Santos H. Hernandez, Ph..D. University of Texas, Arlington International Social Work Conference Boston, MA June 6-8, 2008
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Student Financial Support
“ Niche” Program
Indicators of Success (Evaluation)
Time to Completion
Student Rating of Program
Collaborative Research & Publications
Model for other Collaborative
Internationalization of the Curriculum
Impact on Student Body & Faculty
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
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. http://www.uta.edu/ssw/academics/phd/phd-uanl/phd-uanl-welcome .php