    • Program is a dual degree Ph.D. program between the University of Texas, Arlington (UTA) and Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) in Monterrey, MX.
    • first intake of six Mexican and five American students in the Fall of 1997
    • first doctoral program in Social Work in Mexico.
    • first doctoral program in Spanish speaking South and Central America.
    • the only doctoral program in social work in the United States specializing in international and comparative social welfare policy, which is offered in partnership with a foreign university
  • 3. Characteristics of the Program
    • Delivered in a cohort model
    • Each cohort made up of students from Mexico and students from US
    • First year course work at UANL in Spanish
    • Second year course work at UTA in English
    • Third year, start of dissertation work at home institution
    • Exam and Dissertation Committees jointly comprised by UTA/UANL faculty
    • Students assigned a UTA and UANL faculty co-chairs
    • Ph.D. degrees awarded from each university
    • Students must be fluently bilingual/biliterate
    • Program jointly administered through a BiNational Steering Committee from both Universities that meets twice a year
  • 4. Factors motivating the creation of the program - UANL
    • UANL wanted to develop a Doctoral Program in Social Work to complement and build on the considerable role played by their established Master’s program in Social Work in the growth and professionalization of Social Work in Mexico.
    • Government of Mexico who required that all faculty teaching in Universities should have a Ph.D. by the year 2006.
    • Given the fact that the social work profession in Mexico is relatively young, UANL did not have any faculty with a doctoral degree in social work. Those professors who had doctoral degrees, had earned their degrees in related disciplines such as Sociology and Anthropology. Consequently, it became necessary to seek the support of an institution with an established doctoral program to support the UANL initiative.
  • 5. Factors motivating the creation of the program - UTA
    • Academic, Demographic/cultural shifts in Texas, and Economic and Political influences.
    • Joint doctoral program educates future leaders in social work and social welfare from the United States, Mexico and other Central and South American countries, to deal with complex social problems at the local, state, national and international levels.
    • Implications of the globalization of national economies for social work and social policy, requires the understanding of different cultures as well as the development of responsible and informed leaders capable of formulating and analyzing from a broad international perspective, social welfare policies that are geared to programs and projects oriented to the improvement of life conditions in diverse cultures.
  • 6. Factors motivating the creation of the program – UTA/UANL
    • The demographic shifts that have taken place in Texas and the globalization of national economies accentuate the need for capable leaders with an understanding of diverse cultures.
    • Such leaders must be capable of crafting responsible social policies, informed by international comparative knowledge, in an attempt to improve the living conditions of people in various regions and countries of the Americas.
  • 7. Goal of the program
    • To prepare doctoral students with knowledge and skills relating to the research, analysis, development, implementation and evaluation of social welfare policies and programs designed to improve social conditions in the US, Mexico and other Latin American countries.
  • 8. Profile and Current Status of Program Students (Spring, 2008)
    • Since the inception of the program in Fall 1997 through Fall 2008, there have been 30 students admitted into the program.
    • Of these, 19 were male; 11 were female. Twenty-seven (90%) were Hispanic/Latino; 2 (7%) were African American; and, 1 (3%) was White.
    • Of the 30, 15 (50%) were admitted as part of the US cohort, and 15 (50%) were admitted as part of the Mexican cohort.
    • Of the 30 admitted, 15(50%) have thus far graduated. 7 (23%) are still actively working on their program in good standing; 7 (23%) have discontinued the program; 1 (3%) was dismissed.
    • Of the 15 that have thus far graduated, 13 (80%) graduated with dual degrees; 2 (13%) graduated with their degree from UANL only due to English language difficulties; 5 (33%) have been from the US cohort, 10 (67%) have been from the Mexican cohort.
    • Of the 7 that have discontinued or been dismissed, 5 (71%) have been from the US cohort, 2 (29%) have been from the Mexican cohort.
    • Of the 15 that have graduated, 11 (73%) currently hold academic appointments, 1 (7%) is retired. Two have gained recognition as distinguished researchers and scholars within their respective university systems, another has gained recognition by receiving a national award for her scholarship.
  • 9. Challenges
    • Language
    • Culture
    • Academic Philosophies
    • Administrative Coordination
    • Educational Policies
    • Finances
    • Student Financial Support
    • Immigration Issues
    • Continuity
    • Recruitment
    • “ Niche” Program
  • 10. Indicators of Success (Evaluation)
    • Graduation Rates
    • Time to Completion
    • Student Rating of Program
    • Alumni Accomplishments
  • 11. Opportunities
    • Exchanges
    • Collaborative Research & Publications
    • Model for other Collaborative
    • Internationalization of the Curriculum
    • Impact on Student Body & Faculty
  • 12. Lessons Learned
    • Need for understanding culture and educational philosophies
    • Need for continuity in administration
    • Need for bilingual faculty and staff beyond the coordinator
    • Flexibility in programmatic arrangements
    • Coherence with regular doctoral curriculum
    • Commitment to sustainability and capacity building
  • 13. For Further Information on Program Reference Elliott, Jordan, Ribiero Ferreira, Hernandez, Diaz (2003). A Binational, Bilingual Doctoral Program in Social Work: The Collaboration of the University of Texas at Arlington and Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Mexico. In Healy, Asamoah, Hokenstad (ed). Models of International Collaboration in Social Work Education . CSWE. .php